Brent Ellis named 30th president of Spring Arbor University

Following an international search, the Spring Arbor University Board of Trustees has unanimously voted to elect Dr. Brent Ellis as president effective Aug. 16. Dr. Ellis will succeed Dr. Charles H. Webb, who is retiring on Aug. 15.

For the past five years, Dr. Ellis has served Spring Arbor University as special assistant to the president and then vice president for university advancement, where he has been responsible for all aspects of university development, communications, alumni, external relations, SAU Foundation and SAU radio. He has also served on the university executive team.

Prior to that, Dr. Ellis served at LeTourneau University (Texas) where he created, instituted and served as dean for the Center for the Development of Christian Leadership. As dean, Dr. Ellis was commissioned to incorporate Christian leadership principles and practices into all aspects of the LeTourneau University community.

His experience also includes teaching several courses in biblical studies for LeTourneau University and developing the foundation of life and learning curriculum, which is used to introduce new students to the LeTourneau community.

Prior to working at LeTourneau, Dr. Ellis spent four years as the director of leadership development and student programs at Taylor University (Ind.). In addition to his role as director, Dr. Ellis taught courses and served on the academic planning and leadership scholarship committees.

He holds a doctorate in higher education administration from Indiana University, a Master of Divinity from Asbury Theological Seminary, a master’s degree in ministry from Bethel College and a bachelor’s degree in pastoral ministry from Greenville College.

Brent-4With special emphasis in Christian higher education, Dr. Ellis has made several presentations at national conferences and has published several articles in nationally-recognized journals.

“With great enthusiasm, we welcome Dr. Brent Ellis as our 30th president,” says Jim Woodcock, chairman of the SAU board of trustees. “Our vast international search validated that Dr. Ellis was far and away the best candidate to lead Spring Arbor University. He is a visionary leader, thoughtful scholar and committed Christian, which makes him uniquely qualified to lead a complex Christian University such as Spring Arbor University.”

“I am humbled and honored to serve as Spring Arbor University’s 30th president. For 140 years, SAU has provided a unique blend of education, preparing students who are committed to impacting the world through their chosen professions in profound ways. Our society needs Spring Arbor University to remain faithful to its founding principles while discovering ways to expand our reach and provide education to as many people as possible,” says Dr. Ellis.

Brent-1Ellis serves on the Board of Directors for CareLink of Jackson, and is a Sunday school teacher at Spring Arbor Free Methodist Church. Previously, he served on the Greenville College Board of Trustees, Spring Hill Baseball Association board of directors, and was a member of both the National Clearinghouse for Leadership Programs and the Association of Christians in Student Development.

Dr. Ellis and his wife, Christy, have three children: Charlie, Lainey and Joey.

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