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Author and professor of youth ministries at Princeton to speak in Bristol

staff report • Mar 8, 2013 at 8:22 AM

BRISTOL, Tenn. — Kenda Dean, author and professor of youth ministries at Princeton Theological Seminary, will speak at King University and to the Bristol community on Monday, March 11, as part of the University’s Buechner Institute Lecture series.

Dean will speak at 9:15 a.m. in the Memorial Chapel and at 7 p.m. at the Bristol Pubic Library.

“We are pleased to have the opportunity for Kenda Dean to share her expertise on trends among religiously oriented youth. Her statistical studies and research into the mindset of today’s church youth will provide great insight.” said Dale Brown, director of the Buechner Institute and chair of the English department at King.

Dean comes from a long line of Ohio farmers and Kentucky coal miners. She is a graduate of Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, and Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, D.C. Growing up, Dean attended a United Methodist church camp, which strengthened her in her spiritual journey. In 1997, Dean went back to school and earned her doctorate from Princeton Theological Seminary in Princeton, N.J.

“Kenda Creasy Dean argues passionately that the faith of the average American Christian teen is only a pale, watered-down version of the robust faith it could be. Drawing on extensive research and impressive analysis, Dean offers a smart how-to guide for Christian youth ministers and parents who hope to transform that watered-down faith into something much more,” said fellow author Donna Freatis.

Currently, Dean is a professor of youth, church, and culture at her alma mater, Princeton Theological Seminary, where she works closely with the Institute for Youth Ministry. In addition to her teaching responsibilities, she also serves as the coordinating pastor of Kingston United Methodist Church in Kingston, N.J.

Dean is the author of numerous books on youth and the church, including: “The Godbearing Life”; “The Art of Soul Tending for Youth Ministry” with Ron Foster; “Almost Christian: What the Faith of Our Teenagers Is Telling the American Church” and “The Theological Turn in Youth Ministry” with Andrew Root.

“Kenda Dean is on the cutting edge of understanding youth and youth culture,” said Dan Kreiss, assistant professor of youth ministry at King University. “Her expertise will be of tremendous benefit not only to the youth ministry students but also to the wider community that takes advantage of this opportunity.”

Both events are open to the public and free to attend. For more information, call Dale Brown at (4230 652-4156 or visit www.buechnerinstitute.org.

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