News • May 12, 2023

School of Christian Ministries dean adds lead pastor role to his duties

School of Christian Ministries dean adds lead pastor role to his duties Riverside, Calif. (May 12, 2023) – Dr. Chris Morgan, dean of the School of Christian Ministries, recently became lead pastor at Immanuel Baptist Church in Highland after serving as its interim pastor for the past 2½ years. He is not leaving California Baptist University but will serve in both roles.

At Immanuel, he will focus on preaching, casting vision and leading church leaders. At CBU, he teaches and leads as dean, professor of theology, and author and editor of more than 20 books.

“It's me using the same gifts, just in different spheres,” Morgan said. He has a great team at CBU that made the decision feasible, he said.

Morgan and his family – his daughter attends CBU – have been members at Immanuel for several years. 

“I love Immanuel. It’s been my church family for several years. The people are wonderful,” Morgan said. “It is a blessing to serve two incredible groups of people.”

He pointed out how the two roles benefit each other.

“I’ll be able to continue sharing real-life stories and examples about leadership, ministry, evangelism and more in the classroom,” Morgan said.. “It keeps me current in the church world, and it helps our students see how theology and the church go hand in hand. It also helps the church reach and raise up the next generation of leaders.”

Morgan asked several people for input on accepting the position at Immanuel Baptist Church, including Dr. Chuck Sands, provost and vice president for Academic Affairs, and Kent Dacus, vice president for Enrollment and Student Services. Sands said Morgan is a well-known and well-respected leader in Christian higher education.

“The relationship between CBU and the local church is incredibly important,” Sands said. “At CBU, Chris is the dean of the program that trains future pastors so there is a natural positive link. Additionally, CBU has a very strong and long-lasting relationship with Immanuel that will only grow stronger with Chris in this new role.”

Dacus said Morgan is a strong leader and excellent theologian with a shepherd’s heart.

“It benefits CBU to have a leading faculty member be a practitioner of one of the subject areas his division is teaching. It also strengthens CBU ties to the local church and allows our students to participate in a local church in a greater way,” Dacus said. “Immanuel Baptist Church is a wonderful church getting an outstanding pastor and teacher.”

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