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Evangel President set to retire at the end of the semester

Published on Oct 1, 2020 by Matt Hufman

Dr. Carol A. Taylor has served as president of Evangel University since 2013. //  PHOTO BY Beth Solano


SPRINGFIELD, MO — In January 2020, Evangel University President Carol A. Taylor, Ph.D., announced plans to retire in the summer. However, amidst the coronavirus pandemic and a delay in a search for her replacement, the Board of Trustees asked Dr. Taylor to delay her retirement, and she agreed.

With the semester well underway and the Board resuming the search for a new president, Dr. Taylor and the Board agreed that this semester would be a good time. Her last day will be the end of the fall semester, Nov. 25.

“I’m so proud of this extraordinary community and how it has served and continues to thrive even through a very difficult time,” said Dr. Taylor, an alumna of Evangel and the Assemblies of God Theological Seminary and an ordained Assemblies of God minister. “It has been a privilege to finish my career at my alma mater, and I’m excited to see Evangel continue to thrive and produce outstanding graduates who serve our community, nation and world.”

Dr. Taylor felt called to vocational service in higher education, earning a Ph.D. from Florida State University and becoming an expert in academic assessment and leadership. She served 25 years in public education and the last 20 years in Christian higher education. She held numerous senior leadership positions in higher education, including the presidency of Vanguard University in southern California, where she led a major turnaround.

In 2013, she returned to Springfield to become the university’s fourth president. She became the first Evangel graduate to hold the position and the first woman. She was called to consolidate the Assemblies of God’s three schools – Central Bible College, Evangel University, and the Assemblies of God Theological Seminary.

The complexity of bringing the three Springfield schools together with diverse faculties, staffs, programs, alumni, and systems was recognized as a daunting challenge. However, in the process, Dr. Taylor led a series of innovations, including creating new business systems and processes, reshaping and starting new academic programs, adding new professional accreditations, and launching online degrees.

Under her leadership, alumni engagement more than doubled, and giving under her tenure has reached nearly $40 million in donations and grants. Thanks to the generosity to Evangel’s alumni and friends, as well as the hard work of the administration, the campus community, and the Board of Trustees, Evangel’s financial position has also strengthened. The university is currently in the black with a healthy margin.

Rev. Doug Clay, the general superintendent of the Assemblies of God, expressed his thanks for Dr. Taylor’s work.

“I’m grateful for the leadership of Dr. Taylor, not only through the consolidation but also in positioning Evangel University for a bright future,” Rev. Clay said. “Evangel University, with the embedded seminary, is uniquely positioned in the Assemblies of God fellowship to give students the education and training they need to fulfill their God-given callings.

Rev. Dr. Rick Ross, the chair of the Evangel Board of Trustees, thanked Dr. Taylor for extending her service to lead the university through this year.

“Dr. Taylor has been very gracious to continue her service and lead the university so well through this pandemic,” Dr. Ross said. “I’m grateful for what she has done in her tenure, and I’m excited for what’s next.”

The Board of Trustees has resumed the search for a new president.


About Evangel University

Evangel University, with the Assemblies of God Theological Seminary (AGTS), is a comprehensive Christian university committed to excellence in educating and equipping students to serve the church and society globally. Evangel and AGTS serve more than 2,300 students from all 50 states and numerous foreign countries, offering 70 undergraduate majors and 19 master’s and doctoral degrees.