Background

For more information on Dean Nelson see his official website.

Dr. Dean Nelson is the founder and director of the journalism program at PLNU. He writes occasionally for the New York Times, the Boston Globe, Christianity Today, Sojourners, and several other national publications. He has won several awards from the Society of Professional Journalists for his reporting, and has written or co-written 11 books, mostly on spirituality themes. Nelson is a frequent speaker at writing workshops and conducts retreats that focus on spiritual depth.

He has traveled throughout the world covering stories of human interest, including India, where he wrote about the slums of Bombay; Kosovo, where he interviewed and wrote about victims of terrorism; Africa, where he wrote about members of the Black Panther Party who live in exile in Tanzania; Tibet, where he wrote about religious persecution; and Central America, where he wrote about poverty and contaminated water.

His book on the seven sacraments, God Hides in Plain Sight: How to Find the Sacred in a Chaotic World, was published by Brazos Press in September, 2009.

In addition to directing the PLNU journalism program, Nelson also hosts the annual Writer's Symposium By The Sea, where prominent writers come to discuss the craft of writing. Nelson has interviewed Amy Tan, Anne Lamott, Gay Talese, Anchee Min, Ray Bradbury, George Plimpton, Otis Chandler, Kathleen Norris, Donald Miller, Bill Moyers, Jim Wallis, Chitra Divakaruni, Joseph Wambaugh, James Fallows, Barbara Brown Taylor, Eugene Peterson, Philip Yancey and dozens of others. Many of those interviews are viewable on UCSD-TV's website.

Nelson came to San Diego from Minneapolis, where he was working as a business reporter.

He has a Ph.D. in journalism from Ohio University in Athens, Ohio, a master's degree in journalism from the University of Missouri at Columbia, and a bachelor's degree in literature from MidAmerica Nazarene University in Kansas City.

He grew up in Minnesota, is a die-hard hockey player and fan, is married to his college sweetheart, Marcia, and has two, young adult children, Blake and Vanessa.