By: Nancy Zugschwert, North Central University
On Jan. 20, Gordon L. Anderson, Ph.D., president of North Central University (NCU) in Minneapolis, announced his retirement plans. Before an audience of students, faculty, and staff gathered for daily chapel, Anderson shared that his retirement will be effective June 1, 2017.
North Central University, founded in 1930 in the basement of then Minneapolis Gospel Tabernacle, is today a thriving, fully accredited university that is owned and operated by 11 districts of the Assemblies of God. Anderson is the sixth president in the history of the school, having served effectively and faithfully since June 1995.
“President Anderson has been quietly initiating conversations with the Executive Committee of the Regents, prayerfully anticipating transition at North Central University at a time to be determined. He formally announced his plans by letter to the board on December 12, 2015, and publicly shared the news with faculty, staff, and students today. He has announced this transition now in order to give the board plenty of notice, assure an effective transition of leadership and to maintain institutional momentum," said Ron Bontrager, pastor of Lakeview Church in Indianapolis, Ind., and chair of the NCU Board of Regents.
“The entire family of North Central University shares a deep love and high respect for Gordon and Dianne Anderson and their investment of time, love and self-sacrifice through the years. The legacy they leave will be lasting, and has fruitful harvest in Christ’s kingdom worldwide,” commented Bontrager. “We will miss them when that transition occurs, but know we are building on solid foundation as we pursue an exciting future for North Central University.”
The Board of Regents will direct an extensive nationwide search for presidential appointment beginning immediately. The executive committee has secured the services of CarterBaldwin Executive Search of Atlanta, Ga., a renowned executive search firm with a proven record in Christian higher education searches and a specific history in the Assemblies of God fellowship.
Further announcements regarding presidential search, and appropriate recognition of the Andersons, will be released by the university at a later time.
Longtime leader and servant
Anderson is an ordained Assemblies of God minister and began his career at North Central as a faculty member in 1982, serving in that capacity until he was inaugurated as North Central’s sixth president on Oct. 27, 1995.
Since Anderson accepted the presidency, the university has seen steady enrollment, significant business and operational gains, and consistent academic vision. Anderson’s passion for Christ, commitment to the vision of the institution and frequent interaction with students are key elements of his leadership.
"Dr. Anderson is one of those rare leaders whose impact extends far beyond his immediate responsibilities,” said Clarence St. John, Superintendent, Minnesota District of the Assemblies of God. “Not only has North Central thrived under his leadership; but the Assemblies of God, here in Minnesota and across our nation, have been blessed and made better because of his influence."
Gifted speaker and writer
Students and other audiences are continually challenged and encouraged through Anderson’s ministry, preaching, and leadership. His speaking style delivers poignant truth with content-based teaching and practical application. His messages are a reflection of his dedication to the truth.
In addition to his duties at North Central, Anderson served as a member of the Assemblies of God National Commission on Doctrinal Purity. He currently serves on the AG Alliance for Christian Higher Education and the General Presbytery. In 1997, Anderson chaired the Spiritual Life Committee for the General Council. He served as Director of the Eurasia Education Office for the Division of Foreign Missions from 1992 to 1995. Under his leadership, the Eurasia Education Association and the Eurasia Accrediting Association were founded.
An authority on Pentecostal doctrine, Anderson has written and published several books and articles. Orphans and Kings and Pentecostal Hermeneutics are two books authored by Anderson (currently out of print). He is well known for his video and audio tape series, the “Unshakable Truth” and “A Theology of Revival.” From 1991 to 1995, he hosted a 30-minute radio program titled “Christianity in Culture” that was broadcast on WIBI in Illinois. Anderson is also a contributor to Assemblies of God publications, including the Enrichment Journal where the article, “Baptism in the Holy Spirit, Initial Evidence and a New Model” was published in 2005.
Anderson and his wife of 48 years, Dianne, have two adult sons, Jeffrey and Cameron, and four grandchildren. Anderson regularly visits the West Coast where he enjoys crabbing and clamming with his family. He also enjoys gardening, hiking and pheasant hunting.