Dr. James L. Edwards is President of Anderson University, Anderson, Indiana. The fourth person to hold this position in more than ninety years of history of the institution, he assumed leadership on July 1, 1990. Anderson University is a small, comprehensive university founded by the Church of God. As president, he leads a Christian university whose enrollment is around 2,500 students with more than 60 undergraduate majors and graduate programs in business, music, nursing, and theology. The university has an extensive adult education program through the Department of Adult Studies. In his role as President, he also presides over the Anderson University School of Theology, a graduate program for the training of ministers, offering master's and doctoral degrees.
President Edwards grew up in a minister's home, graduated from Fairmont High School in Kettering, Ohio, and completed bachelor's and master's degrees from Anderson University and the Anderson University School of Theology. He took his Doctor of Philosophy degree in Educational Policy and Leadership at Ohio State University, awarded in 1987. His dissertation was titled "Connections: Things That Matter to Teachers in Small Colleges." While completing his doctoral studies, he received the Earl W. Anderson Award for Research in Higher Education from Ohio State’s College of Education.
Dr. Edwards has extensive involvement in the arena of higher education in Indiana and nationally, and is a busy community leader. He has served on the Board of Directors of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities. He has also served as a director and officer of the board of the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities, as chair of the Independent Colleges of Indiana, and as a member of the Steering Committee of the Indiana Leadership Prayer Breakfast. He holds board membership on the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Association and served as chair of Indiana Campus Compact. Dr. Edwards serves on the board of directors of the Madison County Community Foundation and the Corporation for Economic Development of Madison County, and served on the board of directors of First Merchants Bank of Central Indiana. He is a member of the Rotary Club of Anderson where he was honored with the 2003 Community Image Award. He has served on the Ministries Council of the Church of God, the board of directors of St. Vincent Anderson Regional Hospital, Citizens Banking Company and the United Way.
Prior to his election as president of Anderson University, Dr. Edwards was president and chief executive officer for Warner Press, publishing house for the Church of God. In this assignment, he directed the work of the largest religious publisher in Indiana.
An ordained minister, Dr. Edwards has served the church for more than thirty years in a variety of assignments. Prior to national executive service, he was senior pastor of the Meadow Park Church of God in Columbus, Ohio. Earlier pastorates were in Indiana and Michigan.
Two positions were held by Dr. Edwards at Anderson University covering a span of seven years. From 1966 to 1970 he was Director of Student Recruitment. After pastoring in Grand Rapids, Michigan, he returned to the campus to direct Church and Alumni Relations, serving from 1972 to 1975.
Dr. Edwards has authored a number of articles which have appeared in various publications. He has been a consultant in the church's organizational life at all levels, and is often called upon to address conferences, conventions, and community and church gatherings across the nation. His travels have taken him to Africa, Europe, and Asia.
Dr. Edwards is married to the former Deanna Monteith. They have three grown children and six grandchildren.