Vanguard University Names Michael Beals Tenth President

Vanguard University Names Michael Beals Tenth President

Tenth president of Vanguard University connects institution’s historic roots to its bright future as a growing leader in Christian higher education


Costa Mesa, CA, August 1, 2013 – Vanguard University announced today that Michael Beals, PhD has been named the new president of Vanguard University.   Dr. Beals is the tenth president since the institution of Christian higher education’s inception in 1920.

Dr. Beals steps into the presidency as no stranger to Vanguard University; as a two-time alumnus, he has also served Vanguard University as a faculty member and most recently, administrator, where he currently serves as dean of spiritual formation.

“The journey of identifying the tenth president of Vanguard University was one that required the entire Vanguard University community to exercise patience and trust in each other and in the process itself,” says David Oddo, chair of the Board of Trustees and chair of the Presidential Search Committee for Vanguard.  “Dr. Beals’ rich journey with Vanguard is evidence of his ability and willingness to serve its constituents in the highest capacity.   Under Dr. Beals’ leadership, I have no doubt that Vanguard University will continue to grow as a leader in Christian higher education.”


After he received a bachelor of arts (BA) from Vanguard University in religion and psychology in 1981, Dr. Beals earned a Master of Arts (MA) from Vanguard University in church leadership in 1989, and a second MA at Fuller Theological Seminary in biblical studies and theology in 1994.  Dr. Beals earned a PhD in Christian ethics from Fuller Theological Seminary in 2002.

Teaching experience

Dr. Beals began teaching at Vanguard University as an adjunct faculty member in 1991 and became an assistant professor of philosophical theology and Christian ethics in 2005.  Dr. Beals has served as an adjunct faculty member at Fuller Theological Seminary since 1999.

Leadership and service

Dr. Beals has served for 23 years as the senior pastor of Mission Hills Community Church in Rancho Santa Margarita and has held roles as youth pastor and education pastor in ministry.  In addition, Dr. Beals has been actively involved in global outreach in Kenya, South Africa, Namibia, Cuba, Guatemala, Mexico, China, Israel, Switzerland, France, England, and Scotland.

“When I hire people for leadership roles, I always look for three qualities which I refer to as the three C’s: competence, chemistry, and character,” says Rick Francis, assistant city manager for the City of Costa Mesa and Presidential Search Committee member.  During this extensive search process, it became evident to me that Dr. Beals possesses all three of these qualities in abundance.  As an alumnus of Vanguard University, I look forward to watching someone who has been active in the development of this fine institution  over the past 36 years take it to even newer heights.”

Dr. Beals will commence as the tenth president of Vanguard University on August 1, 2013.

For updated information on the transition, including frequently asked questions and more, visit



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.  Ranked annually by U.S. News & World Report as one of the top 10 colleges in the west since 2010, 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.


Vanguard University’s Department of Theatre Arts Hosts Youth Theatre Camp

Vanguard University's Department of Theatre Arts Hosts Youth Theatre CampFor some kids, summer vacation is all about play. For others, summer vacation is the perfect time to act in a play.

On Monday, July 8, a group of artistically-inclined 4th through 8th graders made their way to the Lyceum Theater to start an intensive, week-long youth theatre camp hosted by Vanguard University’s Department of Theatre Arts.

During the week, the young students trained with Vanguard University interns at American Coast Theatre Company (ACTC) to learn the art of acting, improvisation, dance, singing, and stage combat.

“The most rewarding part of the week for me was when the girls would come in every day and immediately want to perform their dances and show us how they had practiced at home,” says Bretlyn Schmitt, assistant director and choreographer.  “It was a joy to get to see the pride and excitement they had for everything they had learned.  It was [also]so wonderful working with my peers on this workshop, it allowed us to become a unit and gave us a chance to really use each of our creative talents to pour into the kids.

The camp took place each day from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm and the curtains closed on Saturday, July 13. Students had plenty of time to practice their new skills just in time for two final performances at the end of the week.

