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Dr. Michael Kolstad named an Outstanding Administrator by Assemblies of God Alliance for Christian Higher Education

Published on Aug 3, 2023 by Erin Hedlun

Dr. Michael Kolstad, EU chief of staff

SPRINGFIELD, Missouri – Dr. Michael Kolstad, Evangel University chief of staff and executive vice president, was honored today as an Outstanding Administrator by the Assemblies of God (AG) Alliance for Christian Higher Education. Kolstad received the award during a special luncheon at the 2023 General Council of the AG, held this week in Columbus, Ohio. The biennial meeting brings together AG leaders, ministers, missionaries, and students from across the country for business meetings, elections, services, and ministry training.

Assemblies of God endorsed colleges and universities submit nominees for consideration who have proven accomplishments in service to the institution and the Church and scholarship and success in their fields.

“On behalf of the cabinet and the entire Evangel University family, I would like to congratulate Dr. Kolstad on this great honor,” said Dr. Mike Rakes, EU president. “Michael is an out front thinker, and few administrators have had the impact that Michael has had across many sectors of the university. He is a remarkable and humble leader who serves as a great example to our students and employees. We are grateful for his decades of committed service to EU.”

Kolstad is a 1988 graduate of Evangel. Following a brief musical career and the pursuit of a master and doctoral degree on the east coast after graduation, he returned to his alma mater in 1991 as a professor in the Music Department. In 2007 he was named Music Department chair. During his tenure in the Music Department, Kolstad was an innovative leader, founding and directing the first EU Jazz and Marching Bands and facilitating significant donations to the university for the benefit of its students.

In 2014, Kolstad transitioned to the role of vice president for university advancement.

Under his leadership, total giving to the university more than doubled and unrestricted giving rose more than 600%.

He also led several successful campaigns related to campus upgrades, including the installation of a turf field for football and soccer, the donation of a Steinway “D” grand piano, valued at more than $150,000, and the continued implementation of Evangel’s new mascot, Valor, throughout campus facilities.

In 2020, in the face of the COVID-19 crisis, Kolstad took the helm as chair of the university’s pandemic task force, coordinating mitigation and response measures to keep the Evangel community operational and safe. His collaboration with local city and county officials and area university presidents was a key contributor to the university’s successful navigation through the pandemic.

In January of 2022, EU President Dr. Mike Rakes named Kolstad chief of staff and executive vice president. Working closely with the university’s leadership team, cabinet members, and board of trustees, he represents the interests and priorities of the Office of the President and oversees the daily operations of the university.

Kolstad has received numerous awards, including recognition as a 2022 “Man of the Year” and a “40 Under 40” by Springfield Business Journal as well as the prestigious Orville and Jewel Mills Young Faculty Award for Excellence in Teaching, Scholarship, and Service from Evangel. He has been involved in numerous community organizations, including the Springfield Symphony, Springfield Regional Opera, Springfield Little Theater, local Better Business Bureau chapter, and Nixa Community Foundation Council.

He holds a Doctor of Musical Arts and a Master of Music from the University of North Carolina and a bachelor’s degree in Education from Evangel.

He and his wife, Paula, have two children and live in Nixa, MO.

About the AG Alliance for Christian Higher Education

The alliance exists to endorse and promote member schools, providing advocacy, professional development, and effective networking. There are 17 recognized AG institutions of higher learning in the U.S. Those institutions include universities, graduate schools, the Assemblies of God Theological Seminary, Bible colleges, and specialized ethnic minority colleges.


About Evangel University

Evangel University, with its embedded Assemblies of God Theological Seminary (AGTS), is a comprehensive Spirit-led Christian university located in Springfield, Missouri. It is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and a member of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities. Under the leadership of Dr. Mike Rakes, EU is committed to excellence in educating and equipping students to serve the Church and society globally and becoming compassionate innovators in their chosen vocations. EU offers more than 70 degree programs, including cutting-edge majors, pre-professional programs, and affordable and flexible online degree options.

EU is highly regarded and has been ranked:

  • US News & World Report Best Colleges Top Performer in Social Mobility
  • Colleges of Distinction Best Christian University
  • Top 10 Best Universities by
  • Third Most Beautiful Campus in the Midwest by Christian Colleges & Universities
  • Top 10 Best Colleges in Missouri by

With additional accreditations in business, counseling, music, social work, and theology and certification as an Excellence in Giving university, EU is focused on providing students with hands-on experience and real-world training for today’s professional careers. Learn more about the university at