Elizabeth DeGaynor, Th.D.

Assistant Professor of Practical Theology and Christian Formation

Elizabeth DeGaynor, Th.D. is Assistant Professor of Practical Theology and Christian Formation. She joined the VTS Faculty in 2019. She previously served as Associate Director of the Master of Arts in Christian Practice degree program at Duke Divinity School and taught courses in Christian Education.

Dr. DeGaynor holds an MTS and a Th.D. from Duke Divinity School. Her dissertation, “Learning (Re)formation: An Ethnographic Study of Theological Vision and Educational Praxis at Grand Rapids Christian Schools,” focused on the relationship between theological mission and pedagogical vision, particularly in their implicit and explicit implementation; it involved historical research and ethnographic observation. This scholarly work embeds faith in culture to help (re)form learning communities. She also earned an M.A. in English Literature from the University of Virginia and an A.B. in English from the University of Michigan.

Dr. DeGaynor’s vocation is to build connections between Academy, Church, and World, particularly through teaching, which she has done at multiple levels (high school, undergraduate, and graduate). Her current areas of research include offering theological analysis of online pedagogies and exploring the relationship between contextual theology and public policy, as seen in Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos’ model of personalized, evangelical capitalism in American schools. She is also co-editing a revision of Journey to Adulthood (J2A), a youth ministry program of spiritual formation for grades 6-12, which will be released by Church Publishing, Inc. in 2020. Dr. DeGaynor serves as the Academic Ministry Coordinator for Duke Youth Academy, a program for high school students and adults in their home churches.