Chip Anderson Biography

Known to many as the “father” of the strengths movement in higher education, Edward “Chip” Anderson lived his life “being where God wanted him to be and doing what God wanted him to do.” He graduated from Pasadena Nazarene College, now Point Loma University, then went on to earn his Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology from the University of California, Los Angeles. Anderson came to Azusa Pacific University in 1999 as a professor in the Doctoral Higher Education program, after spending 28 years at UCLA in capacities as varied as veterans’ services, retention, counseling psychology, and the Graduate School of Education.

A leading authority in retention and advising, Anderson was a passionate and committed advocate of a strengths-based approach to education, and his influence has been felt in hundreds of high schools, community colleges, universities, churches, and organizations. Co-author with Don Clifton of StrengthsQuest: Discover and Develop Your Strengths in Academics, Career, and Beyond (Gallup Press, 2002), Anderson was instrumental in igniting the “strengths revolution”—the commitment to changing the paradigm in higher education from deficit-remediation to strengths development. He believed that the key to student success was already within the student, and that by encouraging students to “become the persons God created them to be,” they could achieve excellence and complete the work that God had designed them to do. Students responded to this call on their lives, hungry for the sense of meaning, purpose, and direction that an appreciation of their strengths gave them.

Learn more about the history of the strengths movement.