Christ at the Center

University Leadership

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Godly Influence for Good

What makes a Christian university or Christian college distinctively “Christian”? When Christ becomes the center and forefront of its lifestyle, including all university programs, teaching, research, and service activities. When its leadership models and keeps that focus. This is NGU—every day.

Senior Leadership Council

Gene C. Fant, Jr., PhD
Rich Grimm, MDiv
Executive Vice President
Hunter Baker, JD, PhD
Provost and Dean of Faculty
Michael Stowell, MAFM
Senior Vice President, Finance
Year the North Greenville Baptist Association committed to founding a school.
Areas of study—undergraduate, graduate, online.
Special accreditations, beyond our general accreditation with the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

Executive Leadership Council

Gene C. Fant, Jr., PhD
Rich Grimm, MDiv
Executive Vice President
Hunter Baker, JD, PhD
Provost and Dean of Faculty
Michael Stowell, MAFM
Senior Vice President, Finance
Stephen G. Crouse, PhD
Senior Campus Pastor
Mick Daniel, BS
Vice President, Campus Enhancement Services
Tim Huggins, BS
Vice President, Information Technology Services
Jan McDonald, MA
Director, Athletics
Marty O’Gwynn, MA
Vice President, Advancement & University Engagement
Chad Peters, MA
VP, Enrollment and Marketing/Communications
Jill Rayburn, JD
University General Counsel
Rachael Russiaky, BA
Vice President, Student Services
Jared Thomas, PhD
Vice President, Campus Ministry and Student Engagement


As a Christian university, North Greenville University strives to emphasize Jesus Christ above everything else.

We believe that He died as the substitutionary atonement for the forgiveness of our sin, rose again from the dead, and now reigns as the living Lord in heaven while continuing His earthly ministry through the Holy Spirit and the church.

At North Greenville University, we believe that biblical principles cover and apply to every aspect of reality — not just “spiritual” reality — because all truth ultimately comes from God. As you commit yourself to academic excellence and the quest for truth, you’ll naturally grow in your faith as well.

In addition, faculty and staff members at NGU are committed to integrating faith into the classroom and the overall student experience.

We actively encourage NGU students to make connections between their faith and learning personally and participate in hands-on opportunities for growth and service. 

When you graduate from NGU, you will carry with you an understanding of your chosen field of study and an appreciation for how the teachings of the Bible apply in your new profession.

“It is a unique thing to sit in a board meeting and feel more like you are a part of a family gathering or a worship service, but that’s the difference you experience with North Greenville University. Christ makes the difference, and our best days with Him are still ahead of us.”Dr. Travis Agnew ’03
Chair, Board of Trustees, 2020

NGU 2025: Foundations for the Future

North Greenville University’s new strategic plan is comprised of the overarching priorities that will guide and shape the work of the university for the next five years:

  • Reinforce
  • Evaluate
  • Strengthen
  • Expand
  • Review

NGU 2025 reinforces the university’s commitment to its shared mission and core values.

Find the full text below, or read the beautiful digital version of the plan.

Call To Action NGU

Working the Plan

Working this plan, we will evaluate, strengthen, and expand the university’s academic, ministry, and co-curricular programs.

We will strengthen the university’s financial position while developing its physical, technological, and human resources.

We will expand opportunities for the university’s regional, national, and global engagement.

Throughout all these efforts, we will also review, enhance, and strengthen the university’s business operations, policies, and procedures.

Explore Our NGU2025 Plan

A Word from President Fant

Commit your work to the Lord, and your plans will be established.

Proverbs 16:3 (English Standard Version)

One of the distinctives of Christianity is its emphasis on intentionality: God’s love for His creation is intentional and extravagant, and He demonstrates it for us through what we call providence.

We learn in the Scriptures that God plans. He declared to His people in exile, “For I know the plans that I have for you . . . plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope” (Jeremiah 29:11 New American Standard Bible). Ephesians 1, 1 Peter 1, and Revelation 13 all observe that the plan for salvation was prepared “before the foundation of the world.”

In the human realm, we can tap into God’s providence by seeking His will and His wisdom to be faithful stewards of His resources. We are called not just to plan but to plan in accordance with His ways — to seek to be a part of His mission in this world.

