With great pleasure, First Presbyterian Church of Dalton announces that Jean Strain has agreed to come on-board as our new Director of Christian Education.  Jean served previously as our D.C.E. from 1995 until 2012.  Following the church transition in 2012, Jean remained employed in the same capacity at ChristChurch until 2014.

When the way was clear for First Pres to add a part-time D.C.E. position, we approached Jean knowing about her substantial education, skill set and experience in the field. All surpass what many D.C.E.’s can offer.  Her infectious, enthusiastic, positive response signaled to us a right move on the church’s part.

“We are excited to welcome Jean, and are looking forward to her imagination and energy in this new role. We hope that Jean can continue to build on the good work of our Christian Education Team, especially as we rethink and rebuild opportunities for all ages following the pandemic. We feel strongly that Jean has both the experience and the flexibility for just that challenge,” says The Rev. Dr. Will Scott, pastor.

Jean defines her vocation this way: “Christian religious education is the deliberate process through which a community of faith (the church) makes its past (the Christian story) available to people in the present history in which God is working so they can shape a future which is in keeping with the Kingdom Vision.”

She writes, “The objective of Christian Education is to help persons of all ages:

  • become believers; that is to know God as he has revealed himself to us in Jesus Christ,
  • mature as believers; that is to grow in faith, love, and knowledge of God,
  • live as believers by seeking to carry out the work of ministry in the world through worship and discipleship.
  • respond as believers by seeking to carry out the work of ministry in the world through worship and discipleship.”

In addition to a bachelor’s degree in Religion and Philosophy from Mary Baldwin , a Presbyterian College and now university, Jean began pursuing the Certified Christian Educator PC(USA) status in 1996.  Within a four-year period, she attended certification classes at Columbia Seminary, Montreat Conference Center, Princeton Seminary and Austin Seminary.  She achieved Full Certified Educator status in 2000.

Jean has amassed quite a collection of leadership roles from a Presbytery to an international level.

Through continued study, she became a Certified Grief Recovery Specialist, a Disciple Bible Study Leader and a Bethel Bible Study Leader and introduced all of these programs to our church.

“My goal and my joy is to meet students of all ages where they are in their spiritual journey and to encourage them and even challenge them to deepen their faith in such a way that they become followers of Jesus Christ and life-long learners,” she says.

She began her work on October 4, 2021.