New provost named at Anderson University

Ryan Neal assumes responsibilities June 1

Ryan Neal, assistant provost and professor of Christian studies at Anderson University, is the school’s new provost, AU officials announced May 14.

Neal assumes his new responsibilities on June 1 with the retirement of current provost Danny Parker.

“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 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.”

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, he earned a master of divinity from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and a master of theology from the University of Edinburgh in Scotland, where he lived from 2000 until 2004 while completing his Ph.D. studies.

Neal’s teaching and research focus on the relationship between biblical interpretation and theology. His Ph.D. 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.

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, Neal led the Qualitative Enhancement Program 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. He directed AU’s Honors Program for five years; served as chair of the faculty; 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,” 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.”

An elder at Capstone Community Church in Anderson, Neal is married with four children.

Andrew Beckner is executive director of public relations at Anderson University.