Leadership Team

GOCN Board

John R. Franke, General Coordinator

John R. Franke is theologian in residence at Second Presbyterian Church in Indianapolis, IN; professor of religious studies and missiology at the Evangelische Theologische Faculteit in Leuven, Belgium; and general coordinator for the Gospel and Our Culture Network in North America. He holds the DPhil degree from the University of Oxford and is particularly interested in engaging postmodern thought and culture from the perspective of missional Christian faith. He has spoken on the relationships between the gospel, theology, mission, and culture throughout the U.S. and around the world. He is the author of over eighty articles, reviews, and book chapters as well as several books including Beyond Foundationalism: Shaping Theology in a Postmodern Context (Westminster John Knox); The Character of Theology: An Introduction to its Nature, Task, and Purpose (Baker Academic); Barth for Armchair Theologians (Westminster John Knox); and Manifold Witness: The Plurality of Truth (Abingdon). He is also the editor of two academic book series, The Gospel and Our Culture Series (Eerdmans) and Missiological Engagements: Church, Theology and Culture in Global Contexts (InterVarsity Academic).

Darrell L. Guder, Board Chair

Darrell Guder is emeritus professor of missional and ecumenical theology at Princeton Theological Seminary and served as Princeton’s academic dean from 2005-2010.  He coordinated the “missional church” research project of the GOCN and edited the resulting book, Missional Church: A Vision for the Sending of the Church in North America (1998)..  He has also published Be My Witnesses: The Church’s Mission,Message and Messengers (1985); The Continuing Conversion of the Church (2000); and Called to Witness: Doing Missional Theology (2015). His research focuses on the church’s mission in post-Christendom western cultures, the missional interpretation of scripture, the theology and praxis of the missional church, and the emergence of missional theology in the 20th century, especially in the work of John Mackay, Karl Barth, Lesslie Newbigin, and David Bosch. In retirement, he serves as Senior Fellow in Residence of St. Andrew’s Hall in Vancouver B.C.

George Hunsberger

George is Professor of Missiology emeritus at Western Theological Seminary in Holland, Michigan, where he served on the faculty from 1989 through 2014. He is a teaching elder (minister) in the Presbyterian Church (USA), ordained to that office in 1970. He has served as a university campus minister in Gainesville, Florida, as pastor of a Presbyterian congregation in Biloxi, Mississippi, as team leader for Africa Foundation in Nairobi, Kenya and on the faculty of Belhaven College in Jackson, Mississippi. He is currently the Immediate Past Moderator of the Presbytery of Lake Michigan.

George is a member of the American Society of Missiology, serving as its Secretary-Treasurer from 1988-1997 and its President from 2004-2005. He founded and coordinated The Gospel and Our Culture Network in North America (GOCN) from 1987 through 2010. George is the author of The Story that Chooses Us (2015) and Bearing the Witness of the Spirit (1998). He is co-author of Missional Church (1998) and Treasure in Clay Jars (2004), and he is co-editor of The Church between Gospel and Culture, A Scandalous Prophet, and Christian Ethics in Ecumenical Context.

Lois Barrett

Lois has been a significant contributor to the Network for many years. She serves on the faculty of the Associated Mennonite Biblical Seminary-Great Plains Extension. She served on the writing team for Missional Church: A Vision for the Sending of the Church in North America (Eerdmans) and is the editor of Treasure in Clay Jars: Patterns of Missional Faithfulness (Eerdmans).

Jim Brownson

Jim Brownson is the James and Jean Cook Professor of New Testament at Western Theological Seminary in Holland, Michigan.  During the 2015-2016 academic year, he is also serving as the Interim Dean and Vice President for Academic Affairs at the seminary.  Jim has been involved in the GOCN since its inception, in a variety of different roles, and his first book, Speaking the Truth in Love:  New Testament Resources for a Missional Hermeneutic (Trinity Press Intl., 1998) arose directly from GOCN involvements.  Jim continues to be deeply interested in biblical and theological reflection that engages the questions and concerns of the contemporary church.  His two most recent books (both published by Eerdmans) are The Promise of Baptism (2007), and Bible, Gender, Sexuality:  Reframing the Church’s Debate on Same-Sex Relationships (2013).

Tony Sundermeier

Tony Sundermeier has served as the Senior Pastor of First Presbyterian since August of 2014. In his role, Tony’s ministry focuses on three specific areas: he serves as the lead preacher for Sunday worship, he moderates the Session, and he leads and equips the senior level staff of the church. He is a graduate of Eastern University (1997, B.A., Theology), Princeton Theological Seminary (2003, M.Div.), and Biblical Theological Seminary (2011, D.Min.).

Al Tizon

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Al (Ph.D., Graduate Theological Union) is Executive Minister of Serve Globally, the international ministries of the Evangelical Covenant Church, and Affiliate Professor of Missional and Global Leadership at North Park Theological Seminary both located in Chicago, IL. An ordained minister of the Evangelical Covenant Church, he has engaged in community development work and church leadership development both in the Philippines and the United States.

He is the author of two books—Transformation after Lausanne: Radical Evangelical Mission in Global-Local Perspective (Regnum, 2008) and Missional Preaching: Engage, Embrace, Transform (Judson 2012); co-author of one—Linking Arms, Linking Lives: How Urban-Suburban Partnerships Can Transform Communities with Ron Sider, John Perkins, and Wayne Gordon (Baker 2008); co-editor of two—Honoring the Generations: Learning with Asian North American Congregations with Sydney Park and Soong-Chan Rah (Judson 2012) and Following Jesus: Journeys in Radical Discipleship (Regnum, 2013). He has also contributed chapters in numerous edited volumes and articles in various journals.


Kenda Creasy Dean

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Kenda Creasy Dean, an ordained United Methodist pastor in the Greater New Jersey Annual Conference, is 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, a Lilly Endowment initiative designed to foster innovation in congregations around young adults.