I would like to introduce you to Jake Dean-Hill, originally from Southern California and currently residing in Richland, Washington for the past 24 years. He spent the first 10 years after graduating with a BA in Religion from Azusa Pacific University in full-time church ministry as a youth and associate pastor. While at Azusa Pacific he met his beautiful wife, Jennifer, and they married a year after graduating. Then he went back to school at Walla Walla University and earned a Masters in Social Work in 1998. A few years later he left church ministry and started a private counseling practice with his wife. They work with individuals, couples and families, but their passion is the work they do with couples. Their passion drove them to develop an online streaming video curriculum for couples called One Kingdom, which can be found at www.OneKingdom.us. During these years they also raised two beautiful kids who are truly the light of their lives. Their daughter, McKenna, is a junior at George Fox and is studying social work and ministry, following in her parent’s footsteps. Their son, Dawson, is a freshman at the University of Washington studying mechanical engineering.
One of the things he is most proud of is when he took on his wife’s maiden name, Dean, and became Jake Dean-Hill. It is a great symbol of his value for equality and egalitarian leadership. He has definitely had many opportunities to share about his passion for treating his wife and other women with respect and equality when people ask why he has a hyphenated last name. He meets with quite a few women in his counseling practice and loves to help empower them to be the strong, capable women they were meant to be, and for them to be validated by a Christian white male has been powerful. His strong wife has been a huge inspiration to him as well as other couples who are leading together and making a difference around the world with humanitarian efforts.
One of the other unique things he and his wife did in their egalitarian transformation process was change the way they structured their marriage and family. When their kids were at the age of 2 and 1, Jake decided to propose a part-time arrangement at the church he was currently working at so he could come home and help raise the kids and support his wife’s career. Sadly, the church leadership did not share his vision and only offered him a glorified part-time secretary position. Needless to say, he left the church at that point and joined his wife in a private counseling practice. After being in church ministry for almost 10 years, this was a devastating blow but ended up becoming one of the best decisions of Jake’s life. Having the opportunity to be home with his kids for half of the week gave him the opportunity to have a relationship with them that most fathers never get to experience. Not only did he get to volunteer at their school each week, but he had the unique opportunity/misfortune to be the PTO president as well. People always asked Jake if he had any regrets in his decision to come home, and he would often respond with his only regret is not coming home sooner.
One of the other things Jake is passionate about is helping to bring clean water to some of the poorest in the world. For the past 10 years, his family has been saving money in order to give every year to drill wells with a program called Cause Life through the non-profit organization World Help. Their relationship with this amazing organization gave them the opportunity a few years ago to take their whole family to Guatemala to dedicate one of their clean water wells. This was definitely a life-changing event for Jake and his whole family. Their hope is to continue drilling many more wells, and hopefully they will get to dedicate a few more around the globe.
One of the main reasons Jake is in this DMin program is to learn more about leadership and hopefully develop an artifact that will help organizations increase their gender-balanced leadership. He feels blessed to be going through this program with his wife, who is also doing research on egalitarian leadership in churches and how this affects marriages. Both Jake and Jennifer have a vision to encourage other couples in their desire to have a peer marriage and to travel around sharing their One Kingdom curriculum. Jake is also in the process of developing a corporate coaching business so he can have a platform to help businesses and organizations that want to develop gender-balance in their leadership and improve their relationship intelligence. When Jake is not working with couples or leaders he loves to play golf, be on the river with his family in their ski boat, play racquetball or squish with his buddies, and travel the world with his favorite adventure buddy, his awesome wife.