North Greenville University seeks to equip transformational leaders for church and society, and God has offered us many opportunities to do so. We are blessed with excellent facilities, wonderful people, and a stunning setting. Our history is replete with stories of how God has provided for us as we have sought to fulfill our mission.

“NGU2025: Foundations for the Future” seeks to pivot the university from this storied history to the future that lies before us, to God’s future for this special place. The plan is strategic, intentionally seeking to align our work with God’s will. Based on input from across the university and finalized by a faculty, staff, and board leaders committee, “NGU2025” represents an audacious plan for the next half-decade. The plan includes goals for academic programs, improvements for the physical plant, markers for operational and financial excellence, and opportunities for future expansion.

As you review the contents of these pages, we hope you will be as excited as we are to ponder what lies ahead for our community. We are prayerful and joyful as we look ahead to the changes that lie before us!

Dr. Gene C. Fant, Jr.
President North Greenville University

  • Reinforce

    1.0 NGU2025 will reinforce the university’s commitment to its shared mission and core values.

    1.1 All university programs and activities will reflect and support the university’s mission.

    1.1.1 We will assess the current general education requirements for undergraduate students and move toward adopting a liberal arts core curriculum that reinforces NGU’s mission and core values.

    1.1.2 We will develop themes and unified language for all fundraising activities, which will tie in with NGU’s mission and core values.

    1.1.3 We will operate advancement services (i.e. receipts, donor stewardship, endowment reporting) to reflect NGU’s mission and core values.

    1.1.4 We will continue to employ administration, faculty and staff who demonstrate personal commitment to NGU’s mission and core values.

    1.1.5 We will develop and implement an intentional spiritual formation strategy that involves the entire university family, including faculty, staff, administration and students.

    1.1.6 We will increase biblical literacy across the NGU community.

    1.1.7 We will engage in targeted recruitment efforts designed to identify prospective students who are seeking to enroll at a university with NGU’s mission and core values.

    1.1.8 We will facilitate the callings of NGU personnel by building and providing technological platforms that enable individuals to fulfill those callings.

    1.1.9 We will promote the development of departmental mission statements that are supportive of and tied in with the university’s mission statement.

    1.1.10 We will develop creative and innovative ways to engage students with the gospel message.

    1.1.12 We will develop local, national and international partnerships that will provide opportunities for ministry-related internships.

    1.2 The core values will be demonstrated and promulgated throughout all aspects of the university.

    1.2.1 We will prominently display core values throughout campus.

    1.2.2 We will develop targeted communication and marketing campaigns that convey the meaning and purpose behind each core value.

    1.2.3 We will consistently highlight the core values through chapel programming.

    1.2.4 We will feature core values in residence hall programming and display them in designated locations on campus.

    1.2.5 We will display the university’s core values at all athletic venues, as well as on the NGU Athletics website, in an appealing and distinctive manner.

    1.2.6 We will design an academic leadership program for faculty and academic support staff in order to develop internal leaders who are committed to NGU’s mission and core values.

    1.3 University engagement with partners, donors, support networks and other external entities will be mission-appropriate.

    1.3.1 We will tie Alumni Engagement promotions and marketing in with NGU’s mission and core values.

    1.3.2 We will design events for alumni and friends of the university that reflect and support NGU’s mission and core values.

    1.3.3 We will strive to strengthen the university’s partnering relationship with local churches, community groups and businesses.

    1.3.4 We will offer pastoral care and support to external constituencies as needed.

    1.3.5 We will strengthen partnerships with denominational entities through creative programming and service opportunities.

    1.4 The mission statement and core values will be regularly discussed and considered by the university community.

    1.4.1 We will draft position papers in our major academic areas that articulate how to apply a biblical worldview to the various academic disciplines and professions for the sake of authentic human flourishing.

    1.4.2 We will address spiritual formation strategies for each area on campus.

    1.4.3 We will expand university-wide opportunities to strengthen a vibrant Christ-centered environment.

    1.4.4 We will develop select campus events around the mission statement and core values.

  • Evaluate

    2.0 NGU2025 will evaluate, strengthen and expand the university’s academic, ministry and co-curricular programs.

    2.1 A comprehensive review of all academic programs will be undertaken, with results addressed, resourced and implemented as determined.

