Michael Lindsay
D. Michael Lindsay. (Photo Credit: Mark Spooner/Gordon College)

Taylor University Announces D. Michael Lindsay as New President

By Emily Miller

Taylor University has announced D. Michael Lindsay, outgoing president of Gordon College, will become the next president of the Christian liberal arts school in Upland, Indiana.

“Taylor is one of the world’s foremost Christian institutions, and I thank God for the wisdom, strength and faithfulness that has characterized the School’s leadership for decades,” Lindsay said in a written statement released today.

“We are humbled to be called by God and honored by the Board’s selection to serve the University, advance its distinctive mission in providing excellent, Christ-centered higher education, and strengthen its promising prospects for future growth and development.” 

The previous president, Paul Lowell Haines, resigned from Taylor in August 2019, not long after the nondenominational university hosted then-Vice President Mike Pence as commencement speaker. The decision had sparked controversy on campus, including competing petitions opposing and supporting the vice president’s visit and a vote by faculty to express dissent.

Haines did not give a reason for his resignation, and Taylor’s board of trustees said at the time his departure was neither solicited nor encouraged by the board.

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Taylor University campus on April 16, 2019, in Upland, Ind. RNS photo by Emily McFarlan Miller

Taylor University campus on April 16, 2019, in Upland, Indiana. RNS photo by Emily McFarlan Miller

Manuel Rosado, vice chair of the board and co-chair of its presidential search committee, said in Tuesday’s statement the committee had surveyed the Taylor community before beginning its search for a new president. It was looking for a president who could “articulate a compelling vision for Taylor consistent with its mission,” Rosado said.

And board Chair Chris Goeglein, who co-chaired the committee with Rosado, praised Lindsay’s “innovation and creative adaptation.”

“A respected Christian leader, Dr. Lindsay has a broad understanding of the complexities facing Christian higher education. His spiritual and intellectual development in cultivating and discipling the next generation of servant leaders is truly a calling,” Goeglein said.

Lindsay previously announced his plans to step down at Gordon College in Massachusetts in June, according to the statement.

Before his current position, he was a member of the sociology faculty at Rice University. His book “Faith in the Halls of Power” was nominated for the nonfiction Pulitzer Prize in 2007.

He earned his doctorate in sociology from Princeton University and graduate theological degrees from Wycliffe Hall at Oxford University and Princeton Theological Seminary.

Previous Taylor board Chair Paige Comstock Cunningham has served as interim president of the university since Haines’ departure.

Emily McFarlan Miller is a national reporter for Religion News Service

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9 thoughts on “Taylor University Announces D. Michael Lindsay as New President”

  1. “Taylor is one of the world’s foremost Christian institutions …”

    Really? The first time I heard of it was Monday, when Wartburg Watch reported that a professor had been fired due to child porn possession, with comments that he was a terrible professor to start with.

  2. With all due respect Cynthia, if the only time you’ve heard of Taylor University was when you read the “Wartburg Watch”, then you are not that familiar with Christian higher ed. Taylor had a terrible professor in its ranks, yes. But the fact that you would sum Taylor’s reputation on that incident speaks more to your ability to slander the Taylor community than it does to the good work Taylor has done for, like, 165 years.

    1. My point was that if it is one of “the world’s foremost Christ institutions,” a general reader might have been aware of its existence.

      1. Cynthia, your point is well taken, largely because “Christian institutions’ in this context is a subset: “evangelical protestant’ educations, and explicitly does not include Catholic institutions, thus omitting Notre Dame, Georgetown, Boston College, Villanova, Mount Saint Mary’s, and the like. That said, the best of the CCCU schools are academically honest and rigorous – without the party atmosphere.

  3. I’m worried that Taylor might be slipping. The firing of a popular conservative teacher because of something he wrote was horrible. Now we have a sociology major as the next President of Taylor. I was a sociology major at Wheaton College over 50 years ago, and back then the profs were complaining about systemic racism. What can we expect from this sociology major? I’m worried.

    1. I think this disparagement is unwarranted. BA in English Phi Beta Kappa, M Div from Princeton with additional theological study at Oxford, PhD in Sociology – not a ‘major’ – from Princeton. He is demonstrably a scholar and metier is leadership and he has authored several published essays and a book on the subject

    2. I visited Taylor with my daughter a couple of years ago. The student giving us the campus tour, when we got to a certain point, explained that it was customary for the tour guides to stop and pray for the visitors, unless we chose not to, and I liked that. However, as a friend of mine later pointed out, Taylor has no higher authority than its board of trustees, not being tied to any denomination, which might counteract the effects of academic vicissitudes.

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