Re-imagining Church as a Missional Incubator | Kenda Creasy Dean

Kenda Creasy Dean at the Payton Lectures

+ The entrepreneurial moment in ministry not only challenges how we do ministry with young people; it forces us to examine our ecclesiology, our assumed paths to discipleship formation, and our understanding of mission. In this conversation Dr. Dean considers the impact and potential of an ecclesiology in which “doing a new thing” is the missional consequence of taking seriously our history as a churchand how missional innovation gives us fresh eyes for youth and young adult ministry in a post-Christian age.

Kenda Creasy Dean, an ordained United Methodist pastor in the Greater New Jersey Annual Conference, works closely with Princeton’s Institute for Youth Ministry as well as the Farminary, the seminary’s initiative in small-scale sustainable agriculture and theological formation. In 2013 she founded an incubator/accelerator program for Christian leaders and congregations ( with fellow youth pastor and entrepreneur Mark DeVries.

Dr. Creasy Dean’s lectures were part of the 2017 Payton Lectures, an annual lecture series from Fuller Seminary’s School of Theology. Fuller Theological Seminary instituted the Payton Lectures in 1948, providing for a series of divinity lectures by a notable scholar outside the regular faculty. The lectureship is named for Dr. John E. and Mrs. Eliza Payton, parents of the late Mrs. Grace Fuller, wife of seminary founder Charles E. Fuller. Recent Payton Lecturers have included Miroslav Volf, Ellen Davis, Bernard McGinn, and Luke Timothy Johnson.

+ Steven Argue, Assistant Professor of Youth, Family, and Culture, responds to Kenda Creasy Dean’s lecture, reflecting on the complex relationships between a changing church and the broader culture.



Pamela Ebstyne King of Thrieve Institute at Fuller Seminary

+ Pamela Ebstyne King, Peter L. Benson Associate Professor of Applied Developmental Science, responds to Kenda Creasy Dean’s lecture, reflecting on the “telos” of Christian faith and its relationship to innovation and empowering young people.



Juan Martinez

+ Juan Martínez, Professor of Hispanic Studies and Pastoral Leadership, responds to Kenda Creasy Dean’s lecture, reflecting on discernment and the role of the global church in forming young people.