Hundreds attend Inaugural events for Vanguard University’s tenth President

February 12, 2014

Costa Mesa, CA – Top Christian institution, Vanguard University, welcomed its tenth President, Michael J. Beals, Ph.D., with inaugural events all week long. Dr. Beals, who began his time at Vanguard University in 1977, will serve as tenth President of Vanguard University, and continue the university’s legacy of integrating strong academics and Christian learning.

The week’s events were kicked off with an inaugural worship service, where hundreds turned out at Newport Mesa Church. The inaugural lectures followed the next day with nearly 800 in attendance as Dr. Miroslav Volf, founding Director of Yale Center for Faith, was the university’s prestigious inaugural lecturer, spoke on two theological topics. The inaugural dinner followed that evening with 200 guests in attendance, as well as a student party where the entire student body at Vanguard University attended to honor and celebrate President Beals. The week came to a culmination at the formal installation ceremony of Michael J. Beals, Ph.D. as tenth president of Vanguard University, at St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church in Newport Beach. Former Vanguard University presidents were in also attendance including Dr. Wayne Kraiss, Dr. Murray Dempster, and Dr. Carol Taylor.

Vanguard University board member, David Oddo expects this to be another exciting new chapter for the Christian higher education institution, “President Beals is a natural fit as Vanguard tenth President. His experience, gifting and love for the university have blended to make for a truly great leader. It has been a pleasure to work alongside Dr. Beals.” In addition to a new president, the university recently announced its School for Graduate and Professional Studies – now one of Orange County’s top choices in professional education for working adults, with an outstanding academic reputation.

For more information on Vanguard University’s tenth president, or any of the academic programs offered, visit

To request an interview with the President, contact:
Erin Hales, Director of Marketing & Communications
55 Fair Drive, Costa Mesa, CA 92626


About Michael J. Beals, Ph.D.
Over the last 36 years, Dr. Michael Beals has been called to Vanguard University in many different capacities, including undergraduate student, graduate student, faculty member, and administrator. Beals’ rich journey with Vanguard is evidence of his ability and willingness to serve its constituents in the highest capacity. After a rigorous and prayerful search, the Board of Trustees has chosen him as the finalist for the role of 10th president of Vanguard University.
A native of California, Dr. Beals originally came to faith in Christ at Vallejo First Assembly of God in 1977. That same year, Beals followed God’s initial call to Vanguard and became an undergraduate student of Religion, double-majoring in Christian Education and Psychology. After receiving his BA, he went on to earn his MA from Vanguard in Church Leadership, and a second MA at Fuller Theological Seminary in Biblical Studies and Theology. Beals also holds a Ph.D. in Christian Ethics from Fuller where he has served as an adjunct faculty member since 1999.
Dr. Beals began teaching at Vanguard as an adjunct faculty member in 1991. In 2005, Dr. Beals became an Assistant Professor of Philosophical Theology and Christian Ethics. He left that position in 2009. In 2012, after serving for 23 years as the senior pastor of Mission Hills Community Church in Rancho Santa Margarita, Beals returned to Vanguard as Dean of Spiritual Formation, a position that serves as the university pastor for the Vanguard community and the senior administrator of the Spiritual Formation Department.
Dr. Beals is an ordained minister with the Assemblies of God and spent 31 years of ministry in local churches. He was first credentialed as a Licensed Minister in 1981 and that fall he began as a youth pastor at The Harbor Church AG in Lomita, California. In addition to membership in the Society for Pentecostal Studies, Beals has written for Enrichment, the journal for Assemblies of God ministers, and contributed to Blackwell’s Encyclopedia of Christian Civilization. Dr. Beals has been actively involved in global outreach in Kenya, South Africa, Namibia, Cuba, Guatemala, Mexico, China, Israel, Switzerland, France, England, and Scotland.
Dr. Beals met his wife of 33 years, Faith, at Vanguard. They have two grown children and a grandson. His son-in-law is also a Vanguard alumnus. In addition to spending time with his family, he enjoys reading and working in the garden, fly fishing, sailing, listening to jazz and blues, and playing the upright bass.


About Vanguard University
Vanguard University (VU) is a regionally ranked, private, Christian university of liberal arts and professional studies. Located ten minutes from Newport Beach and an hour from Los Angeles, Vanguard equips students for a Spirit-empowered life of Christ-focused leadership and service. Vanguard is committed to academic excellence, boasting small class sizes that are designed to cultivate lasting professor-mentor relationships that enhance the learning process. The U.S. News & World Report ranked Vanguard a top 10 regional college in the west for 2014 and The Princeton Review ranked Vanguard a 2014 “Best in the West” regional college. Accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC), Vanguard offers more than 30 degrees and certificates through its undergraduate, graduate, and professional studies programs. Please visit


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