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Evangel University appoints new vice president for advancement

Published on Oct 18, 2023 by Erin Hedlun

Destiny Duron Deas, EU vice president for advancement Photo by Heather McKinney – HM Photography & Boutique

SPRINGFIELD, Missouri – Destiny Duron Deas has been appointed to the Evangel University President’s Cabinet as vice president for advancement. Duron Deas holds a Juris Doctorate from Duke University Law School, a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and International Studies from Southern Methodist University, and a master’s degree in East Asian Studies from Duke. She is a renowned communicator, attorney, author, and entrepreneur. She is also an ordained minister affiliated with the Assemblies of God.

“Academics has always been my first love,” said Duron Deas, “Evangel’s mission to rescue, equip, and deploy the next generation to be compassionate innovators immediately appealed to me. It fits in line with what I am already working towards as a speaker, author, and attorney.”

Duron Deas is no stranger to the Evangel family. Her father, Denny Duron, was the founding coach of the football program. “It’s like being asked to care for and honor my own family.” Duron Deas said of her new responsibilities to oversee alumni relations, “So many of these men and women have made such an impact on my life. I am thrilled to ensure that they remain connected to this university that has shaped and continues to shape leaders in every area of society.”

“Ms. Deas possesses the expertise to architect fundraising systems and teams to build a bridge between the needs of the next generation for a robust education and the fiscal threats facing unapologetic Christian schools,” said EU President Dr. Mike Rakes. “Destiny’s impact on people and her limitless capacity to tackle huge assignments and innovate solutions makes her the perfect choice for EU at this time. Destiny’s experience in both the non-profit and business sectors will help us advance Evangel as a national liberal arts school.”

In addition to her role in Advancement, Duron Deas will continue a robust preaching schedule. “What captured my heart when I was approached about this position,” Duron Deas said, “was that Dr. Rakes saw my call to preach not as a distraction from the mission but as a priority of the mission. We both agree that changing hearts and lives is core to who Evangel is, and it will continue to be a core part of what we do going forward.”

This appointment follows three years of unprecedented growth in both fundraising and student enrollment under Rakes’ leadership.

She succeeds Dr. Michael Kolstad in this role, who was appointed chief of staff and executive vice president in 2022.


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:

  • #1 Best College in Springfield & #2 Best Christian College in Missouri by Niche
  • 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