Elisabeth (Lisa) Kimball, Ph.D. is the Associate Dean of Lifelong Learning and the James Maxwell Professor of Lifelong Christian Formation. She joined the VTS faculty in 2009. Her 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.
Lisa received her Ph.D. in Work, Community, and Family Education from the University of Minnesota in 2007. Her dissertation, “Being Godparent: A Dialogical Hermeneutic Study of Godparenthood” wove together her interests in human development, experiential learning, faith formation, church history, and popular culture. She earned an M.Ed. in Youth Development Leadership from the University of Minnesota in 2001, and an A.B. in Human Biology with a concentration in Cross-Cultural Communications from Stanford University in 1980.
Prior to her appointment at Virginia Seminary, Lisa 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 where she coordinated the Master’s Program in Youth Development Leadership. Lisa also held a position as Research Scientist at Search Institute in Minneapolis, MN where she focused on adolescent spiritual development and program evaluation. While working full-time in the academy Lisa 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, Lisa spent twenty years serving on the staff of five congregations and two dioceses in California and Minnesota.
Since joining the Practical Theology faculty at VTS, Lisa 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 (diocesan conventions, clergy conferences, religious education guilds, and networks), Lisa’s commitment to the wider church currently 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. She was recently recognized by the board of Episcopal Camps and Conference Centers for her dedication to building faith forming immersive experiences.
Lisa is 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.
Lisa’s published resources include webinars, book chapters, journal articles, book reviews and regular articles for professional publications such as Vital Practices and Building Faith
. Recent releases include:
Kimball, E. M., Mannes, M., & Hackel, A. (2010). Voices of global youth on spirituality and spiritual development: Preliminary findings from a grounded theory study. In M. de Souza, L. Francis, J. O’Higgins-Norman, & D. Scott (Eds.), International handbook of education for spirituality, care and wellbeing
. Dordrecht, Netherlands: Springer.
Kimball, Lisa. (2014). Building base camps. In S. E. Pearson (Ed.), Signed, sealed, delivered: Theologies of Confirmation for the 21st Century
. New York: Morehouse.
Kimball, E. M. (2016). Pentecost pedagogy: Religious educators speaking many languages of hope. Religious Education, 111
Kimball, L. (2018). Webinar: Youth confirmation: Transforming lives and congregations. Practical Resources for Churches
Kimball, L., & Siberine, K. H. (2018). Mentoring: Building deep relationships that matter in confirmation. In R. R. Osmer, & K. M. Douglass (Eds.), Cultivating teen faith: Insights from the Confirmation Project
(pp.45-66). Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans.
Kimball, L., Elton, T. M., & Mikoski, G. S. (2018). Confirmation basics: Purpose, design, and leadership. Word & World: Theology for Christian Ministry
, 38(1), 101-119.