Kent Olney

Dean of College of Arts & Sciences

College of Arts & Sciences

An ordained minister in the Church of the Nazarene, Dr. Olney served as a pastor and professor at a state university in Oregon for several years. In 1995, he and his family joined the Olivet family.

For 26 years he taught courses in sociology, social theory, marriage, and family. Sixteen of those years he also served as a department chair. His research interests include the historical role of religion in the deaf community, and marriage and family trends.

Dr. Olney often speaks at churches and conferences, sharing his passion for strengthening families, helping young couples develop healthy relationships, and applying biblical principles to marriage and family life. For nearly 20 years, he and his wife, Beth, have given leadership to an intergenerational Sunday school class at College Church of the Nazarene that seeks to apply scriptural teaching to a wide range of social issues.

Sign language and the deaf community have been significant parts of Dr. Olney’s life. Not only did he grow up with deaf siblings, but he has been active in deaf ministry, education, research and sign language interpreting. He has more than 20 years of experience as a professional sign language interpreter, and has interpreted at a number of religious and political events around the country.

Dr. Olney has lived and studied on the East coast, the West coast and in the Midwest. In his leisure time, he enjoys time with his family, sports, travel, reading biographies, games, and studying and teaching Scripture.

He and Beth have two adult sons, Kyle and Luke, both of whom married wives named Amber. Kyle and Amber Marie are parents to Autumn, Kamden, and Kolton. Luke and Amber Joy are parents to Benedict and Claire. They all live locally, meaning lots of exploration and delightful adventures with grandchildren.