Adam J. Morris, PhD, a nationally recognized and accomplished senior administrator and lifelong advocate for Christian higher education, will become the 18th president of Azusa Pacific University on July 1, 2022.
The Board of Trustees unanimously selected Morris from an impressive pool of candidates, citing his distinguished 30-year career in higher education marked by visionary leadership, stellar strategic planning skills, and significant advancement expertise that have fueled organizational transformation and innovation and brought hundreds of millions of dollars in support of institutional endeavors. His appointment follows a comprehensive, nationwide search by a Presidential Search Committee that included trustees, faculty, staff, and administrators.
Morris currently serves as Executive Vice President, Chief Transformation Officer, and Chief Institutional Advancement Officer at Biola University. As Chief Transformation Officer, Morris drives institutional strategy, implements change, enhances mission effectiveness, and strengthens organizational efficiency and financial stability. As Chief Institutional Advancement Officer, he oversees all university-wide fundraising initiatives, and the Alumni and Parent Relations programs. The Enrollment Division, University Analytics, and the Center for Marriage and Relationships also report to Morris. Since joining Biola in 1990, he has held numerous advancement positions with increasing levels of leadership.
APU’s Board of Trustees chair, Tom Miller, praised Morris’ wealth of experience, demonstrated leadership, and unmatched commitment and devotion to Christian higher education. “Dr. Morris is a uniquely gifted man of God who will bring both his Christ-centered vision for higher education and his transformational mindset to APU at a critically important turning point in this university’s history. His vast leadership, academic, financial, and relational expertise, along with a deep passion for and total commitment to our mission, are game changers for APU,” said Miller. “Strategically focused on the critical needs of our students, informed by deep analytics and the higher education marketplace, Dr. Morris will lead this God First university in a powerful and forward-thinking manner that fulfills our mission to cultivate disciples and scholars ready to impact the world for Christ.”
Morris expressed excitement about joining Azusa Pacific University, with its vibrant 123-year legacy of Christ-centered higher education. “The call from God to join the APU community could not have been stronger and I am both humbled and honored to be invited to assume this sacred position of leadership,” said Morris. “APU has a long and rich history of faithfulness to mission so needed in today’s culture and an incredible academic reputation. The strength and vision of APU’s faculty, staff, and students will lead the way and I look forward to what God will accomplish in us and through us in the months and years to come.”
“Nine months ago, we embarked on the comprehensive work of identifying the next president of Azusa Pacific University,” said Lucie Moore, chair of the 14-member Presidential Search Committee. “Dr. Morris embodies the spiritual and intellectual qualities that define APU and will be a champion of APU’s mission. He not only has an extraordinary record in fundraising, but he also has a deep understanding of finance and the challenges facing higher education. I could not be more pleased with who God called to be the next president of Azusa Pacific University.”
Morris graduated from Biola University with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration. He earned a Master of Arts in Theology and PhD in Christian Education from Talbot School of Theology. He has consulted with numerous other private colleges and universities and parachurch organizations and has enjoyed serving on several nonprofit boards.
Morris lives in La Habra Heights, California, with his wife, Faith, and has four adult children, two in-law children, and four grandchildren.
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Azusa Pacific University is an evangelical, Christian university committed to God First and excellence in higher education. With 69 bachelor’s degrees, 47 master’s degrees, 18 certificates, 8 credentials, and 9 doctoral programs, the university offers its more than 8,000 students a quality education on campus, online, and at seven regional locations throughout Southern California.