    2.1.1 We will launch a College of Allied Health Professions, offering appropriate programs designed to prepare students for graduate school and careers in healthcare services, especially in underserved areas.

    2.1.2 We will revise and expand our Honors Program to make it a significant academic hub on campus, attracting exceptional students and modeling NGU’s core values.

    2.1.3 We will continue to expand our offerings of certificate programs, professional development seminars and other equipping opportunities to working adults in Upstate South Carolina.

    2.1.4 We will launch new academic programs that prioritize net revenue for the university, while also refining our procedures for tracking income and expenses related to existing programs.

    2.1.5 We will cultivate relationships with donors and alumni to provide broad-based support for academic programs, focusing on the creation of endowed academic positions.

    2.1.6 We will recognize and celebrate achievements of students, faculty and staff.

    2.1.7 We will foster collaboration with other entities in order to strengthen institutional partnerships by creating degree-specific articulation plans that encourage both incoming transfer students and graduate-level enrollment.

    2.1.8 We will coordinate with academic deans and department chairs to involve faculty in the recruiting process.

    2.1.9 We will develop digital and print media materials, marketing videos, digital and outdoor advertisements, radio and TV commercials and promotional items that attract students to the various colleges and programs at all levels.

    2.1.10 We will provide and support an appropriately resourced academic classroom experience, including access to appropriate technologies.

    2.1.11 We will develop local, national and international partnerships that will provide opportunities for ministry-related internships.

    2.1.12 We will provide expanded opportunities for internships and applied learning experiences across the curriculum.

    2.2 A comprehensive review of all ministry-related programs will be undertaken, with results resourced and implemented as determined.

    2.2.1 We will cultivate relationships with donors and alumni to provide broad-based support for ministry-related programs.

    2.2.2 We will improve campus-wide attendance and participation in FCA and other ministry programs.

    2.2.3 We will offer opportunities during chapel for faculty and staff to build community and to encourage each other’s spiritual development.

    2.3 A comprehensive review of all co-curricular programs will be undertaken, with results resourced and implemented as determined.

    2.3.1 We will cultivate relationships with donors and alumni to provide broad-based support for co-curricular programs.

    2.3.2 We will provide consistent funding strategies and approaches for co-curricular programs, seeking support through development of and adherence to policies for centralized fundraising.

    2.3.3 We will promote opportunities for each athletic team to engage in community outreach activities.

    2.3.4 We will continue monitoring and evaluating team GPAs, graduation and academic success rates, setting measurable standards so as to encourage and reward improvements.

    2.3.5 We will continue to communicate and work with the Center for Student Success to provide resources such as tutors, required study halls and other academic program support.

    2.3.6 We will launch strategic leadership development initiatives.

    2.3.7 We will assess quality and effectiveness of student support services.

    2.4 All university programs and activities will maintain, or be brought into, full compliance with standards and expectations of accreditors and external agencies.

    2.4.1 We will successfully complete our decennial Southern Association of Colleges and Schools’ Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) reaffirmation.

    2.4.2 We will pursue accreditation with the International Accreditation Council for Business Education (IACBE) for our College of Business & Entrepreneurship (COBE).

    2.4.3 We will educate campus personnel on coordination with the Advancement Office on fundraising policies, gift depositing and receipting.

    2.4.4 We will comply with applicable standards and regulations associated with program specific accreditors and associations, including the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA) and National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM).

    2.4.5 We will seek accreditation from the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD).

  • Strengthen

    3.0 NGU2025 will strengthen the university’s financial position while developing its physical, technological and human resources.

    3.1 A comprehensive campus master plan will be developed, resourced and initiated.

    3.1.1 We will select a partner to assist with the development and implementation of a campus master plan.

    3.1.2 We will evaluate the quality and effectiveness of residential housing, with consideration of current student trends and successful industry models.

    3.1.3 We will continue evaluating and, when necessary, planning for the replacement of the university’s maintenance equipment to ensure safe and efficient operation.

    3.1.3 We will plan for the expansion, renovation and improvement of campus infrastructure necessary to support current and future academic programs.

