Crown College Names Dr. Andrew Denton 17th President

March 19, 2021

The Crown College Board of Trustees has unanimously elected Dr. Andrew C. Denton as the 17th President of Crown College. Dr. Denton’s name was submitted to the Board after a unanimous vote by the Presidential Search Committee in consultation with the Executive Committee of the Christian and Missionary Alliance (C&MA). His four-year (renewable) term will begin July 1, 2021. Outgoing President Joel Wiggins, Ph.D., has served as president since 2013.


Denton brings over 15 years of executive higher education leadership experience to his new role, most recently serving as Executive Vice President (2017–present) and Vice President for University Relations (2015–2017) at North Central University in Minneapolis. 


Board of Trustees Chairman Gordon Paisley said, “Crown College is pleased to welcome Dr. Andrew Denton to the Crown family as our next president. Dr. Denton brings excellent experience, a strategic mindset, and a deep love for God and people to this role. We are excited to work with him as he leads Crown.”


The selection process was orchestrated by the Presidential Search Committee chaired by Pat Costello, with SIMA Partners’ assistance. Costello noted that the Committee unanimously selected Dr. Denton for new president from a diverse and impressive pool of candidates. “Throughout the search process, at each round of evaluation, one candidate was consistently on each Committee member’s ‘short list’ — Andrew. So, in the end, it was not a surprise that Dr. Denton was the unanimous choice for of the Committee,” noted Costello.


Background and Education


Greatly influenced by his parents, who were educators, and his own undergraduate education (B.A., Evangel University), Denton is passionate about the power of Christian higher education to prepare people to fulfill God’s call on their lives to impact the world. He holds an MBA from Missouri State University and a Ph.D. in Higher Education Leadership from St. Louis University. 


During the past 15 years, Denton has served in vice-presidential positions at Evangel University, Bethel University, and North Central University, demonstrating a history of entrepreneurial and innovative leadership in the areas of change management, fundraising, donor relations, enrollment management, finance, human resources, public relations, marketing, communications, and athletics.


Beyond his responsibilities as Executive Vice President, Denton enjoys connecting with and mentoring students as an adjunct professor in North Central’s College of Business and Technology. 


Drawn to Crown’s Mission


Denton commended Crown’s efforts in recent years to be at the forefront of educational innovation. Denton indicated he is drawn to the college’s mission and the passion of its constituents, including alumni, faculty, staff, and students. “It’s clear that Crown College is a Christ-centered community that cares deeply about students succeeding as whole persons — academically, spiritually, and socially. President Wiggins and the Crown leadership team have laid an outstanding foundation for success. I am honored to continue what they’ve begun and to work with the leadership team to prepare Christian leaders to serve and influence the world and to pursue strategic initiatives that will guide Crown to the next level.”


Beyond his passion for higher education, Denton is dedicated to his family, which includes his wife, Linda, and three children, ages 16, 15, and 13. The Dentons are active in their local church and enjoy being involved in their children’s sports and activities.


Board Chair Paisley noted that when outgoing Crown president Dr. Joel Wiggins announced his retirement, the Board knew they would have their work cut out to find a successor. He said, “Through much prayer and the tireless work of our search partner and Presidential Search Committee, we have found the right leader in Dr. Denton.”


Crown College, located in Saint Bonifacius, Minnesota, started in Saint Paul, Minnesota, in 1916. For more than 100 years, Crown has focused on preparing students to live out their faith in the world. Now located 40 minutes west of the Twin Cities, we offer on-campus, online, and graduate degree programs. We have 16 NCAA Division III athletic teams, internship opportunities, and summer outreach programs around the globe. Our programs deeply integrate a Christian worldview into every class, helping students become all that God desires them to be.