AG: Strength Through Diversity

"It’s important that students see themselves represented across every level of the University: faculty, staff and administration," Michael J. Beals says. 

Raised in a non-Christian home, Beals clung to biblical faith at 18 years old during a Pentecostal service at Vallejo First Assembly. Since then, he has committed a life of service to the Lord by graduating from Vanguard University with an undergraduate in youth ministry and psychology as well as a master's degree in church leadership. 

He worked full-time and applied for financial aid to pay for his tuition since his parents did not financially support his decision in attending a faith-based school. He spent a total of 23 years pastoring Mission Hills Community Church while obtaining a second master's and a doctorate in Christian ethics at Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena. 

"We are unwaveringly committed to ministry training, but we also recognize developing the worldview and the skillset for living life and articulating faith in ways of a vocational calling students have," Beals says. "We prepare missionaries and ministers. On the other hand, everybody is a minister." 

Since August 2013, Beals has been accredited by faculty and staff for paying down university debt, rebuilding the infrastructure and growing the school's endowment. 

Beals’ vision for Vanguard is to be a leading source of Christian higher education in California. He believes students continue to flock to Vanguard because it's a university that stays true to its values and promotes codes of conduct that reflect biblical values. 

Read the full Assemblies of God story here.