Southern Wesleyan University announces Andrew Beckwith as Chief of Staff as of July 1, 2023

Andrew Beckwith and Dr. William Barker, President of SWU

CENTRAL, S.C.—Southern Wesleyan University has named Andrew Beckwith as the University’s first Chief of Staff and Executive Vice President, to begin in July 2023.

“We’re excited to have Andrew join us at SWU” says Dr. Brian Swords, Vice President for Enrollment Management and Marketing. “His previous experience working closely with Christian organizations on the national level will be a true asset to SWU as we begin to embark on the nationwide marketing of the university.”

“Andrew Beckwith comes to us as a seasoned leader with a proven track record of success,” says Dr. William D. Barker, President. “He brings a diverse set of skills and experiences to the SWU community, and we are fortunate to add him to our team. As an officer with the US Marine Corps and a lawyer for the Department of Homeland Security, he effectively led complex organizational systems and managed teams under pressure. In his time with the Massachusetts Family Institute, he led record growth and revenue increases. This demonstrates his financial acumen and his ability to advance the mission with a broad range of constituents. However, what is most impressive to me about Andrew is his sterling integrity, the depth of his Faith in Christ, and the godly family he and his wife, Karen, are raising. For all of these reasons and more, Andrew Beckwith has shown he is ideally experienced – in character and competence – to serve as our Chief of Staff at Southern Wesleyan University. We look forward to welcoming Andrew and his family to our community this summer.”

A leading advocate for religious liberty and a strong believer in Christian education, Beckwith is currently serving as the president of Massachusetts Family Institute (MFI) in Wakefield, MA. MFI is a nationally-connected research, education, and advocacy nonprofit that is dedicated to strengthening the family and is the local associate for Focus on the Family, Family Research Council, and Alliance Defending Freedom. Under his transformative leadership over the past decade, the organization has doubled in size of staff, fundraising, and annual revenues.

Beckwith received his Bachelor of Arts from Gordon College in International Affairs and Foreign Languages. He received a Juris Doctor from the University of Minnesota Law School and represented the U.S. Department of Homeland Security practicing immigration law for five years.

Over a twenty-year career in the United States Marine Corps, Beckwith served as trial counsel and judge advocate attaining the rank of lieutenant colonel. Stationed both stateside and in Okinawa, Japan, Beckwith advised on high-profile cases, prosecuted jury trials, and provided counsel on a variety of legal matters.

Combating growing cultural pressures, Beckwith has resolutely lead Massachusetts Family Institute to ever greater strength and efficacy in the realm of policy and church and parental rights advocacy. A gifted communicator with a broad reach, Beckwith regularly speaks at conferences, churches, and academic seminars and has appeared on many national and local news outlets promoting biblical values. Constructively providing an even broader scope of constituents with critical resources, Beckwith has developed Christian worldview curriculum, researched and prepared statewide reports, and edited legal guides in cooperation with Alliance Defending Freedom.

Beckwith and his wife, Karen, have four children: Jacob (19), Gabriel (18), Abigail (13) and Anna (7). They will join the Southern Wesleyan University community in July 2023.

Southern Wesleyan University is a Christ-centered, student-focused, faith-filled community that offers inventive learning experiences. The university endeavors to prepare its students to be dedicated scholars and servant-leaders who impact the world for Christ. For details about degree programs, go online to

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