About Jean

Portrait of the author when she had all the answers.

Jean Kelly believes in the power of stories, both hers and others, to give hope, build faith, and improve communities. 

Over the last 30 years, her essays and feature articles have been published in local, regional and national publications and websites.  She regularly contributes essays, cultural commentary, and stories to both the online and print edition of U.S. Catholic, and to the blog Sick Pilgrim. She often explores in her work the intersections of faith, intellect, and writing and reading as forms of prayer.

As a faculty member at a small liberal arts university in Ohio, Jean puts faith in action through community-based research and service learning projects in urban neighborhoods. She teaches community leaders and students alike how advocacy journalism can change both an at-risk community’s self-image and public perception by telling the stories of ordinary citizens and community connectors. She also teaches basic reporting, print and multimedia production, feature writing, and advises her university’s student magazine.

Rising & Converging
Wishing Flannery would walk out that porch door so I could tell her what an inspiration she is to me as both a writer and person of faith.

Jean earned her Ph.D. in mass communication at Ohio University where she was a Scripps Howard Teaching Fellow. She also holds a bachelor of fine arts degree in painting, and a master’s degree in journalism. Her home base is a house built in 1872 in the historic downtown of Delaware, Ohio.