Spring Arbor University

President Dr. Brent D. Ellis

Dr. Brent Ellis has served as the 30th president of Spring Arbor University since 2013. During his presidency, Dr. Ellis has focused on the uniqueness of an SAU education that emphasizes knowledge applied redemptively – wisdom. The foundation of the SAU Concept guides his leadership and is the distinctive of the university.

Dr. Ellis’ presidency at SAU is highlighted by the addition of competitive academic programs such as the residential nursing program and Slingshot, a program providing job readiness skills for students through opportunities for practical application. Dr. Ellis has also overseen the renovations and additions made to the Kresge Student Life Center and the development of the Jones Tennis Complex, the Jaworski Clinical Simulation Center and the Physical Therapy & Sports Medicine Clinic.

During his presidency SAU has been ranked by The Economist as the No. 1 in economic value among Christian universities in Michigan and No 2. among all universities in Michigan. Dr. Ellis has also played a pivotal role in key growth initiatives including the accreditation received by the Master of Social Work program and growing expectancies for the SAU Endowment from $30 million to $60 million.

Before becoming President, Dr. Ellis served at Spring Arbor University as special assistant to the president and then vice president for university advancement, where he oversaw university development, communications, alumni, external relations, the SAU Foundation and SAU radio.

Before coming to Spring Arbor University in 2009, Dr. Ellis worked at LeTourneau University where he served as dean for the Center for the Development of Christian Leadership. Prior to working at LeTourneau, Dr. Ellis spent four years as the director of leadership development and student programs at Taylor University (Ind.).

In many of his previous roles, he spent numerous hours instructing classrooms and conducting scholarly research. With special emphasis in Christian higher education, Dr. Ellis has also made several presentations at national conferences and has published a number of articles in nationally recognized journals.

Dr. Ellis 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.

Dr. Ellis 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.

To contact President Ellis, please email president@arbor.edu or call 517-750-6308.