The International Association for the Promotion of Christian Higher Education (IAPCHE) is pleased to announce that its board has named Dr. Shirley J. Roels as executive director. Dr. Roels comes with four decades of achievement and service in Christian higher education, bringing experience and insight that will surely enhance IAPCHE through her leadership. IAPCHE (f. 1975), is a global network of Christian institutions and individuals committed to fostering the development of integrally Christian higher education worldwide through professional development, institutional capacity building, and scholarly exchange.
Dr. Harry Fernhout, IAPCHE’s interim executive director, notes that “Dr. Roels was a trusted and extremely helpful advisor to IAPCHE when I became Interim executive director in 2015. She has a passion for IAPCHE’s mission and a great ability to get things done. I’m confident that her extensive connections in North America and beyond will enable her to greatly enhance IAPCHE’s work in strengthening Christian higher education globally.”
Dr. Roels comes to IAPCHE from being senior advisor and director of NetVUE, the Network of Vocation in Undergraduate Education, a nationwide group of 220 colleges and universities in the United States that exists to enhance and promote “the intellectual and theological exploration of vocation among undergraduate students.” NetVUE is a program of the U.S.-based Council of Independent Colleges. Dr. Roels’ appointment with IAPCHE will begin in September 2017 while she continues temporarily with NetVUE to assist its transition to a new director.
A graduate of Calvin College, Dr. Roels earned a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Michigan and a Ph.D. degree in university administration from Michigan State University. Her first appointment in Christian higher education was with the University of Detroit-Mercy, where she became director of cost and financial analysis. Then she came to Calvin College to teach in the economics and business program, which she eventually chaired. During her illustrious career of more than three decades at Calvin, Dr. Roels served in a great variety of capacities: directing adult degree programs, serving several terms as an academic dean, directing the college’s vocations program, and founding and directing the Van Lunen Center for the Executive Management of Christian Schools.
As a longtime member of IAPCHE, Dr. Roels has been a pioneer in developing Christian approaches and perspectives in the field of business and management. She has co-edited or co-authored several book-length studies, most notably Business through the Eyes of Faith (Harper and Row, 1990); On Moral Business, Classical and Contemporary Resources on Business Ethics (Eerdmans, 1995), and Organization Man, Organization Woman: Calling, Leadership and Culture (Abingdon, 1997). Her most recent article, published in Christian Higher Education this month, came from a paper she presented at an IAPCHE conference in Europe last year.
Dr. Roels expresses genuine delight and excitement regarding her new appointment: “As a long-time member of IAPCHE I look forward to advancing worldwide Christian higher education through this network. IAPCHE is dedicated to serving Jesus Christ as Lord through mutual teaching and learning across many global regions, and so am I. Together we will discern what God is already doing and collaborate to foster a better world.”
Joel A. Carpenter
Chair of IAPCHE Board
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