Home E News E Alumni Story: Ministry Through Business and A21
dean holmes headshot

University, California

Swift steel mechanisms slide glossy paint across a screen onto a soft black cotton tee, which then warms in a specialized curing machine. The finished product? Your latest LPU Alumni t-shirt, courtesy of LPU alum Dean Holmes ’14, and his screen-printing business, Ink Titan.

The daily grind for Dean consists of managing the sales and day-to-day operations of what has become a thriving company. Neatly organized stacks of colorful apparel, from screen printed pullovers to embroidered ball caps, flank the stockroom, and specialized machinery tell tales of the many projects Ink Titan has in its queue. But probably the most unique aspect of this business is its owner’s LPU origins.

“I grew up in Southern California, attending and serving in church for most of my teen years. When it was time to select a college, LPU offered exactly what I was looking for in terms of getting a sound biblical education and a smaller classroom and campus experience.” Dean was certain about his goals as a student. “I wanted to study theology and pursue music in church at the time and got to do all of those things throughout my time at LPU.”

Resiliency and work ethic are other aspects of Dean’s success that have roots at LPU. “One thing I learned through my time at LPU is how to apply myself and commit to the journey of doing hard things.” Dean reminisces, “Studying theology was much harder than I had anticipated, but with the help of awesome professors, I was able to persevere and achieve goals that never thought possible. This ‘can do’ mentality is something I carry on through my business operations every day.”

This ethic and dedication have been a key element of Ink Titan’s success. But as brilliant as the company’s work is, business certainly isn’t Dean’s only focus. “My primary income revolves around running Ink Titan, but I have had multiple opportunities to apply the Biblical learning that I received over the years since being at LPU. Right out of LPU, I youth pastored at a church with my wife (Cathy Holmes, who also attended LPU) for 4 years. I have also served many other capacities at church, including worship team and creative directing over the years since graduating.”

Although he’s served in traditional ministry roles, ministry and business don’t seem to be mutually exclusive to Dean. “Mixing business and ministry has been seamless for me over the years. Getting to print for various churches, ministries, and non-profits since being at LPU has been one of the things I love most about being in the decoration industry.” He excitedly continues, “Most notable would be our partnership with A21 Campaign [the anti-human trafficking organization co-founded by Christine Caine].” Dean has printed numerous merch items for A21, which are sold and distributed globally and whose proceeds fund anti-human trafficking efforts. Ink Titan also prints A21’s annual Walk For Freedom shirts. 20,000+ units of product is no mean feat, but Dean humbly credits his Maker for helping him make these strides. “God has taken care of us over the years, and never ceases to amaze with new opportunities to spread His love through printing.”

Success has its roots in wisdom, and Dean has some advice that he would give his younger self (or any student currently studying at LPU): “Simply trust the process and stay the course. It was tempting from time to time to not finish my studies since my business was making me a decent income. But I’m so proud that I persevered and finished. God brought me to LPU for a reason, and if I had left early, I wouldn’t have seen the fullness of what God had for me there.”

Dean and Cathy have two children and are serving at Vida Church in North Hills, CA

More about Dean’s company.