New North Central President Scott Hagan

North Central University names Scott Hagan as seventh president

Feb. 12, 2017 (Minneapolis) — The North Central University (NCU) Board of Regents announced today that Scott Hagan has been selected to serve as the institution’s seventh president, effective June 1. Hagan will fill the president’s role following the retirement of Gordon Anderson, who served as NCU’s president for the past 22 years.

The board’s selection of Hagan, who is currently senior pastor of Real Life Church in Sacramento, Calif., comes after a year-long, nationwide search. Hagan was confirmed unanimously by the board on the recommendation of a Presidential Search Committee (PSC) which included representation from faculty, staff, administrators, students, alumni, and the board. The PSC was assisted by CarterBaldwin Executive Search of Atlanta, Ga., specialists in higher education search.

PSC co-chair Larry Griswold noted the committee was pleased with the high quality of candidates available to NCU. Throughout the process Griswold expressed confidence that the search to “discover the person God has already chosen” would bring a highly qualified president to NCU, and now affirms this was the outcome.

Guiding the PSC was a presidential profile—developed with input from all university constituencies—that articulated the skills, attributes, and experience being sought for NCU’s next president. According to Ron Bontrager, chair of the NCU Board of Regents and PSC co-chair, as candidates were vetted against this profile, Hagan emerged in multiple rounds and the committee was consistently impressed by his track record as a leader and visionary. “Our process had led us to extremely strong candidates,” Bontrager said. “Then as we began to deliberate and share, it was an amazing moment; it became very apparent to everyone in the room that Scott Hagan was our candidate.”

Experience and education

As Hagan relocates to Minnesota later this spring, he will conclude 11 years of service at Real Life Church, a multi-campus church founded by Hagan and his wife, Karen, that includes two PreK–12 Christian schools and an operational budget of $3.2 million. His prior pastoral roles include senior pastor at Grand Rapids First (Grand Rapids, Michigan), founding pastor of Harvest Church (Elk Grove, California), and associate pastor at Bethel Church (San Jose, California) under the leadership of Charles Crabtree.

Hagan holds a master’s degree from Azusa Pacific University (California) and will complete his Ph.D. in Leadership Studies from Gonzaga University (Washington) in the coming year.

With a long-term professional emphasis on leadership, Hagan is a regular contributor to Charisma Magazine and Enrichment Journal. His leadership blog,, has a wide reach and his leadership-focused Facebook page has 100,000+ followers. He is a sought-after speaker at conferences throughout the nation and world.

Hagan has served as adjunct faculty at Assemblies of God Theological Seminary (Springfield, Missouri), Epic Bible College and Capital Bible College in California, and North Central University.

Additionally, he’s served on the Advisory Board for the Master’s Degree in Leadership at William Jessup University (Sacramento, California) and for two years served on the President’s Advisory Council at NCU under Anderson. Hagan also served as the Moen Chair for Pentecostal Preaching at NCU for 2003–04.

Prepared for a new path

“For the past five years I have been preparing professionally and personally for an executive and visionary role in higher education,” Hagan said. “When it comes to Assemblies of God Higher Education, North Central University is one of our most sacred assets. Personally, I’ve always viewed NCU as the gold standard when it comes to Spirit and scholarship.”

Current President Anderson has endorsed the board’s choice with confidence. “I am very pleased that Scott Hagan has been elected to serve as the next president of North Central University. Scott possesses the spiritual gifts of leadership that God bestows upon those He has chosen to lead in the work of building the Kingdom of God. He is a Kingdom builder and spiritual leader who will lead NCU into a new and prosperous future. He has my complete support and sincere best wishes!”

Hagan and his wife, Karen, who is also an ordained Assemblies of God minister, have four grown children and two grandchildren. Bontrager believes Karen is a valuable partner for Scott and will be a positive role model for NCU students, as well. “What a privilege to have Scott and Karen Hagan lead NCU into a new season,” Bontrager said. “They are unique leaders who will bring powerful vision and influence. Their passion for God and people is contagious.”

Hagan will begin officially on June 1. Information about a formal inauguration and celebration will be released at a later date. More information about Hagan is available on our Presidential Search page and on his website. He can also be found on social media:

For more information, visit our presidential search page

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