    3.2 A comprehensive fundraising program will continue to be developed and resourced in support of “NGU2025.”

    3.2.1 We will prepare for and launch a comprehensive capital campaign.

    3.2.2 We will expand support for the annual fund (also called the Difference Maker Fund), raising the alumni giving percentage by five percent from 2019 to 2020 and then by three percent per year for subsequent years.

    3.2.3 We will create standard proposal documentation to utilize for capital and major gift funding projects.

    3.2.4 We will continue to maintain existing relationships and build new ones with donors and businesses.

    3.2.5 We will continue to provide resources that assist our athletic teams in their success on the field, also benchmarking selected programs, in order to help promote the university.

    3.2.6 We will expand grant-writing efforts designed to enhance scholarship support, operational priorities, faculty development and other emphases as needed.

    3.2.7 We will continue to provide professional development opportunities designed to promote the continued and increased success of our graduates.

    3.3 Essential technology-related services and functions will be evaluated, adjusted and enhanced as needed.

    3.3.1 We will offer spiritual encouragement to both internal and external constituents through the NGU website and social media.

    3.3.2 We will develop extensive dashboard reports designed to assist with program evaluation, strengthening and expansion.

    3.3.3 We will leverage technology to effectively share NGU information internally and externally

    3.3.4 We will collaborate with all colleges and operational offices at NGU to communicate vital information in a clear and concise manner on the website.

    3.3.5 We will continue with the ongoing development of the Jenzabar Student Information System platform.

    3.3.6 We will continue to establish IT standards and implement industry best practices.

    3.3.7 We will develop a proactive technology infrastructure maintenance strategy to provide for a current technology platform into the future (i.e. campus Wi-Fi, desktops, etc.).

    3.3.8 We will identify and mitigate risks to the university in relation to information technology

    3.3.9 We will improve the payment portal experience, moving toward one central system.

    3.4 Human resource development support services will be evaluated, resourced and enhanced as needed.

    3.4.1 We will launch a Center for Faculty Excellence to facilitate faculty development in four areas: teaching, scholarship, the integration of faith and learning and service to the campus, church, community and culture.

    3.4.2 We will refine the job description of academic deans so that they take more responsibility for partnering with the Office of Advancement and University Engagement in fundraising and outreach initiatives related to their areas.

    3.4.3 We will establish professional development practices that strengthen the skillsets of personnel and increase retention of qualified staff.

    3.4.4 We will offer spiritual formation development training and pastoral care for faculty, staff and administrators.

    3.4.5 We will establish professional development practices that strengthen the skillsets of personnel and increase retention of qualified staff.

    3.4.6 We will expand and improve professional development opportunities for faculty and staff cross-training.

    3.4.7 We will strengthen the onboarding process for all employees.

    3.4.8 We will consider new approaches to administrative assistants and other support roles.

    3.5 Key financial markers will be identified, monitored and achieved as determined appropriate for the health and long-term viability of the university.

    3.5.1 We will evaluate the financial and operational impact of the intercollegiate athletic program in an effort to improve its contribution to the overall financial health of the university.

    3.5.2 We will revise internal reporting to provide meaningful, timely and accurate financial information to senior leadership and trustees.

    3.5.3 We will benchmark faculty and staff compensations, benefits and workloads and seek to match institutional averages with comparable standards in our institutional sector

    3.6 Auxiliary revenue streams will be identified and cultivated.

    3.6.1 We will look to expand the scheduling of guarantee games for Athletics.

    3.6.2 We will develop and implement a comprehensive conference services program.

    3.6.3 We will develop relationships with select churches, increasing opportunities for brand awareness, student enrollment and ministry partnerships.

    3.6.4 We will develop and implement a real estate portfolio assessment process that will guide sales and rentals of donated properties.

    3.7 A comprehensive strategic enrollment plan designed to support the missional, financial and operational goals of the university will be developed, resourced and implemented.

    3.7.1 We will create tailored, comprehensive plans to drive applications that achieve NGU’s enrollment goals.

    3.7.2 We will use national and campus-wide data to make informed decisions that drive recruitment efforts, including conducting surveys of current and former students to determine factors impacting recruitment decisions.

