Office of the president

John S. Pistole ’78 became Anderson University’s fifth president in the Spring of 2015. He was preceded by Dr. James L. Edwards, Dr. Robert A. Nicholson, Dr. Robert H. Reardon, and Dr. John A. Morrison.

John Pistole at a podium

John S. Pistole earned his bachelor’s degree from Anderson University in 1978. He went on to earn a juris doctorate from Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law before going into practice for two years. Pistole began a career with the FBI in 1983 before he rose through the ranks and was appointed deputy director in 2004. In March 2006, the FBI honored Pistole with the 2005 Presidential Rank of Distinguished Executive. President Obama nominated Pistole as Administrator of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) in the spring of 2010 and he was confirmed unanimously by the U.S. Senate on June 25. At 4.5 years, he remains one of the longest-serving Administrator in TSA’s history.

In his role as Administrator of the TSA, Pistole led a 60,000-strong workforce, the security operations of more than 450 airports throughout the United States, the Federal Air Marshal Service, and shared security for highways, railroads, ports, mass transit systems and pipelines. Under his leadership, the TSA worked to transform as a risk-based, intelligence-driven counterterrorism agency dedicated to protecting the nation’s transportation systems.

Prior to his leadership with the TSA, Pistole served as a 26-year veteran of the FBI with extensive national security and counterterrorism experience. During this time, he was an instructor in Organized Crime matters at the FBI Academy. In 1994, Pistole became a field supervisor of a White-Collar Crime and Civil Rights Squad in Indianapolis, where he created a Health Care Fraud Task Force and a Public Corruption Task Force. He also developed curricula and provided instruction at the International Law Enforcement Academy in Budapest, Hungary.

After the attacks of September 11, 2001, Pistole was placed in charge of the FBI’s counterterrorism program, eventually becoming the FBI’s Executive Assistant Director for national security. In 2004, Pistole was named Deputy Director for the FBI. Since the World Trade Center and Pentagon attacks, Pistole contributed to the formation of terrorism policies during both the Bush and Obama administrations.

Pistole’s family has deep connections within Anderson University. His father, the late Dr. Hollis Pistole, graduated from Anderson University in 1945. He taught applied theology in the Anderson University School of Theology for 25 years, retiring in 1984. After his retirement, Dr. Pistole continued to serve as a chaplain in residence at the seminary. Pistole’s mother, the late Elizabeth (Smith) Pistole, was a 1943 graduate of Anderson University and taught at Anderson High School for many years.

Pistole and his wife, Kathy Harp, also a ’78 AU grad, have two adult daughters.

His parents’ work in education had a profound influence over Pistole and his siblings. Cindy (Pistole) Crouse BA ’68 began teaching at Anderson University in 1987 in the English Department and retired in 2011 as assistant professor of English. Carole (Pistole) Greenwalt BA ’72 is retired from Anderson Community School Corporation and has served as an adjunct professor at AU. Dr. David Hollis Pistole BA ’77 recently retired as a professor of biology at the Indiana University of Pennsylvania.

In October of 2004, Pistole was recognized as one of several outstanding alumni of institutions within the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU). The CCCU annually recognized alumni of member schools who have made an impact in society. He is a recipient of the 2005 Presidential Rank Award for Distinguished Executive. In 2006, Anderson University honored Pistole with the Honorary Doctor of Laws degree. In March 2006, the FBI honored Pistole with the 2005 Presidential Rank of Distinguished Executive. In 2007, Pistole received the Edward H. Levi Award for Outstanding Professionalism and Exemplary Integrity.

John S. Pistole became president of Anderson University in Spring of 2015.

My Real Life Transformed with President Pistole

“These are unwavering values for me and hopefully for those students we lead. I believe that there are five main pillars that should be lived throughout our lifetime: integrity, excellence, servant leadership, responsibility, and generosity.”
John Pistole headshot
John S. Pistole


Campus Leadership

I accepted Jesus Christ as my personal Savior in 1968 when I was 12 years old following a Pastor’s Class at Park Place Church of God, and was baptized shortly thereafter. Although I was blessed beyond measure to be born to and raised by Hollis and Elizabeth Pistole, I rebelled against them and their beliefs during my teenage years until I was 17 and a senior at Anderson High School. On Sept. 12, 1973, I was in a serious car accident and suffered a broken neck. As a result of God’s miraculous provision, I survived the accident and believe God gave me a second chance in life, physically and spiritually. Since that time, I have sought God’s will in my life and have been on a journey of deepening spiritual maturity and obedience. I have been blessed to be married to Kathy Harp for nearly 35 years, having met as freshmen in Marie Strong’s Old Testament class in the Fall of 1974. (It took me five years to convince her to marry me.) We’ve been blessed with two daughters, Lauren, now married and living in South Korea, and Jenn, in school in Richmond, Va.

