Kenda Creasy Dean - Princeton Theological Seminary
Kenda Creasy Dean, PhD

Kenda Creasy Dean

Mary D. Synnott Professor of Youth, Church, and Culture


105 Tennent Hall

[email protected]


Curriculum Vitae


Kenda Creasy Dean, PhD ’97, 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, Christian social innovation, and theories of teaching), Dean works closely with Princeton’s Institute for Youth Ministry and the Farminary. Dean is the author of numerous books on youth, church, and culture, the best known of which include Almost Christian: What the Faith of Our Teenagers Is Telling the American Church (Oxford, 2010), Practicing Passion: Youth and the Quest for a Passionate Church (Eerdmans, 2004), and The Godbearing Life: The Art of Soul Tending for Youth Ministry with Ron Foster (Upper Room, 1998).

She has directed numerous grants on youth, innovation, and the church, including The Zoe Project (2017-2021), and was co-director with Harold Masback of The Joy and Adolescent Faith and Flourishing Project through Yale’s Center for Faith and Culture. In 2013, she co-founded Ministry Incubators, Inc., an educational and consulting group that supports Christian social innovation and entrepreneurial ministries. A graduate of Wesley Theological Seminary, she served as a pastor in Virginia, Maryland, and New Jersey and as a campus minister in suburban Washington, D.C. before receiving her PhD from Princeton Seminary in 1997.

Select Publications

  • The Theological Turn in Youth Ministry with Andrew Root (InterVarsity, 2011)
  • OMG: A Youth Ministry Handbook (Abingdon Press, 2010)
  • Almost Christian: What the Faith of Our Teenagers is Telling the American Church (Oxford University Press, Oxford University Press, 2010)
  • Youth, Religion, and Globalization, New Research in Practical Theology, eds. Richard R. Osmer and Kenda Creasy Dean (Zurich: LIT Verlag GmbH Co., 2007)
  • Practicing Passion: Youth and the Quest for a Passionate Church (Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2004)
  • Starting Right: Thinking Theologically about Youth Ministry (Youth Specialties Academic/Zondervan, 2001)
  • The Godbearing Life: The Art of Soul-Tending for Youth Ministry (Upper Room, 1998)