The President's Cabinet is the executive leadership team accountable for oversight and management of the university.
Michael J. Beals, PhD
Michael J. Beals, Ph.D., began his service as the 10th president of Vanguard University—Orange County, California’s first four-year college—on August 1, 2013.
As president, he has enacted a bold vision for Vanguard to become the leading source of Christian higher education in California. Through pursuit of this vision and the accompanying student-focused strategies of access, affordability, success and facilities, Vanguard has transformed into a university of choice for students throughout California—leading to record traditional undergraduate enrollment and a student body that reflects the diversity of the region.
Under President Beals’s leadership, Vanguard has expanded its academic programs, increased graduation rates, raised record philanthropic support, transformed the residential campus, strengthened the endowment and net assets, and ascended in national rankings—all the while remaining committed to the university mission “to equip each student for a Spirit-empowered life of Christ-centered leadership and service.”
A 1981 undergraduate alumnus of Vanguard, President Beals’s service to his alma mater includes over 30 years as professor, dean and president. Prior to his appointment as president, he served Vanguard as dean of Spiritual Formation and assistant professor of Philosophical Theology and Christian Ethics. He also served 31 years in local church ministry, including 23 years as senior pastor of Mission Hills Community Church in Rancho Santa Margarita, California.
President Beals earned his PhD in Christian ethics from Fuller Theological Seminary, where he also earned a master’s degree. He holds another master’s degree from Vanguard University.
Active in service throughout Orange County and globally, President Beals serves on the board of directors for the Forum of Christian Business Leaders, Orange County Business Council, Gospel Relief Missions, American Association of Presidents of Independent Colleges and Universities and as a member of the Committee on Policy Analysis and Public Relations for the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities. An ordained minister with the Assemblies of God, President Beals also serves as a general presbyter of the General Council of the Assemblies of God. President Beals has also been actively involved in education, development and outreach around the world.
Michael and his wife, Faith, met at Vanguard and have been married for 44 years. They have two children and four grandchildren. In addition to spending time with his family, President Beals enjoys cycling, golf, fly fishing, sailing, jazz and blues and playing the upright bass.
Ph.D., Christian Ethics, Fuller Theological Seminary
M.A., Biblical Studies and Theology, Fuller Theological Seminary
M.A., Church Leadership Studies, Vanguard University
B.A., Religion/Psychology, Vanguard University
Chip Espinoza, PhD
Dr. Chip Espinoza, is recognized globally as a leading authority on the subject of generational diversity in the workplace. His mission in life is to help organizations become worthy of human habitation. Recently, he has focused on the integration of Millennials into the workplace.
Dr. Espinoza is the Co-author of Millennials Who Manage: How To Overcome Workplace Perceptions And Become A Great Leader, Millennials at Work: The 7 Skills Every Twenty-Something (and their manager) Needs to Overcome Roadblocks and Achieve Greatness, and Managing the Millennials: Discover the Core Competencies for Managing Today's Workforce. He currently serves as the Dean of Strategy and Innovation at Vanguard University.
Ryan Hartwig, PhD
Ryan T. Hartwig, PhD (University of Colorado Boulder), is a higher education leader, communication professor, author, speaker, and consultant. Bringing a unique perspective as a teacher, researcher, and practitioner, he seeks to equip leadership teams and groups to thrive.
Currently, Ryan serves as Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs at Vanguard University. Prior to his appointment at Vanguard University, he served as a professor and in various roles as a dean, department chair, and associate dean at Colorado Christian University and Azusa Pacific University. For over two decades, he has taught courses in group, organizational, and leadership communication, and has led, trained, and developed teams focusing on community development, discipleship, missions, leadership development, academic excellence, fundraising and marketing for over twenty years in universities and churches.
Ryan’s latest book, Leading Small Groups That Thrive: Five Shifts to Take Your Group to the Next Level (Zondervan, 2020) shows small group leaders, step by step, how to plan for, launch, build, sustain, and multiply healthy, transformational small group experiences where people grow spiritually together. Ryan’s first book, Teams That Thrive: Five Disciplines of Collaborative Church Leadership (InterVarsity, 2015), helps leadership teams grow stronger, healthier, and more productive. His next book, a 40-day guide to building resilient teams, will be published in 2023 by InterVarsity Press.
His academic scholarship has been published in the Journal of Applied Communication Research, Southern Communication Journal, and Group Facilitation, and the International Encyclopedia of Organizational Communication, and recognized with several awards from the National Communication Association.
He frequently speaks to, trains, and consults with church and non-profit leaders at numerous universities, churches, seminaries, and nonprofit organizations, and writes for practitioner-oriented publications.
Ryan journeys through life with his wife Jill and four children Halle, Alia, Katelyn and Matthew. They enjoy a full family life, replete with lots of pool time in the summer and skiing in the winter, and hanging out with family and friends. He loves the Broncos, shooting hoops, playing card and board games, and eating great food with friends!
Connect with Ryan at ryanhartwig.com.
Vice President for Enrollment Management
Kim Johnson, MPA
Ms. Kim Johnson returned to Vanguard University in May 2014 to assume the position of Vice President for Enrollment Management. She is responsible for admission and recruitment for traditional Undergraduate, Graduate, and Professional Studies students, and Financial Aid. Kim served as Interim Vice President for Enrollment Management from 2010-2013 while associate principal with Hardwick-Day, an enrollment consulting firm focused specifically on private colleges and universities.
