Mary D. Synnott Professor of Youth, Church, and Culture
Princeton Theological Seminary
Kenda is the Theologian in Residence for the Missing Voices Project’s Innovation and Design Thinking Workshop to be held in April 2020. She will offer a theological rationale for why Youth Ministry needs the resources of Innovation and Design Thinking.
Kenda Dean is an ordained United Methodist pastor in the Greater New Jersey Annual Conference, and the Mary D. Synnott Professor of Youth, Church, and Culture at Princeton Theological Seminary. In addition to teaching in practical theology, education and formation (specifically youth and young adult ministry, the church as social innovator, and theories of teaching), Kenda works closely with Princeton’s Institute for Youth Ministry and the Farminary. She also serves as the coordinating pastor of Kingston United Methodist Church. Kenda is the author of numerous books on youth, church and culture, including Almost Christian: What the Faith of Our Teenagers Is Telling the American Church (Oxford, 2010) and Practicing Passion: Youth and the Quest for a Passionate Church (Eerdmans, 2004), as well as several co-authored books, including How Youth Ministry Can Change Theological Education, If We Let It with Christy Lang Hearlson (Eerdmans, 2016); The Theological Turn in Youth Ministry with Andrew Root (InterVarsity, 2011), OMG: A Youth Ministry Handbook (Abingdon, 2010), and The Godbearing Life: The Art of Soul Tending for Youth Ministry with Ron Foster (Upper Room, 1998). In 2013 she and fellow pastor Mark DeVries co-founded Ministry Incubators, Inc., an educational and consulting group dedicated to missional innovation and entrepreneurial forms of ministry (MinistryIncubators.com). A graduate of Wesley Theological Seminary, she served as a pastor and campus minister in suburban Washington, D.C. before receiving her PhD from Princeton Seminary in 1997. She is currently the project director and senior strategist for The Zoe Project, an Lilly Endowment initiative designed to foster innovation in congregations around young adults.