    3.7.3 We will leverage our values and brand to attract and retain undergraduate and graduate students.

    3.7.4 We will exude excellence and quality in all print and electronic materials that are produced for NGU, ensuring an accurate and comprehensive portrayal of the opportunities offered at the university.

    3.7.5 We will partner with select conferences, conventions and meetings that gather large numbers of NGU’s target audience.

  • Expand

    4.0 NGU2025 will expand opportunities for the university’s regional, national and global engagement.

    4.1 Strategic locations for program expansion will be identified, resourced and initiated.

    4.1.1 We will launch an Institute for Global Leadership to equip students across the university to apply their education to various global contexts.

    4.1.2 We will continue to establish strategic academic partnerships with like-minded organizations that help enhance NGU’s academic reputation.

    4.1.3 We will offer alumni and friends events in expanded geographic areas, focusing initially on a triangle of marketing and recruiting opportunities located approximately in the area bounded by Knoxville, TN; Durham, NC; and Charleston, SC, as well as select national locations.

    4.1.4 We will look for opportunities to broaden our professional networks.

    4.1.5 We will expand conversations with all Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) state conventions that do not have a convention-affiliated university.

    4.2 Expanded opportunities for student and alumni engagement will be implemented in key areas, including business, education and ministry.

    4.2.1 We will increase opportunities for athletic teams and individual student-athletes to participate in mission trips.

    4.2.2 We will focus on exposing the university family to local, national and international mission opportunities, as well as equipping them for and involving them in these opportunities.

    4.2.3 We will provide community service opportunities locally and globally.

    4.2.5 We will partner with departments to develop both degree seeking and non-degree seeking online learning platforms.

    4.2.6 We will increase efforts to encourage former student-athletes to reconnect and engage in the work of the university.

    4.3 Marketing and recruiting plans will be supportive of efforts to expand the university’s reach and profile.

    4.3.1 We will create an NGU icon for alumni to use in their social media photos, helping to affirm that NGU alumni are spread across the world.

    4.3.2 We will meet or exceed enrollment targets for student-athletes.

    4.3.3 We will expand NGU Athletics’ social media footprint.

    4.3.4 We will strengthen relationships with key influencers, pipelines and networks for all programs.

    4.3.5 We will promote success stories of faculty, students and alumni through social media, press releases and the website.

    4.3.6 We will expand our reach regionally through targeted recruitment efforts focusing on the triangle bounded by Knoxville, TN; Durham, NC; and Charleston, SC.

    4.3.7 We will improve our brand identity to differentiate NGU in the minds of our target markets.

    4.3.8 We will expand graduate recruitment efforts.

    4.3.9 We will improve communication and cooperation between Athletics and Admissions.

    4.4 The university will be engaged in efforts to impact the future of Christian higher education in key sectors.

    4.4.1 We will host at least one academic conference per year and increase our number of academic lecture series in an effort to better engage the academy and our community.

    4.4.2 We will provide more funding for faculty to engage in research and participate in scholarly and professional societies.

    4.4.3 We will look for opportunities to position NGU as a premier Baptist institution in Christian higher education.

    4.5 The University will be engaged in activities, organizations and movements designed to serve Church and society.

    4.5.1 We will build relationships with pastors and ministry staff through participation with local Baptist associations, the South Carolina Baptist Convention (SCBC), the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina (BSCNC) and the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC).

    4.5.2 We will seek opportunities to promote NGU at regional and national meetings to enlarge the footprint of NGU, engage our alumni and recruit new students.

    4.5.3 We will identify strategic partnerships with organizations that are gospel-driven and theologically aligned.

    4.5.4 We will develop incentives and rewards for faculty and staff participation in engagement activities.

  • Review

    5.0 NGU2025 will review, enhance and strengthen the university’s business operations, policies and procedures.

    5.1 University business processes and procedures will be comprehensively evaluated.

    5.1.1 We will refine our academic policies and procedures to conform better to industry-wide best practices in Christian higher education.

    5.1.2 We will update centralized fundraising policies and procedures to assure unified fundraising approaches for the institution.

    5.1.3 We will update endowed funds reporting procedures to enhance donor stewardship.

    5.1.4 We will strengthen gift processing and receipting operations to reflect exemplary donor stewardship.

    5.1.5 We will review and strengthen the Student-Athlete Handbook and the Athletic Staff Handbook as needed in regards to operations, policies and procedures.

