Kenneth N. Young, D.Min., Ph.D.

Kenneth N. Young, D.Min., Ph.D.

J. Edwin Hartill Endowed Professor (2018-20)
Professor of Systematic Theology and Christian Ministries

Ph.D. in Systematic Theology at Luther Seminary
D.Min. in Biblical Counseling at Westminster Theological Seminary
M.Div from Biblical Theological Seminary
B.S. in Education at East Stroudsburg University
Additional studies in Philosophy at University of Minnesota


Nazareth Hall, N3118
3003 Snelling Ave. N
St Paul, MN 55113



Ken Young has been teaching at University of Northwestern since 1994. His areas of expertise include systematic theology, ministry, education ethics, race and ethnicity, and biblical counseling. Young served as a pastor and church planter with the Evangelical Free Church of America for several years prior to teaching at Northwestern.

His life’s work has been focused on educating on the issues of racial reconciliation. In 2003 he was honored by his hometown community for a Martin Luther King achievement. He has served on the EFCA’s Eastern District Task Force of Racial Reconciliation and the Board of Directors for the North Central District.

In 2018-20 Young served a two-year term as J. Edwin Hartill Endowed Professor in the department of Biblical & Theological Studies. As Endowed Professor, his research included the study of hermeneutics and theology and their implication for race and reconciliation. He developed a new course, Theology for Social Engagement, where students construct a biblical theology for addressing current social issues. His work has tremendous implications for improving race relations in the Christian church and higher education.

Specialty Areas

  • Systematic Theology
  • Ministry
  • Education Ethics
  • Race and Ethnicity
  • Biblical Counseling

Professional Accomplishments

  • 2018 November – plenary session on “Biblical Mandate for Justice” at the Do Justice Conference with Bryan Stevenson.
  • 2012 September –
    The Trouble with Racial Reconciliation: Why John Perkins’ Theological Approach Works book was published.
  • 2011 May – presented “Next Step for Biblical Reconciliation: Toward Building a Multicultural Community In Christ” at Faculty Scholarship Symposium.
  • 2011 February – gave the University of Northwestern Faith & Thought Lecture “Thinking Biblically About Diversity”
  • 2011 February – presented “The Reconstruction of a Racialized Society into a Racial Neutral Society” at Moberg Conference on Reconciliation, Bethel University and also as the keynote address at Symposium on Racial Harmony, All Nations Christian Fellowship, Brooklyn Center, MN.
  • 2011 January – presented “Martin Luther King Celebration – Reconciliation” at Taylor University reconciliation conference.
  • 2010-11 – presented a keynote chapel talk “A Biblical Mandate for Reconciliation”
  • 2010-11 – presented a workshop on “The Ham Sandwich Controversy and the Evangelical Churches Seat at the Table”
  • 2010 September – presented a workshop “Reframing the Paradigm for Reconciliation by Dismantling Racialization” at the Christian Community Development Association in Chicago.
  • 2005 November – presented a paper on Multiculturalism in a Postmodern Society at the National Christian Multicultural Student Conference.
  • 2000, 2001 November – presented papers at workshop for the National Christian-Multicultural Student Conference.
  • 1999 November – offered two workshops at the National Christian Multicultural Student Leadership conference at Messiah College Harrisburg Pa. entitled: “Bridging the Race Relations Gap” and “The Gospel of Reconciliation.”
  • 1995 to Present – church consultancy work on reconciliation for several churches every year
  • 1999 October – offered presentation in a conference at University of Nebraska- Lincoln entitled: “Biblical Principles Which Can Lead the Campus Beyond the Categories of Political Correctness Towards a Resolution of Tension”
  • 1998 May – presented at a conference on “A World View for World Healing” sponsored by The MacLaurin Institute at the University of Minnesota.
  • 1998 January – offered two papers at a conference in Jackson Mississippi on “Working for Reconciliation in a Politically Correct Atmosphere” and “Minority Empowerment vs. Multi-Ethnic Reconciliation: Complement or Conflict?” These presentations where given in Jackson, Miss. at a conference entitled “College, Ethnicity, & Reconciliation” sponsored by InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, Coalition of Christian Colleges and Universities, National Black Evangelical Association, Belhaven College, Tougaloo College.
  • 1997 – spoke as the Plenary speaker at the North Central District Annual Conference
  • 1997 November – offered presentations on “Thinking Biblically About Multiculturalism” at the National Christian Multicultural Christian Leadership Conference at Anderson University in Anderson, Ind.
  • 1995 April – offered two papers on reconciliation at the North Central District conference
  • 1994 – published two articles in the Beacon Magazine (A Evangelical Free Church of American publication)
  • 1994 – presented a paper to the Evangelical Missiological Society Entitled “Race Does Matter” Served on the steering committee for a Evangelical Free church plant in Brooklyn Park Preaching about 15 to 20 times a year at various churches around the Twin Cities area each year.


  • Counseling practice in a private Christian Counseling Center in Wayne, PA, 1988-1993
  • Counseling practice in a private drug and alcohol center in West Chester, PA, 1989 to 1991
  • Co-pastor of 400-member suburban church in Wayne, PA, 1983–1989

Pastoral Experience

  • Senior pastor for Salem Evangelical Free Church in Minneapolis, Minn., 1993 to 1996
  • Church planting pastor for the Evangelical Free Church of America in Phoenixville, PA, 1989 to 1993
  • Senior co-pastor of a large suburban church in Philadelphia, PA, 1983 to 1989
  • Church planting pastor for a church in the black community in Norristown, PA, 1980–1982

Professional Memberships or Contributions

Evangelical Free Church of America leadership—presented at national EFCA district conferences and served on the Eastern District task force of racial reconciliation; served on the Board of Directors for the North Central District.


In 1999 Christianity Today presented a national award to University of Northwestern for Race and Ethnicity in America. Honored by hometown community for Martin Luther King achievement. Delivered an address at the banquet entitled “A Biblical Motivation for Reconciliation,” April 2003.

Teaching Experience

Adjunct professor at Eastern College, St. David’s, PA 1993 Teaching Counseling Methodology, an upper level course for psychology majors