Dean Borgman

Prof. Dean Borgman

Address130 Essex Street
South Hamilton, MA 1982

Charles E. Culpeper Professor of Youth Ministries, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary

B.A., Wheaton College,
M.A, Fairfield University, Columbia University,
Certificate of Advanced Graduate Standing, Northeastern University,

Professor Borgman is full professor of youth ministry and holds the Charles E. Culpeper Chair of Youth Ministry at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary’s urban campus in Boston, Massachusetts. He is also founder and director of the Center for Youth Studies, a national and global network of those interested in research of adolescence and the youth culture. His areas of expertise include urban and cross-cultural youth ministry and the changing youth culture.

Born in Bridgeport, Connecticut, Professor Borgman earned a Bachelor of Arts in Bible and theology at Wheaton College (IL) and the Master of Arts in education at Fairfield University (CT). He did extensive doctoral studies in history, education, philosophy and theology at Columbia University. At Northeastern University, Professor Borgman received the Certificate of Advanced Graduate Standing in clinical counseling and community psychology.

Professor Borgman brings valuable teaching and workshop experience to Gordon-Conwell. He has taught history and social sciences in New Canaan High School and New York City Community College and was instructor of history and chairman of the social sciences division at Cuttington College in Liberia, Africa (1964-1966). For one year (1967), he served as educational director of street academies for the New York Urban League.

Professor Borgman is best known for his leadership in the area of youth ministries. He was co-leader of a large church youth group in Connecticut and established Young Life in New England before serving several years as a streetworker on Manhattan’s Lower East Side. There, he established Young Life’s Urban Training Institute and became a regional director of Young Life’s Metro-East Region. For eight summers of this period, he was a director and speaker of two of Young Life’s camps. He worked at the integration of young people’s involvement in Young Life and St. Christopher’s Episcopal Chapel and served on the Youth Board of the Episcopal Diocese of New York. He has served on the Youth, Urban and Spiritual Renewal Commissions of the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts.

For many years, Professor Borgman has taught youth ministry courses at Holy Cross Greek Orthodox Seminary, Fuller Theological Seminary and Daystar University College in Nairobi, Kenya. On sabbatical leave (1988-1989), he and his wife Gail (a psychiatric social worker) taught and studied at the Nairobi Evangelical Graduate School of Theology in Kenya. He has also taught at the Ontario Theological Seminary.

Dean Borgman wrote “A History of American Youth Ministry” for Benson and Senter’s The Complete Book of Youth Ministries (1987). Since 1985 he has been writing for the Encyclopedia of Youth Studies ( He is the author of two texts, When Kumbaya is Not Enough: A Practical Theology for Youth Ministry (1997) and Hear My Cry: Understanding the Cries of Troubled Youth (2003). His chapter, “Bridging the Gap: From Social Science to Congregations, Researchers to Practitioners,” appears in Eugene Roehlkepartain et al.’s The Handbook of Spiritual Development in Childhood and Adolescence (2006). In addition, he has written articles on the youth culture and youth ministry for several magazines.

Professor Borgman is an Episcopal priest and was invited by Archbishop George Carey to be a youth ministry consultant to the 1998 Lambeth Conference (a gathering of global Anglican bishops in Cambridge, England every ten years). Dean and Gail have four children: John, Deborah, Matthew and Christen, six grandchildren, and reside in Rockport, Massachusetts.

Prof. Dean Borgman’s Publications

You can get purchasing information on these books by visiting the BookCentre

  • When Kumbaya Is Not Enough: A Practical Theology for Youth Ministry
  • Agenda for Youth Ministry
  • God at the Mall: Youth Ministry That Meets Kids Where They’re At
  • A Theology of Youth Ministry: Reflecting on Or Work with Young People
  • From Biblical and Cultural Perspectives

Areas of Interest

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