Debbie Teike is the founder of the Art of Invitation.  She is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker who invested more than ten years developing The Art of Invitation: Building enduring relationships · Connecting community.  Debbie has extensive experience working in long-term care, elder abuse and neglect, hospice care and congregational social work.  She grew up in Decatur, IL and graduated from Southern Illinois University-Carbondale (B.S. in Social Work) and Washington University’s Brown School of Social Work (M.S.W.)-St. Louis, MO.

The Art of Invitation, faith-based and scientifically grounded, is a pathway to build enduring relationships and connected community.  AOI embraces an understanding of human behavior, need, and connection centered in God’s grace, mercy, peace, and love for all people.  It provides remedies for the common human experiences of division, isolation, and lack of genuine connection.

In 2010, Debbie piloted the Art of Invitation at Concordia Theological Seminary—Fort Wayne, IN, under the title, On Second Thought.  The program expanded to wider audiences including small groups, day long seminars, retreats, and not for profit trainings.

From 2012-2020, Debbie utilized the Art of Invitation in an inpatient treatment program housed in a community corrections facility in Columbus, Indiana where past participants share its impact on their lives.  (Current programming is curtailed due to COVID-19.)  The article, Restoring Damaged Relationships Through the Art of Invitation: Application with Addicted Incarcerated Women (Sneed, K. & Teike, D., 2019) describes this setting.

Debbie completed two exploratory studies: 1. The Art of Invitation (Teike, D., 2012), presented at the North American Association of Christians in Social Work Convention, October, 2012 in St. Louis, MO and 2. Building and Restoring Relationships Using the Art of Invitation: An Exploratory Phenomenological Study (Teike, D. & Sneed, K. 2018).

She is married to her husband, Mark, and has three children, Erin (Jamie), David and Shanthi and two grandchildren, Eloise and Francis.