During the 2013-14 academic year Kim was away, she served as Vice President for Enrollment Management at Nebraska Wesleyan University in Lincoln, Neb. – a United Methodist affiliated institution and her grandmother’s alma mater. Admissions, financial aid, retention, public relations, and marketing and communications were in her portfolio. From 2010-13 while with Vanguard University and Hardwick-Day, Kim conducted admissions and financial aid operational assessments at other private institutions, served in interim leadership roles, and conducted program turnarounds. She has an established record of achieving significant results and developing strong teams for success. Under her interim leadership, Vanguard University experienced record new incoming freshman and transfer enrollment in 2011 and again in 2012.
Kim has over 20 years of enrollment management experience that includes eight years in admissions at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign where she managed a budget of over $6 million, oversaw human resources, led the staff development program, and focused predominantly on out-of-state recruitment with a stint as transfer coordinator. Kim then worked for seven years at Creighton University, serving as director of admission in health professions. She redesigned the admission website and print collateral, implemented the use of centralized application services and electronic access to applications, and held a secondary appointment as an academic advisor during which time she was recipient of the annual Outstanding Pre-Major Advisor award and was involved with University-wide retention.
Kim earned her Bachelor of Science in Journalism at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and a Master of Public Administration from the University of Nebraska. Kim and her husband, Mike, enjoy spending together golfing in California and boating in Nebraska.
Interim Vice President for Student Affairs
Amanda Lebrecht, MA
Amanda Lebrecht is currently serving as Vice President of Student Affairs at Vanguard University. Amanda has over 20 years of leadership experience in higher education, including service in Residence Life, Student Engagement, Leadership Development, Student Government Association, Family Relations, Student Success and Retention, and Academic Resources during her 23-year career at Vanguard University in Costa Mesa, CA.
Amanda has extensive training, experience and leadership in student success, retention and leadership development. As a result, over the course of her career in Christian higher educations Amanda has engaged leaders, faculty, staff and students on matters of inclusive excellence. Further, Amanda is a higher education advocate for students from historically underrepresented and under resourced communities, including her fellow first-generation college students.
As the Vice President of Student Affairs, Amanda provides wisdom and guidance to the university's student development and success initiatives that include Basic Needs, Campus Safety, Residence Life, Spiritual Formation, Student Engagement and Inclusion, and Student Wellness and Health Promotion. In this role she has worked to ensure student thriving by shaping campus culture, promoting community and fostering student success. She has served as a mentor campuswide and a strategic planning partner and resource for senior leaders, faculty, staff and board members.
Amanda is currently earning her Doctor of Educational Leadership for Social Justice at Loyola Marymount University. Amanda earned a Master of Arts in Theology Studies with an emphasis in Leadership from Vanguard University, a Master of Arts in Education Administration and a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology with a minor in Race and Ethnic Studies from the University of Redlands.
Amanda is married to Phil, a mechanical engineer, and they have two incredible children Cayla and Cooper. They enjoy sports and traveling and can most likely be found cheering their children on from the field or sideline.
Vice President for University Advancement
Justin McIntee, MBA
Justin McIntee is a Christian business leader, on campus and off. His academic achievements, professional accomplishments and community engagements all speak to his commitment to living and working in accordance with his values. Justin earned his undergraduate degree at Vanguard University before becoming the associate director of major gifts at the U.S. News & World Report-top ranked private Christian university. His Vanguard University MBA helped propel him into other strategic nonprofit development roles in Orange County. As the director of major gifts at Mission Hospital Foundation, Justin and the major gift team spearheaded a landmark $500 million comprehensive fundraising campaign. Justin returned to Vanguard University as the associate vice president of development and campaign management before assuming his current role as vice president for university advancement. His disciplined approach to forming strategic partnerships enabled him to lead teams that have completed 4 capital campaigns and raising over $34 million since he arrived in 2013. Justin’s talent for building a culture of philanthropy is enabling Vanguard University to evolve further as a hub of academic excellence.
Vice President for Finance & Chief Financial Officer
Jeremy Moser, CPA, CPT, MABOL
Jeremy is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and Certified Treasury Professional (CTP) who holds an MA in Business Organizational Leadership and a BA in Accounting and Finance from Vanguard University. Jeremy is an advocate for Christian Education and believes it is a key influencer for life long decisions that allows students to integrate their faith into all aspects of their lives.
During 2011 – 2013, Jeremy served Vanguard University as a member of the Board of Trustees, the Executive Committee, the Finance Committee, and as Chair of the Audit Committee. In addition, Jeremy previously held the position of Secretary of the Board for the National Association of Church Business Administration (NACBA), CFO/Treasurer for Tahquitz Pines Christian camp, and Treasurer for various local churches.
Jeremy grew up in an Assemblies of God church in Missoula, MT, and attended an Assemblies of God church in Fountain Valley for thirteen years before moving to Mariners Church in Irvine, CA, where he worked for more than eight years; first as Controller, then as Chief Financial Officer and Pastor of Operations. Currently, Jeremy is a member of the Supervisory Committee for Evangelical Christian Credit Union in Brea, CA. He and his wife Donna, who also attended Vanguard University for her undergraduate studies, are blessed with two children, a son and a daughter.
After having been a student at Vanguard University, then later a member of the Board of Trustees and various Committees, Jeremy felt right at home when he accepted a position of employment with the university. As Chief Financial Officer, Jeremy now serves the Finance and Audit Committees as a non-Trustee and as Treasurer of the Vanguard Foundation. He brings knowledge, experience, and expertise that continue to serve our institution well.