I see my work in public service for more than 30 years as “ministry in daily life,” where I have been called to be the hands and feet of Christ to all I meet, knowing I may be the only Christ they may meet. There are two prayers which I have found most helpful in my daily walk with Christ. They are the Renovare Covenant prayer which begins, “In utter dependence upon Jesus Christ as my Ever living Savior, Teacher, Lord and Friend, I will seek continual renewal through Spiritual Exercises, Spiritual Gifts and Acts of Service….” The second prayer is “A Covenant Prayer in the Wesleyan Tradition,” attributed to John Wesley, which begins, “I am no longer mine own, but thine, put me to what thou wilt….”

Richard Foster and Dallas Willard have been influential writers in my faith walk, with Foster’s Celebration of Discipline, one of my favorites. I especially like the way he sets the tone for the book with this opening line: “Superficiality is the curse of our age.” I have had a sense of God’s calling in my life for years now, often seeing God’s leading most clearly in hindsight. I see my “job” as a disciple of Jesus Christ to discern His guidance daily, and then be obedient in following that guidance right away.

I pray for other leaders and myself the “DEWS” prayer, which stands for Discernment, Encouragement, Wisdom and Strength, knowing I need each aspect to lead properly. I identify with the words of the contemporary Christian song, “In Christ Alone,” which says, “Until He returns or calls me home, here in the power of Christ I stand.”


Name Hometown
Dr. Priscilla A. Archangel Northville, MI
Mr. Chancellor M. Benbow Indianapolis, IN
Mr. Robert C. Byers Edmond, OK
Dr. Charles R. Carroll Nashville, TN
Mr. Steven R. Davis Pendleton, IN
Rev. Deidre D. Franklin Edmond, OK
Rev. Dr. Martin D. Grubbs Edmond, OK
Ms. Donna A. Harman, J.D. Reston, VA
Ms. Mary E. Jamerson Anderson, IN
Ms. Kimberly Leach Johnson, J.D. Naples, FL
Rev. Dr. Mark S. Krenz Columbus, OH
Rev. Dr. Charles J. Myricks, Jr. Akron, OH
Mr. James W. Ostrognai Zionsville, IN
Dr. Guy F. Perry, Jr. Indianapolis, IN
Mr. John S. Pistole, J.D. Anderson, IN
Rev. Dr. Steve L. Rennick Colorado Springs, CO
Mr. Jay B. Ricker (Vice Chair) Pendleton, IN
Rev. Nabil F. Safi Fishers, IN
Mr. Kyle M. Schroeder Indianapolis, IN
Rev. Jessica Sellers Uitvlugt Annandale, VA
Dr. Thomas J. Snyder Anderson, IN
Rev. Dr. Douglas L. Talley (Chair) Fishers, IN
Rev. Erin M. Taylor Alma, MI
Dr. Beth S. Tharp Anderson, IN


Trustee Emeriti


Name Hometown
Ms. Patricia Seasor Bailey, J.D. Carmel, IN
Mr. Charles T. Bate Carmel, IN
Rev. Thomas W. Bates Palm Harbor, FL
Mr. Dennis D. Carroll, J.D. Fortville, IN
Rev. Dr. E. Raymond Chin South Holland, IL
Rev. Dr. James R. Cook Carmel, IN
Dr. David E. Cox Brookville, OH
Rev. Dr. Robert A. Culp Holland, OH
Mr. D. Kyle DeFur Fishers, IN
Dr. Carl D. Erskine Anderson, IN
Rev. Dr. Ronald J. Fowler Akron, OH
Dr. William J. Gaither Alexandria, IN
Dr. Louis E. Gerig Indianapolis, IN
Mr. James W. Giesler Madeira Beach, FL
Dr. Jayne A. Grandison Muncie, IN
Dr. Larry J. Lilly Columbus, OH
Mr. J. Kenneth Lockhart Fishers, IN
Rev. Dr. Kerry B. Robinson Anderson, IN
Dr. Lloyd B. Schnuck Jr. Martinez, GA
Dr. Lois A. Settlemeyer Camas, WA
Dr. Vernon K. Smith Scottsdale, AZ
Dr. Ralph E. Welton, Jr. Clemson, SC