Stephen spent his childhood in Ohio and then Virginia. He has received degrees from Liberty University, Virginia Tech, and the University of Virginia and has earned a PhD in special education. His primary work has been as an elementary teacher and now as a university professor at Elon preparing teachers to work with children with special needs. He and his wife Lori have four children. Stephen was ordained as a pastor in 2012. His ministry responsibilities involve college ministry, pulpit supply, counseling, and event planning.