Creating Christian College Presidents for the Future

A first cohort of scholars consider whether God is calling them to executive leadership.

Ted Song wears many hats.

He is the chief innovation and intercultural engagement officer at John Brown University and the head of the engineering department at the evangelical school in Northwest Arkansas. He’s a dad to three daughters, an elder and college minister at his church, and a student earning a law degree to learn more about the rules and regulations governing higher education.

Song also has his eye on another potential hat.

Last year, he joined the first cohort of presidential fellows at the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU), exploring a call to lead an evangelical school.

“If presidency is God’s calling, great,” Song said. “If God wants to use a person as a president of a Christian college, great. But that can also happen in the classroom or on an athletic field. I want to remind myself and also remind my students that we always need to go back to our mission.”

Song is one of three evangelical academics who have joined the CCCU’s yearlong program to prepare for the possibility of becoming a Christian college president. The other two members of the inaugural group are Keith Hall, vice president for student belonging at Azusa Pacific University, and Sarah Visser, executive vice president for student experience and strategy at Calvin University.

“Each one of these fellows is outstanding,” said Shirley Hoogstra, president of the CCCU. “There’s always turnover in senior leadership, and we want to make sure that we are equipping groups of people to be available for those positions … to be ready in the event that a call comes from God to move into the next level of leadership.”

The presidential training program launched in …

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