Lyle Thomas

In addition to a private practice in Christian counseling and life coaching, Lyle has taught outdoor education to kids in New England, English to Muslims in Soviet Central Asia, math and geography to delinquents in Oregon. His passion and vision is for citywide transformation, and so he founded and served as the director of Christian Ministries United, a coalition of over 60 nonprofits dedicated to helping broker strategic relationships for large-scale change in Richmond from 1998-2007.

Lyle received his undergraduate degree from Duke University in Music and Comparative Area Studies. His graduate work was in Social Work and Christian Education, degrees which he received from Virginia Commonwealth University and the Presbyterian School of Christian Education, respectively. He is also certified as a Life Coach and as a coach trainer through Lifeforming Leadership Coaching.

Lyle’s counseling training has come from several sources beyond his graduate education. He studied for over two years with the Christian Counseling and Training Center in Richmond in Biblical (nouthetic) Counseling. Additionally, he has received training in Transformation Prayer Ministry.



Lyle has been married to a wonderful wife, Diana (nee Leinbach), since 1992. Not all of that time was smooth, however. His struggle to work through that dark period in their relationship had as profound an impact on his counseling practice and as a mentor of leaders as any of the formal training he has received. It was, as much as anything, the greatest training ground for writing “Becoming Mr. Ephesians,” an intensive transformational study (in e-book) for husbands based on Eph. 5:25-33. His latest writing project is a one-year  experiential training curriculum for churches and small groups for forming missional communities that he has been implementing since 2015 in Russia, tentatively called Dream Teamswhich begins with a training called Real Talk.

Lyle and Diana have three children, Lydia (1998), Kerith (2001), and Simon (2004). Click here for a short video interview with our family.

Diana left her work teaching 6th grade in the public school system to raise and homeschool her children. She now teaches not only them, but other homeschooled and missionary children worldwide through The Potters School (since 2002) via the first synchronous learning model found anywhere online. She also serves a consultant and conference speaker through SHARE Education Ministry, which fills a niche for the unique needs of families living cross-culturally. More about Diana here.

Thomas Postcard 2Missions
On staff now with Novo (formerly CRM) since 2006, they have lived in St. Petersburg Russia since 2007 with a goal of serving the transformation of that city through training coaching leadership teams into pursuing Kingdom-sized dreams. More about their ministry and its needs can be found here. As a faith ministry, all personal and ministry needs are by donation. Find out more here.


4 thoughts on “Lyle Thomas

  1. Lyle, Thank you for sharing your mission work with the Men in Ministry this morning, How blessed we are as Christians to live in a nation that allows us to freely worship.

  2. Lyle and Diana may be uniquely suited and gifted to touch and minister in present day Russia. They “get” the Russian people like no other persons I know. Diana’s care for the children of crosscultural workers is unmatched, and Lyle expansive vision for raising up a new generation of Christian coaches and mentors who can offer holistic biblical coaching and coaching is unparalleled by any missionaries I know. I have spent regular time with Lyle for over 15 years, and am privileged to have seen he and Diana up-close and personal in their St. Petersburg context. Lyle and Diana are the real deal! They are counting the “cost of discipleship” on a daily basis. They need our prayers and unwavering support to remain resilient under fire! Keep up the good work, Lyle and Diana!

    • Jerry, thanks for writing. We are in the US at the moment, but will be going back to Russia this spring. Third (LJ, Rebecca, and many other individuals) get regular updates from us, as well as an annual report. I also gave a presentation at Third in September. Give me your email, and I’ll make sure you get them as well!

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