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EU Alumni Perspective: Marshall Flowers, Jr.

Name: Marshall Flowers, Jr.

Graduation Year: 1973

Major: Biblical Studies

Current Position: Bluefield University Provost [retired June 30, 2022]

City and State: Bluefield, Virginia

 

Tell us about your career and what you do now.

Upon graduation from Evangel, my wife, Linda (Larsen), and I moved to the northwest suburbs of Chicago for ministry as a youth pastor at Northwest Assembly of God, Mount Prospect, Illinois, and a full-time seminary student at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, in Deerfield, Illinois.

Upon completion of the Master of Divinity degree, I accepted a full-time assignment at North Central University as the Dean of Students and Youth Ministries Faculty Member. The next 45 years of administrative service in Christ-centered higher education included 11 years as a Vice President for Student Development, 1 year as Director of Development, and 33 years as a Chief Academic Officer/Provost in 6 universities in the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities – 4 of these universities over a 33-year tenure were among Assemblies of God institutions including North Central, Vanguard, Northwest, and Bethany.

In my first year of retirement, the leadership of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities has honored me as a CCCU Senior Fellow and liaison to the CCCU Evangelism Commission. It is my pleasure to volunteer serving fellow CCCU professional administrators and faculty.

 

What is your favorite memory from Evangel?

In my senior year, I was selected to serve as the first Biblical Studies Fellow in the newest academic department and major at Evangel. In addition to assisting the five full-time faculty members in the Biblical Studies Department, I was mentored by the Department Chair Dr. William Menzies. His caring spirit formed in me a passion for teaching in Christ-centered higher education. With his counsel and Godly influence, my first ministry assignment that opened to me was 10 minutes from the seminary campus where I would study for the Master of Divinity degree. My senior year at Evangel culminated with being a part of the first graduating class of Biblical Studies majors and being chosen by the faculty to present the student Baccalaureate address. Overall, it was an amazing transformative senior year.

 

How did Evangel help you identify/develop your calling?

Two of my most influential faculty members at Evangel were Dr. William Menzies, Biblical Studies Department Chair, and Dr. Robert Cooley, the Academic Dean. Drs. Menzies and Cooley were mentors and heroes who spent time with me shaping my appreciation and value for Christ-centered higher education. As Pentecostal scholars and educators, their passion for excellence in teaching and in scholarship ignited a yearning to pursue advanced Christian higher education that would shape my vocational call and commitment to full-time ministry. I am grateful for their exemplary Christian lifestyles that accentuated their teaching and leadership giftings. As a result of their influence, I set my sights on completing a Ph.D. degree in Higher Education (from Claremont Graduate University, Claremont, California) to prepare for a lifetime of service in Christian higher education.

 

How did your experience at Evangel prepare you for life after graduation?

The counsel that I received at Evangel from faculty and administrators encouraged me to cultivate a high view for ministry and service while pursuing a vocational call. In essence, I sought to be faithful to God in the expression of ministry gifts and service to others whatever my professional position. Caring for and facilitating peoples’ relationship with God through Jesus Christ and the empowerment of the Holy Spirit has been the apex of my calling.

My privileged 45 years of service in Christ-centered higher education provided the opportunity to invest in students, faculty, and university leadership, as I experienced and observed at Evangel University through the influence of its stellar faculty and administrative leadership.

 

What advice would you give a current student preparing for the workforce?

A deep passion for service to others and a purposeful life mission centered upon Christ will lead you to an awareness of giftings that complement your education goals. The next step in your preparation for the workforce will be to find opportunities that will allow you to thrive and live out your life mission and passion to serve others.

 

What would you look for if you were in a position to hire new graduates from Evangel?

A select hirable Evangel graduate should seek to cultivate the Biblical virtues of honesty, integrity, and humility, driven by the passion for service to others, and a heart longing to know and love God.