A native of Cupertino, Dean accepted Christ as a child at the Home of Christ church. He majored in religious studies at U.C. Davis, where he met his future wife Sumiko while he was leading worship and she was playing the keyboard. Dean worked for a year in the Silicon Valley before moving to Portland, Oregon, where he received his M. Div. from Multnomah Biblical Seminary. Dean started ministry at the 5th Home of Christ in September 2004. Dean and Sumiko have two little girls, Kaia and Mika. His interests include fly-fishing, cycling, tinkering, breaking things that were formerly not broken in the name of fixing them, and cooking. He makes a mean braised short ribs.