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President Dr. Brent D. Ellis

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 recent addition of competitive academic programs such as electrical engineering and the residential nursing program. In December 2017, the Higher Learning Commission re-accredited Spring Arbor University for another 10 years. The HLC passed Spring Arbor University in all 25 categories reviewed. Dr. Ellis has also overseen the renovations and additions made to the Kresge Student Life Center, the Walker Track & Field Complex, the McDonald Athletic Center and the Weatherwax Microbiology Laboratory. He also led 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 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 has overseen growing expectancies for the SAU Endowment from $30 million to $65 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.

Dr. Brent and Christy Ellis

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 and his wife, Christy, have three children: Charlie, Lainey and Joey. 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. To contact President Ellis, please email president@arbor.edu or call 517.750.6308.