Rev. Mark Lau Branson, Ed.D., is the Homer L. Goddard Professor of the Ministry of the Laity at Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, California, where he teaches courses in congregational leadership and community engagement.
Dr. Branson was ordained at San Francisco Christian Center, an African American Pentecostal church, and has served on the pastoral teams in United Methodist and Presbyterian churches, and has worked with several Christian agencies active in education, campus ministry, consulting, community development, and community organizing. He is a founder and vice-president of the Institute for Urban Initiatives, which works on homelessness, job training, and other faith-based initiatives.
He has graduate degrees from Claremont School of Theology and the University of San Francisco. His most recent books include Starting Missional Churches: Life with God in the Neighborhood (co-edited with Nicholas Warnes; InterVarsity, 2014) and Churches, Cultures and Leadership: A Practical Theology of Congregations and Ethnicities (coauthored with Juan Martinez; InterVarsity, 2011). Previous publications include Memories, Hopes, and Conversations: Appreciative Inquiry and Congregational Change (Alban, 2004) and chapters in The Missional Church in Context (Craig Van Gelder, ed.), Leadership in Congregations (Richard Bass, ed.), and The Three Tasks of Leadership (Eric Jacobsen, ed.).
Mark and Nina have two adult sons, Noah and Nathan, and are part of the leadership team for a new Free Methodist church in Altadena, California.