President-elect Hagan: A unanimous decision 

Home News President-elect Hagan: A unanimous decision 
President-elect Hagan: A unanimous decision 

Updated Mar. 22, 2017 at 8:04 p.m.

Photo by Josiah Mayo. Scott and Karen Hagan speak to the North Central student body during the February 14 chapel service.

President-elect Scott Hagan to bring a new level of leadership

North Central named Scott Hagan its seventh university president in 80 years on Feb. 12. Hagan will begin June 1, 2017 and will succeed President Gordon Anderson, who has been the university president for 22 years

Larry Griswold and Pastor Ron Bontrager, co-chairs of the presidential search committee introduced Hagan and Karen, his wife, to the North Central community in chapel Feb. 14.

“One of the things that we were looking for was somebody who valued the DNA of North Central University,” Bontrager said in chapel. “That’s the heart and passion that Scott and Karen bring to this institution.”

The presidential search committee (PSC) came to a unanimous decision to name Hagan as president-elect thus completing a yearlong search for the new president.

Scott and Karen Hagan are currently senior pastors at Real Life Church in Sacramento, California, a highly successful multi-campus church that they founded 11 years ago. Scott Hagan is a sought-after speaker throughout the United States and the world, according to North Central’s website.

The PSC created a presidential profile with the help of Carter Baldwin Executive Search Services, a firm based in Atlanta, Georgia that is familiar with faith-based institutions and helps educational organizations find candidates to fill a position. Price Harding, a partner from Carter Baldwin Executive Search Services, held multiple meetings with the search committee and guided the search. The committee desired to find a candidate with strong qualities of leadership and vision.

Meetings between the search committee and members of Carter Baldwin were held beginning March 2016. Harding outlined how the search will take place and laid out a schedule for the committee to follow.

According to Bill Tibbetts, director and chair of North Central’s school of business, initially 125 phone calls to prospects were made in order to narrow down candidates that were selected. The committee was eventually mailed a big binder from Carter Baldwin that detailed 25 candidates.

The “stop light” approach was used to narrow down to the four top candidates. The colors red, yellow and green were used in a voting process that determined whether or not to continue pursuing a particular candidate. Red meant ‘no,’ yellow meant ‘yes, but there are more questions’ and green meant ‘yes, continue to pursue.’

The top four candidates were interviewed face-to-face. When the final voting session proceeded, every vote was cast for Hagan and the committee immediately erupted in a time of prayer that fostered an intense spiritual experience, according to Tibbetts.

“It was next level to me,” Tibbetts said. “We knew the levity of what was about to happen.”

Every member of the committee was deeply honored to be a key part of such an important process that would determine the future of North Central. The baton of leadership will be passed from President Anderson to President-elect Hagan with spiritual fervor.

“The process was so professional, but it was so spiritual,” Hagan said in chapel. “It was prophetic, it was pragmatic. It was all of that.”

Hagan developed a relationship with Anderson and North Central when Hagan’s daughter attended North Central in the early 2000s. He described in chapel that he had never met a man like Anderson, and that many of his leadership practices were molded by him.

“He was the most potent blend of scholarship and spirit I had ever seen,” Hagan said. “Somebody that could be that smart and somebody that could lay hands on people and cast out a demon or see them filled with the Holy Spirit, I had never seen that rare blend in my life.”

Hagan has his own blog website,, that emphasizes the value of leadership. A Facebook page that features leadership-based posts goes along with the website, having over 100,000 likes. Hagan strongly believes in the future and legacy of North Central.

“This is one of the most influential magnets and incubators of leadership and life and kingdom that is in our nation,” Hagan said.