Westar Institute

Institutional Affiliation
Charter Member

Terrance Dean

Institutional Affiliation


BA, MA, PhD.


Terrance Dean (1968 - 2022) was a Westar scholar who participated in the Seminar on God and the Human Future, and he was a member of the Westar Think Tank with a focus on Black Theology. Dean was a remarkable, friendly, humorous, challenging, and creative individual who inspired his collogues to reach further and think deeper. He was key to introducing Afrofuturism into the discussions of the God Seminar.

Dean was an Assistant Professor of Black Studies at Denison University. He held a BA in communications from Fisk University. His MA and PhD in religion were from Vanderbilt University. His teaching and studies focused on African-American diaspora, Afrofuturism, and particularly the work of James Baldwin.

Dean also worked in the entertainment industry prior to his turn to theology. He worked with well-known celebrities like Spike Lee, Rob Reiner, and Anjelica Huston. For several years, he worked as an executive with MTV.

Dean curated articles for "In Black and White," a Columbus Dispatch series that defined central terms and concepts to inspire conversation about systemic racism. He also hosted, with Scot Kirk, the "In Black and White" podcast. In addition to academic articles and work, Dean was the author of several popular titles. He was likely best known for Hiding in Hip Hop and Reclaiming Your Power.

Academic Appointments

Westar Think Tank Analyst

Assistant Professor of Theology, Denison University.

Professional Service

Westar Think Tank, 2020-2022.