Presidential Search

The Board of Trustees of Olivet Nazarene University is pleased to announce the initiation of the search process for the election of the next President of the University. The public is invited to participate in the process by recommending candidates for consideration. Qualified leaders may also express their personal interest in the presidential opportunity as well.

The mission of Olivet Nazarene University is to provide An Education With a Christian Purpose. We seek to yield high quality academic instruction for personal development, career and professional readiness, and the preparation of individuals for lives of service to God and humanity. Olivet exists to help students build a life, not just make a living. We believe that higher education should have a higher purpose.

Search Status

We are currently seeking qualified candidates (May 27, 2020)


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Current Leadership

The next president of Olivet Nazarene University will build on the legacy of Dr. John C. Bowling’s 29 years of leadership. Dr. Bowling has fostered a dynamic university culture that has created a deep sense of community and belonging. Under his leadership, the University has flourished, as evidenced by record enrollments, new buildings, expanded degree programs, increased academic standards, improved athletic programs, extraordinary morale among staff and students, and more.

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The Opportunity

The President of Olivet Nazarene University serves as the senior executive for the University and reports to the Board of Trustees. The Board is comprised of leaders from the Church of the Nazarene, as well as members of the Church of the Nazarene who represent alumni and various other key constituencies. The next President will embrace, represent and steward the mission, values and vision of Olivet Nazarene University in a manner that ensures ongoing strength and impact.

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Strengths Needed

The continued strengthening and focusing of the University’s spiritual, academic, relational and financial vitality are of even greater importance in the next chapter of presidential leadership. More specifically, the next President should be gifted in:

  • Embodying the University’s Christian mission and Wesleyan-Holiness identity, serving as a central voice and influence in setting the tone for the spiritual ethos and community expression of those distinctives.
  • Building and maintaining strong and authentic relationships with a myriad of constituents such as students, faculty, administrators, donors, denominational leaders, community leaders and colleagues in the Christian higher education community.
  • Shaping and communicating organizational vision and direction in a manner that motivates involvement, commitment and trust.
  • Assessing and embracing the higher education environment and the need for increased resourcefulness, prioritization and change in a context where residential and online enrollment is experiencing short and long-term challenges in the region.
  • Involving administrative and faculty leadership in problem-solving and innovation that maximizes the contributions and outcomes for the benefit of all.
  • Developing clear and actionable strategies in conjunction with a leadership team that center the University’s energy and efforts in a common direction.
  • Working within a denominational context and network, while serving a majority student population that comes from outside the Church of the Nazarene traditions and practice.

Requirements of the Role

In addition to the leadership strengths and gifts noted, the next president of Olivet Nazarene University will possess:

  • A clear and demonstrable commitment to the Gospel of Jesus Christ and its fulfillment.
  • A calling to leadership in the Christian higher education with a heart and commitment to prepare students to define their calling as well as their career under the Lordship of Christ.
  • Full agreement with Olivet Nazarene University’s Statement of Faith, mission, values and covenants and The Nazarene Church Articles of Faith; a commitment to ensuring all present and future faculty and staff of the University are in agreement as well.
  • Ten years minimum of leadership experience in higher education roles (Dean, Cabinet, President) with demonstrated growth in responsibility and impact; combined leadership experiences in education, church, business and/or nonprofit leadership may also fit, provided that a current understanding of the Christian higher education landscape is clear.
  • A terminal degree (i.e. Ph.D., Ed.D., D.Min., etc.).
  • Current membership in and/or theological alignment and a commitment to become a member of the Church of the Nazarene if elected.

Olivet Nazarene University does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, age, sex, disability, national or ethnic origin in employment opportunities, in keeping with applicable state and federal laws. Olivet Nazarene University is affiliated with the Church of the Nazarene. All applicants must be professing Christians and willing to support the Christian mission of Olivet Nazarene University.


Pray & Share

Please join the entire Olivet Nazarene University community in asking God to guide the search process and bless those involved. Also, please share this profile with anyone in your network of relationships you believe may be interested in the role or in helping the Committee get the word out about the search.

Suggest Candidates

Please suggest names of individuals to the Committee who you believe should be considered for the role of President. Please do so through this confidential email: Please include any contact information you may have. We are intentionally seeking gender and ethnic diversity in our candidate pool.

Express Interest

If you would like to initiate a conversation with our search consultant, Mark Stevenson, please contact him at or 612-747-7472. Alternatively, you may also express interest directly to the Committee through this email address: Please include your Curriculum Vitae or résumé and a cover letter with your submission.