Dr. Ryan Neal, Assistant Provost and Professor of Christian Studies at Anderson University, was named the university's new Provost, school officials announced.
Dr. Neal assumes his new responsibilities on June 1 with the retirement of current Provost Dr. Danny Parker. Dr. Parker will remain on the university's senior leadership team while he serves as the school's first W.B. Johnson Distinguished Professor of History and Political Science.
"Dr. Neal has served Anderson University admirably and honorably for more than 13 years, and he's proven to be a transformational leader as we seek to fulfill our commitment as a comprehensive university known for academic rigor and sustained innovation," said AU President Dr. Evans P. Whitaker. "Dr. Neal has played a large role in elevating Anderson as a university of distinction, and I'm excited to work with him as he leads our faculty and academic administration in the years to come."
Dr. Neal came to AU as Professor of Christian Studies in 2005, where he has been Assistant Provost since 2016. A graduate of Texas Tech University, Dr. Neal earned a Master of Divinity from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas and a Master of Theology from the University of Edinburgh in Scotland, where he lived from 2000 until 2004 while completing his PhD studies.
Dr. Neal's teaching and research focus on the relationship between biblical interpretation and theology. His PhD research focused on systematic theology, specifically questions raised in contemporary German theology. He is the author of a book on the theology of Jürgen Moltmann, and has published a variety of essays, articles, and chapters on theological topics.
Dr. Neal has presented at several academic venues in England, Scotland, New Zealand, and the United States, including a conference at the University of Notre Dame.
While at AU, Dr. Neal led the Qualitative Enhancement Program (QEP) in development of a new career-readiness initiative, known as AU PRO, part of the school's 10-year reaffirmation by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACSCOC.) He directed AU's Honors Program for five years; served as chair of the Faculty and chaired the Faculty Status Committee; chaired the Undergraduate Department in the College of Christian Studies for five years; served on the task forces that created the AU Abroad and Mobile Learning Initiative programs; and was recognized as the Michael Boles "Excellence in Teaching" and "Second Mile" award winner in 2014 and 2009, respectively.
"It is truly an honor to continue serving Anderson University as its next provost," Dr. Neal said. "AU has a rich tradition and a promising future, and I'm eager to help lead our university's academic programs into being a world-class institution of higher learning that provides an education that is grounded in the liberal arts, while seeking to be innovative and entrepreneurial for our students."
A church elder at Capstone Community Church in Anderson, South Carolina, Dr. Neal is married with four children.