About Courageous Girls

Courageous Girls was developed by Terra Mattson with the help of passionate mothers who have spent decades in the fields of teaching. counseling, leadership and ministry. Our goal is simple: To help build and support committed gatherings of young girls and their moms who have intentional & Biblical conversations. We hope that regular discussions in a safe and personal environment will promote authentic and strong relationships between the girls, the moms and most importantly, between mothers and daughters so that we all develop a confident identity in Christ. With this identity firmly rooted, we can better understand our unique beauty as women and develop our desire to live a courageous life. 

This is true for our daughters, as well as for us mamas, who must model this unique lifestyle in a world that suggests we should be fitting in with the status quo. Instead of isolation, we choose community and connection. Instead of worldly input, we seek God’s word in our lives. Instead of competition, comparison and judgment, we strive to grow in gratitude, joy, and acceptance so that we are equipped to love others well and live our lives from a place of wholeness and grace. It is not a meager task; it is one that requires sacrifice, strength, character, and commitment. It is also a process constantly evolving, especially in our ever-changing, technologically-infused lives. As our daughters grow and change, we, too, must adapt the way we connect with them as well as the way we demonstrate love. May you be inspired and encouraged to become a Courageous Girl! 

Meet Our Leadership Team

Meet Terra A. Mattson, M.A. LMFT, LPC

Terra wears many hats as a wife, mom to two teen girls, author, podcaster, speaker, executive coach, licensed marriage and family therapist, licensed professional counselor, social-entrepreneur, and spokesperson for Christian Parenting. At the top of the list, she is a daughter rooted in grace and longs to see women of all ages understand their value, worth, and God-given design.

Alongside her husband Jeff, she co-founder and CEO of Living Wholehearted, LLC, a professional counseling and organizational consulting firm outside of Portland, OR, and Courageous Girls. She was the clinical director and worked with women, couples, children and teens for over fifteen years in private practice. She is the co-host of the weekly Living Wholehearted Podcast and running the Wholehearted Leadership Cohorts with Jeff.

Birthed from her own heart for her two daughters and the passion to help her clients, she started Courageous Girls in 2011 alongside seven other moms and daughters. Over the years, Courageous Girls groups have developed all over the globe from the East Coast to the West Coast in the United States, Canada, Europe and now even Africa.

Developing Courageous Girls and writing the curriculum, Terra leaned into years of experience in full-time ministry teaching the Bible and professional training in trauma, neurobiology, human development, spiritual formation and healthy sexuality.  Courageous Girls curriculum and the group model is a unique blend of biblical, clinical and relational wisdom to prevent and help restore the generations long devastated (Isaiah 61).

Terra continues to speak nationally, coach and published Courageous: Being Daughters Rooted In Grace (David C. Cook, 2020) for moms of daughters and launched the Courageous Gathering in 2020. She then co-authored Shrinking the Integrity Gap: Between What Leaders Preach and Live (David C. Cook, 2020) with Jeff.

To learn more, visit TerraMattson.com.

A Fun Fact about Terra

If Terra had a tattoo, it would say, “A beautiful mess and loved.” If there was room, she would add, “Now all glory to God, who IS ABLE, through HIS mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we could ask or imagine. Glory to Him.” Ephesians, 3:20

But that would hurt…and she’s not THAT courageous! 

Meet Jeff Mattson, MA ORGL

As the Co-Founder of Living Wholehearted and Courageous Girls, Jeff is the dad to his own courageous girls, Addie and Nevie. Jeff has a history of working in pastoral ministry, higher education, family-business, and now as an organizational development consultant and leadership coach. As the Living Wholehearted President, Jeff leads the executive coaching and organizational development arm of the Living Wholehearted organization, helping leaders live with integrity in their businesses and non-profit organizations. Passionate about helping dads pursue their wives and children in the home, he has worked to integrate every dad’s involvement in CG groups from the get-go. Though Jeff understands that not every CG daughter has an involved dad, he encourages CG mamas to find a male leader who can stand in the gap wherever possible (grandpa, uncle, youth leader).

Jeff writes, records, and releases songs to encourage families in their faith along with teaching, speaking, and writing.  Jeff and Terra invest time together as a team to support, inspire, and challenge parents every week on their Living Wholehearted Podcast, part of the Christian Parenting Podcast Network. Launching the first annual CG Father/Daughter Campout in 2015 in Addie’s group, he believes that dads need other models to spur one another on regardless of their stories and journey along the way. You’ll find Jeff with a fly rod or archery bow outside with his girls. He loves God’s creation and the playground God provides throughout the PNW.

