Joe was raised in a large family from Arlington, VA. Graduated from JMU in 1989 with a degree in kinesiology. Married his bride, Terri, in 1989. Taught and coached in Harrisonburg, VA until 1992. Attended Reformed Theological Seminary in Orlando, FL from 1992-1996. Was youth pastor at Covenant Presbyterian Church in Harrisonburg from 1996-2007 and college ministry pastor at Covenant from 2007-2014.

The Slaters have been blessed with five children (Nathan, Anna, Austin, Iain, and Naomi). Joe loves his family, sports (especially soccer and football, but pretty much all sports), outdoors, good books, good food, and good coffee.