Svetlana Nikitina, a teacher, was born and raised in Moscow, Russia, where her family still resides. She came to the United States on her own in 1994 at 19 for college. She graduated from Patten University with a B.A. in Liberal Arts and Biblical Studies, and then from Golden Gate Theological Seminary in 2002 with an M.A. in Intercultural Studies and in 2003 with an Early Childhood Education and Administration Certificate.
Her son, Alex, was born in 1999. Svetlana, Alex, their cat Felix and their rat William live in Mill Valley, California.