To learn more about where Jeff is speaking, books, or his professional services, go to www.livingwholehearted.com

Meet Beth Kershner

Beth has been a part of Courageous Girls from the very beginning. She has walked through the challenges and enjoyed the reward of her own CG community. She has been blessed with deep and authentic relational richness within these groups, seeing growth and deeper meaning in her relationship with Jesus and both her daughters. Actually, the principles and experiences gathered through 8+ years of her Courageous Girls groups have made a significant impact on EVERY relationship in her life. 

Beth has been a part of the Courageous Girls leadership team since 2019. She is a Courageous Girls Leadership Coach with specific training in the Core Values Index (CVI), CG curriculum, communication and conflict resolution. Her professional history includes lifestyle coaching and a clinical doctorate in audiology. She is passionate about coaching and supporting other women through the ups and downs of raising their girls and becoming intentional in their call as a mom. 

Being a mom to girls matters deeply, though it’s never easy.  

Beth has a heart to come alongside CG mamas and leaders, honoring who they are with a listening ear, asking important questions, providing deeper connection and helping them reach their personal goals. If you choose coaching with Beth, you can expect to be encouraged and gain practical next steps in your relationship with God, your daughter(s) and your Courageous Girls group. 

In addition to coaching women, Beth finds great joy in coaching and mentoring girls via volleyball and church small groups. You can also find her in the garden or with chickens on her family farm just outside Portland, Oregon, where she lives with her husband of 20 years and their two daughters and son. Though born in the midwest, she is grateful for the coffee, mountain hiking and is one of “those people” who love the rain of the PNW. 

A Fun Fact about Beth

Beth worked on a county road crew in high school, where she got to drive big trucks, dig holes and make street signs. She was given the nickname “Crash” for no reason at all…

Meet Stephanie West

Regardless of which season you are influencing a daughter—holding her toddling hand, raising a teen, soaking up a baby granddaughter—as women and leaders, we are united by a shared mission of the heart: to foster a deep understanding of how much our girls are loved by our Heavenly Father and to feel His presence, grace, and love. It is the heartbeat of the Courageous Girls message.

For Stephanie, being part of the Courageous Girls community has provided a safe, trusted place for her and her two daughters—a place where they experience enhanced depth in their relationships, tools and camaraderie in talking about big topics, and a deepening in their faith as they experience the beauty of linking arms with other moms and daughters in their CG community.

Our stories, hopes and prayers are sacred ground. One piece of Stephanie’s story is the gift of her sister Christina, who has Down Syndrome and is battling Leukemia. This recent season with her sister has provided Stephanie with an enhanced awareness and compassion, leaning in to Micah 6:8 to share this perspective and to offer dignity to those around her–especially those that go unseen.

Stephanie steps into coaching with Colossians 3:12-14 as her prayer. Each coaching conversation is a chance to meet another of God’s beloved daughters with compassion, kindness, humility, patience, and love. She values the courage required to enter into these conversations and will ask questions that cultivate new insights and awareness that lead to achieving an identified goal. 

Stephanie has a Master’s in Counseling and a Certificate in Transformational Coaching from Western Seminary.  Specialized training includes the Core Value Index, Race Literacy Education, and Foster Care training.

Stephanie and her husband, Nick, are raising their 3 kids (two girls and a boy) in the Pacific Northwest. In Stephanie’s free time, she loves an intentional conversation over coffee, singing loudly to worship music when no one is listening, family adventures to the Oregon Coast, and loving others with arms wide open.

A Fun Fact about Stephanie

Stephanie loved getting to merge two of her passions (travel & running) by participating in the London Marathon.

Meet Connie Armerding, MA

Connie Armerding has a heart for building relationships. A mother of three girls, she is passionate about mothers and daughters growing together in grace and godly wisdom as they navigate the changing cultural climate of the world. The heartbeat of Courageous Girls is to provide moms with trusted resources to have continued conversations with their daughters as they navigate the victories and challenges life brings. CG groups provide a container for these primary relationships to grow in the context of community.

Connie is a mom to four children, three girls, and one boy. When she became pregnant with twins and found out it was two girls, she was terrified. Years of pain in her own story with her sister made her fearful of parenting two girls at once! But that fear subsided and turned to joy. God has written a beautiful story of redemption through Connie’s journey as she leaned into grace, embracing the journey of being a perfectly imperfect parent to her children.

Connie Armerding is an Executive Coach & Leadership Consultant at LivingWholehearted and a Writer, Speaker, Educator, and Licensed Pastor. She is passionate about equipping leaders through creating spiritually and emotionally healthy cultures among leaders and their communities. Connie is a contributing writer to the Friendzy school-wide program, a social-emotional learning curriculum for K-8 students that is being used in schools across the nation. Connie holds degrees from Wheaton College in Interpersonal Communication (BA) and a Masters in Leadership (MA ). She lives outside Portland, Oregon, with her husband and four children.

More of her writing and speaking can be found at conniearmerding.com.

Be Loved, Love Well