Mark DeVriesCo-Founder and Permissionary
Kenda Creasy DeanCo-Founder and Permissionary
Antonin FicatierBusiness Development Strategist
Bryan MillerDigital Marketing Strategist
Shari L. OostingCoach
Ministry Incubators co-founder Mark DeVries brings with him a career of entrepreneurial ministry and coaching. A serial entrepreneur, Mark has founded numerous sustainable ministry enterprises, most notably Ministry Architects, of which he’s also president. This team of over 50 consultants has worked with over 500 churches, bringing together centuries of expertise in youth ministry, children’s ministry, young adult ministry, small church ministry, executive coaching, and strategic initiatives for entire churches.
Mark is also co-founder of the Center for Youth Ministry Training, and the founder of Justice Industries. Mark served as the Associate Pastor for Youth and Their Families at First Presbyterian Church in Nashville, Tennessee for 28 years, where he continues to serve in a volunteer capacity.
Mark is the author of a dozen or so books, including Sustainable Youth Ministry and Family-Based Youth Ministry, and the co-author of Sustainable Children’s Ministry and Sustainable Young Adult Ministry. Mark and his wife, Susan, co-authored a marriage book (with their good friends, Robert & Bobbie Wolgemuth) entitled The Most Important Year in a Woman’s Life/ The Most Important Year in a Man’s Life.
Mark has offered ministry training and consulting across the United States and in more than a dozen countries, working with a wide variety of denominations (as well as non-denominations). He has taught courses or been a guest lecturer at more than 20 different colleges and seminaries, including Duke Divinity School (Durham, NC), Princeton Theological Seminary (Princeton, NJ), and Vanderbilt Divinity School (Nashville, TN).
Mark graduated summa cum laude from Baylor University in Waco, Texas with a B.A. in English and Greek in 1980, and from Princeton Theological Seminary in 1986 with a senior concentration in Youth Evangelism.
Throughout his years spent in Waco and Princeton, Mark was involved in youth ministry—working with Young Life both in Waco and in Montgomery, New Jersey, and serving on the youth staff at the First United Methodist Church in Waco. Upon graduation from Princeton, he was awarded the first Robert Boyd Munger Youth Ministry prize.
Mark and Susan have been married since 1979 and make their home in Nashville, TN. They have three grown children: Adam, Debbie, and Leigh, and four grandchildren: Parish, Nealy, Liam, and Jack.
Contact Mark here.
Kenda Creasy Dean
Kenda Creasy Dean comes to Ministry Incubators after 30 years of doing ministry that wasn’t in a job description. An ordained United Methodist minister, she teaches practical theology, youth ministry, education and formation, and social innovation at Princeton Theological Seminary, where she directs The Zoe Project, a Lilly Endowment initiative on congregational innovation with young adults. She has extensive experience in new ministry development, grant-writing, and nonprofit ministry, especially with young people.
Kenda is the author of several books including Almost Christian: What the Faith of Our Teenagers Is Telling the American Church, The Godbearing Life (with Ron Foster), The Theological Turn in Youth Ministry (with Andrew Root), A More Excellent Way: How Youth Ministry Can Change Theological Education, If We Let It (with Christy Lang Hearlson), and Under the Dragon Scales: Restoring Joy in Youth Ministry (with Wesley Ellis, Justin Forbes, and Abigail Visco Rusert), in press.
A graduate of Miami University (Ohio), Wesley Theological Seminary, and Princeton Theological Seminary, Kenda served as a pastor in suburban Washington, DC and as a campus minister at the University of Maryland before coming to Princeton. She and her husband Kevin live in Princeton, NJ and have two grown children, Brendan and Shannon. Contact Kenda here.
Antonin is the Youth Pastor of Union Church in Hong Kong. A serious globe-trotter, he is originally from France and holds degrees in economics, international business, theology and Christian education from institutions in China (Beijing), France (Paris, Strasbourg), and the States (Princeton). An experienced entrepreneur, Antonin founded Chinese Institute in 2011, which is today one of France’s leading training centers for teaching Chinese. Antonin is a regular contributor to the blog Kindred Youth Ministry, and is passionate about entrepreneurship, theology, youth culture, and unplugging.
While he tries to avoid the word “obsessed” and prefers terms like “dedication” or “love,” Bryan’s life has been one of passionate (obsessive) engagement and trying to bring those passions into conversation with each other. Early in his life he developed a love of technology (imagine the young teenager with an intro programming book trying to make flashy text on a geocities site). While this love of technology lead to countless sleepless nights, instead of directly pursuing a career in technology, he pursued his love of the church with an M.Div. from Princeton Theological Seminary and an M.A. from the University of Kansas. After seminary, Bryan and his best friend Michael Gewecke founded Smart Church Project, a technology design and consulting company that helps mission driven organizations increase their impact. When not buried by books or immersed in code, Bryan enjoys spending time with his lovely wife exploring the great wilds of the Kansas landscape.
Shari L. Oosting
Shari L. Oosting has both an M.Div. and seven years of experience in the financial services industry, focused on home lending and personal finance. She provides credit improvement coaching, lending expertise, and budget assistance. In her work at Princeton Seminary she directs programs and develops initiatives to equip Christian leaders. Shari and her husband Jason spend their hours outside of work playing with their four children Asher, Ezra, Elia, and Ada. They worship as a family at Nassau Presbyterian Church.
Aqueelah Ligonde is an enthusiastic speaker and leader with a passion for today’s generation of youth and women. Aqueelah received her Master of Divinity from McCormick Theological Seminary in Chicago. In 2011, she was ordained in the Presbyterian Church USA and became a member of the Presbytery of New York City. Since 2015 she has served on the Executive Board of GenOn/Logos Ministries, a ministry that develops leaders and energizes churches around Intergenerational Ministry. Currently, she is a Staff Consultant with Ministry Architects and pursuing a Doctor of Ministry from Louisville Theological Seminary. For over a decade, Aqueelah served as the Associate Pastor at the First Presbyterian Church in Jamaica, Queens,NY.
Brenda Bertrand’s eclectic 20-year career spans work as a news anchor, a political appointee in Washington D.C., university chaplaincy, and consultant at leading global firms. Brenda is a California based life coach and ordained minister who focuses her energies on helping people find the courage and confidence to take a leap of faith. She helps people design the life they’ve been secretly dreaming of. With master’s degrees from the University of Texas and Princeton Theological Seminary, Brenda recently spent a year teaching in the People’s Republic of China, and currently serves God and country as an Army Reserve chaplain. A native of the U.S. Virgin Islands, she is a lifelong pilgrim, traveling the globe to find its most beautiful beaches and sacred spaces.
Rev. Mike Baughman is the Community Curator and founding pastor for Union. The editor for Flipping Church (2016), Mike is eager to encounter and support those on the innovative edge of church, non-profit and civic engagement. He has served as author, editor and developer for a long list of curricula through Sparkhouse Press and Cokesbury. Mike learned a lot about basketball while attending Duke University and then earned a couple of pretentious diplomas from Princeton Theological Seminary (they’re both in Latin and hang in his garage). A third generation Methodist minister and church planter, Mike married a sixth generation Methodist minister, Rachel.