Dean was born in Adelaide on 27th July, 1944. He is married to Virginia and they have four married sons and eleven grandchildren.
After secondary education at Adelaide Technical High School, Dean was a cartographer in the Department of Mines for three years. He then studied at Parkin-Wesley Theological College (Now Uniting College for Leadership and Theology) for five years prior to ordination in 1970. His academic qualifications are B.A. (Adelaide), B.D. (Melbourne College of Divinity), D. Min. (Fuller Theological Seminary, California).
His placements in ministry have been in Quorn 1970, West Kimberley (Broome) 1970-74, Barossa Valley, based at Nuriootpa 1975-80, SA Synod Consultant for Evangelism 1981-88, Beaumont 1989-1995, and Hope Valley 1996-2007. Beginning 2006, Dean was also the Leader of 3Dnet Mission Network, a significant Network within the new structures for the Uniting Church in South Australia. He also was the Executive Chair of the South Australian Synod Leadership Development Council which oversaw the formation of the Uniting College for Leadership and Theology and more effective methods of preparing people for ministry in SA.
Dean served on the Council of Synod, and Council of Synod Executive, and the Synod Standing Committee. He was a representative on the National Assembly for many years, chaired the former National Mission and Evangelism Committee and was a member of the National Theology and Discipleship Reference Committee. He was a member of the Assembly Committee on issues related to baptism. He was Moderator of the S.A. Synod 1993-1995. He was member of the SA Heads of Churches Committee, 1992-1996.
Dean has travelled to the USA for study and as a New World Missioner in the United Methodist Church. In 1989 he attended a World Congress on Evangelism in Manila, Philippines. In 1991, he was an Accredited Visitor at the World Council of Churches Seventh Assembly in Canberra. In 1995, he attended the Biennial Convention of the United Churches of Christ in the Philippines, North Luzon Jurisdiction. He participated in a visit to the Church of Christ in Thailand in 1997. In 1998, he and Virginia led a pilgrimage party to Egypt, Israel and Turkey; in 2007 to Greece and Turkey; in 2010 to Israel, Jordan and Europe; and in 2014, led a Celtic Christian Pilgrimage to the UK. In 2010, Dean taught leadership to pastors in the Philippines. Dean visited the Bali Church in 2002, 2004 and 2005 to develop partnerships and for teaching in leadership.
Dean taught Evangelism to ministry students through the Adelaide College of Divinity. He also is an Accredited Supervisor of ministry students undergoing Supervised Field Education. He led a team of ministers who supervise ministers in their first placements.
In retirement, Dean is actively involved in leadership development and the mentoring and coaching of ministers/pastors.
Dean is committed to the congregation as the frontier expression of the church in mission. He seeks to hold together the personal and social components of the Gospel and believes in the renewal of the church and world through the grace and power of God.