The Rev. Dean McDonald, HR., is a life-long Presbyterian, raised at Webster Groves Presbyterian outside of St. Louis. She discerned her call to ministry as a confirmand. After majoring in religion at Monmouth College (IL), she attended Princeton Theological Seminary for a year before transferring to Union in New York. She and her husband, Jim, spent their first year of married life in and around Los Angeles working for the United Farmworker Ministry. Back in NY, they became parents while finishing their M. Div. degree.
Dean worked part-time at the Indiana University Campus Ministry, and then was ordained in 1978 to serve a small, rural church. When the family moved to Philadelphia, she did CPE at Methodist Hospital and then began a seven-year stretch at Old Pine Street Church. While there, she earned her D.Min. and her certification from the University of Pennsylvania in Marriage, Family and Sexual Therapy.
In 1990, she was called to Chevy Chase Presbyterian Church as an associate for pastoral care. After eleven years there, she became pastor at Trinity Presbyterian Church in Bethesda for just eighteen months. In addition, during these years Dean was an adjunct in pastoral care at Wesley Theological Seminary and became a licensed therapist.
Washington National Cathedral then hosted The College of Preachers program where Dean was director and Cathedral worship leader from 2002-2008. She stayed on the Cathedral close teaching at National Cathedral School for Girls. Her final call here in DC was as the first chaplain at National Presbyterian Church.
When Jim became president of SFTS, Dean worked part-time at the seminary, leading retreats, supply preaching, and counseling. Now back in NCP and honorably retired, she has done more supply preaching, and two “bridge” pastorates. The McDonalds have three grown children, and four grands.