“We hope that this will be the beginning of a whole new Christian generation of theatre artists we hope to inspire every summer,” says Sue Berkompas, Chair of the Department of Theatre Arts. “We couldn’t have asked for a better first summer camp.”

ACTC expects the camp to triple in size in the coming year.  For more information on the Vanguard University Department of Theatre Arts, visit

Vanguard University’s Department of Theatre Arts Hosts Youth Theatre Camp

Vanguard University Ranked as one of the Best Lifetime ROI Colleges

state-high-roi[2] has identified Vanguard University as one of the California Colleges with Best Lifetime Return on Investment. Vanguard is ranked #37 on the list.

ACO’s rankings are based on several criteria including net tuition prices (provided by IPEDS/NCES), graduate’s average starting salaries and ROI calculation (provided by Payscale), and fully accredited, 4-year not-for-profit institutions (provided by the Carnegie Foundation).

ACO founder Dan Schessler says that analysts sift through “comprehensive data sources to find colleges and universities in California that offer a high quality education with consistent, long-term payoffs in the workplace.”

To read the full list, click here:

Women’s Basketball Team Ranked #1 in WBCA Academic Top 25 Team Honor Rolls for the 2012-13 Season

Vanguard Women's BasketballVanguard University’s  Women’s Basketball Team is a top honoree in the WBCA Academic Top 25 Team Honor Rolls for the 2012-13 season. Vanguard’s team has been ranked #1 in the NAIA division.

The WBCA (Women’s Basketball Coaches Association) recognizes women’s basketball teams across the nation in several divisions, including DCAA Divisions I, I, and II; the NAIA; and junior/community colleges. 25 teams make the top list in each division. These teams carry the highest combined grade point averages inclusive of all student-athletes on their rosters for the entire season. A team must have a 3.000 or better GPA to be nominated.

Click here to read the full article.

Vanguard Athletics Youth Sports Camps: Using Basketball to Build Character

During the months of June and July, the Vanguard University Men’s Basketball team offers three weeks of youth basketball camps to boys and girls ages 5-15.

This summer, Vanguard University’s Men’s Basketball team has been busy on the court… and off. During the months of June and July, the team offers three weeks of youth basketball camps to boys and girls ages 5-15.

At these camps, Vanguard University Head Coach Rhett Soliday, Assistant Coaches Brian “Boomer” Roberts and Levi Seekins, and several current Vanguard basketball players will teach young students the fundamentals of basketball and encourage students to have a great time while competing.

This isn’t just your ordinary youth basketball camp dedicated to training students athletically; the coaches also desire to foster and encourage personal growth among the campers.

To accomplish this, coaches begin each morning with a daily devotional, give character presentations, assign character “homework,” and emphasize what it means to compete with character. “We want the campers to improve as basketball players, but also as young people,” says Coach Boomer. “We love to see kids leave camp with a better grasp of the game of basketball as well as with more love, respect, integrity, and servant leadership.”

Kids and parents alike love this program, and camp attendance has doubled in size each year for the past four years.

The first two weeks of camp have ended, but there are still a few spots available for Week 3, which will take place from July 22-26. If this camp sounds like a perfect match for your family, click here to register and download an application.

VU Sports Camp runs from 9:00am to 4:00pm on Monday through Thursday, and through 12:00pm on Friday. The camp costs $220 to attend and includes lunch in the cafeteria Monday through Thursday, a t-shirt, a basketball, and a season pass to all VU Men’s Basketball home games.

In addition to the youth basketball camps, Athletics will also offer a Parent/Child Camp on July 20-21 and a Varsity Prep Camp from July 28-August 2 for high school boys aged 14-18. Parent/Child Camp will run from 9:00am to noon on Saturday and Sunday. The camp will cost $95 and the parent and child will learn the fundamentals of the game and compete in a team setting.

For more information about the parent/child camp click here. To learn more about the varsity prep camp, click here.