Dr. Kimball

Elisabeth M. Kimball, Ph.D.

Associate Dean of Lifelong Learning and the James Maxwell Professor Chair of Lifelong Christian Formation

Elisabeth (Lisa) M. Kimball, Ph.D. is the Associate Dean of Lifelong Learning and the James Maxwell Professor of Lifelong Christian Formation.

  • A.B., Stanford University
  • M.Ed., Ph.D., University of Minnesota


Dr. Kimball has focused her teaching and research on lifelong, life-wide, and life-deep discipleship and Christian vocation in contemporary, global and post-institutional contexts. She is a passionate advocate for lay ministry, the full inclusion of all generations, digital literacy, and leaders who are confident teachers of the faith. In addition to frequent keynote presentations at diocesan conventions, clergy conferences, religious education guilds and networks, Dr. Kimball’s commitment to the wider church includes serving as Chair of the Standing Committee on Formation and Ministry of the Baptized; co-founding of the Episcopal Confirmation Collaborative; serving on the Way of Love resource development team; and being the Episcopal representative on the Journey to Baptismal Living faculty team writing an ecumenical rite for the catechumenate.

Dr. Kimball’s areas of expertise include human development, experiential learning, faith formation, church history, and popular culture, adult formation, lay ministry development, adolescent spiritual development, and program evaluation. She is currently directing a 5-year, $1.5M grant project Baptized for Life: An Episcopal Discipleship Initiative in the Lilly Endowment Inc. Called to Lives of Meaning and Purpose Initiative.

Her published resources include webinars, book chapters, journal articles, book reviews, and regular articles for professional publications such as Vital Practices and Building Faith.

Prior to joining the faculty of VTS in 2009, Dr. Kimball was a member of the faculty in the College of Education at the University of Minnesota with dual appointments in the School of Social Work (Youth Studies) and the Department of Curriculum and Instruction. She also held a position as Research Scientist at Search Institute in Minneapolis, MN. While working full-time in the academy, Dr. Kimball maintained a regular schedule of national consulting, conference presentations, and teaching in youth ministry, evangelism, congregational and leadership development including serving as adjunct faculty at Luther Seminary, Church Divinity School of the Pacific, and Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary. Before assuming an academic career, she spent twenty years serving on the staff of five congregations and two dioceses in California and Minnesota.

She is married to the Rev. Patricia Lyons, Ph.D.