    5.1.6 We will review and revise travel, expense and purchasing policies to reflect best practices for the industry.

    5.1.7 We will provide forums for departments to cross-train and share best practices.

    5.1.8 We will produce clear and consistent materials related to all operations, policies and procedures.

    5.1.9 We will continue to improve the Satisfactory Academic Progress policy to align with the institutional academic policy and related procedures.

    5.1.10 We will create and maintain a policies and procedures manual for Title IV and state aid management.

    5.1.11 We will continue to prioritize and focus on matters related to Title IV and state aid compliance.

    5.1.12 We will evaluate and revamp the institutional and Federal Work-Study (FWS) Program for more efficient processing and more strategic use of available funding.

    5.1.13 We will create and implement an online academic withdrawal form that will be submitted to all appropriate offices electronically.

    5.1.14 We will strengthen compliance with the National Student Clearinghouse enrollment reporting process.

    5.1.15 We will implement strategies designed to stimulate and motivate timely payment of accounts payable and receivable.

    5.1.16 We will create and/or improve written policies and procedures regarding credit refunds, management of stale accounts, third-party billing (i.e. Veterans Affairs, ROTC, etc.) and management of check depositing processes.

    5.1.17 We will evaluate and, where necessary, improve university compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

    5.2 Student satisfaction will be improved.

    5.2.1 We will mentor student leaders as well as selected faculty and staff in spiritual formation and pastoral care to enhance the culture of NGU and to enrich the lives of those who serve at the university.

    5.2.2 We will continue to evaluate and improve the check-in process, focusing on creating a campus-wide commitment to support efforts to assist students as they begin each semester.

    5.2.3 We will continue to focus on student retention and recruitment by evaluating and revamping the institutional scholarship program, including the prospect of engaging a third party to develop a new financial aid leveraging program for the university.

    5.2.4 We will improve the graduation application process and services.

    5.2.5 We will post semester course offerings on our main website prior to each term for current, prospective and transient students to readily view available offerings.

    5.2.6 We will finalize and implement an online orientation class to improve engagement with distance learners and to enhance their onboarding process.

    5.2.7 We will expand student support services to the Tim Brashier Campus at Greer.

    5.2.8 We will expand scholarship opportunities for our adult, online and graduate student populations.

    5.2.9 We will improve student satisfaction with the residential living experience at NGU.

    5.2.10 We will expand opportunities for current and former students to provide feedback and recommendations regarding how the university may increase student satisfaction.

    5.3 Customer service efforts will be evaluated and improved as needed.

    5.3.1 We will create an online self-service environment in which students can discover and complete enrollment-related requirements by themselves as needed.

    5.3.2 We will focus on cross-training efforts for Student Services team members and Admissions enrollment counselors to encourage more in-depth net cost/financial aid conversations.

    5.3.3 We will continue to foster collaboration between Student Services and Student Engagement to improve proactive messaging and communication to students and their families prior to check-in events.

    5.3.4 We will improve student communication regarding student statements and payment options.

    5.3.5 We will continue to train and equip recruiting personnel to communicate accurately and compellingly with prospective students.

    5.4 Operational effectiveness and efficiency will be measured and improved.

    5.4.1  We will implement the purchasing module of Jenzabar to provide a more efficient process for institutional constituents and more timely payment to vendors.

    5.4.2 We will implement the online budgeting module of Jenzabar to provide more timely and accurate budget information to institutional constituents.

    5.4.3 We will develop and implement a plan to audit policies and procedures for all operations.

    5.4.4 We will manage recruitment efforts that align with our mission and core values with professionalism and excellence.

    5.4.5 We will uphold principles of good practice and apply industry best practices throughout all areas of university operations.

    5.4.6 We will evaluate and monitor the effectiveness and efficiency of our strategic business partners.

© North Greenville University. All Rights Reserved. | Accessibility Statement

North Greenville University (NGU) admits students of any race, color, national and ethnic origin to all the rights, privileges programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the school. It does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national and ethnic origin in the administration of its educational policies, admissions policies, scholarship and loan programs, and athletic and other school-administered programs.