MBU’s longstanding provost, Dr. Arlen Dykstra, announces retirement; Dr. Andy Chambers named next provost
After forty-one years of distinguished service to Missouri Baptist University, Dr. Arlen Dykstra, provost and senior vice president for academic affairs, will retire at the end of the 2018-2019 academic year.
MBU President Dr. Keith Ross has named Dr. Andy Chambers, the University’s associate provost and senior vice president for student development, as the University’s next provost and senior vice president for academic affairs.
He will assume the role July 1, 2019.
Dr. Dykstra began his career at then-Missouri Baptist College in 1972—when MBU was just eight years old—as a professor of history. Among his immeasurable contributions to MBU, Dr. Dykstra has helped lead the University to experience transformative growth in academic programs, number of locations and students.
Dr. Dykstra spearheaded the initiative to begin serving non-traditional students through a regional learning center in Moscow Mills Mo. Today, MBU operates 10 regional learning centers, and offers more than 17 undergraduate and graduate programs online. He also was instrumental in the birth of MBU’s dual credit program, called EXCEL, which allows high school students the opportunity to garner college credit from their high school classrooms and online. This year, nearly 2,500 students from 44 high schools throughout Missouri and Illinois.
“Dr. Dykstra has been a faithful steward of the mission and vision of MBU and his leadership has been invaluable during these years of significant growth and expansion,” said Dr. Keith Ross, MBU’s president. “He has made tremendous contributions in the lives of colleagues, students and alumni; his influence is both deep and profound. His unwavering commitment to his family, his church and this institution is an example of his Christian faith and exceptional character. I am proud to call him my colleague and friend.”
Dr. Chambers holds both a Ph.D. in New Testament/Homiletics and a M.Div. from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, along with a bachelor of science in mechanical engineering from Missouri University of Science and Technology. He has completed additional study at Baylor University and Harvard University’s Institute for Education Management and the Council of Independent Colleges Executive Leadership Academy.
Dr. Chambers has worked at MBU since 1995 and has been a member of the president’s cabinet since 2000 as a senior administrator.
“Dr. Chambers will provide leadership and vision related to emerging trends in higher education including exploration of new programs, majors and education models that complement MBU’s strategic plan and Christian mission,” said Dr. Ross. “Under Dr. Chamber’s leadership, the University will continue to strengthen its academic reputation and commitment to the integration of faith and learning.”
In 2012, Chambers published Exemplary Life: A Theology of Church Life in Acts. He has presented papers at numerous conferences, including the Society of Biblical Literature, Evangelical Theological Society, and the National Association of Baptist Professors of Religion. In addition, Dr. Chambers was a planning team member of the Young Scholars in the Baptist Academy, a faculty development seminar that meets each year at Oxford University since its inception in 2004 through this past summer.
He helped found MBU’s faith and learning journal Intégrité and currently serves on its advisory board. He also currently serves as a Peer Reviewer for the Higher Learning Commission.
The University will commence a search for its next vice president of student development beginning in early 2019.