Drawer Trigger

President Michael J. Beals


Celebrating 10 years of transformational Leadership.

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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