MILLIGAN, Tenn. (Jan. 9, 2024) – Following an extensive search process that yielded a strong field of applicants, Milligan University’s Board of Trustees has announced the selection of Dr. Stephen Waers as the university’s 16th president. Waers currently serves as Chief Academic Officer and Chief Information Officer at Point University in Georgia.
Dr. Richard Phillips, chair of the Board of Trustees and leader of the search committee, announced the decision in front of the Milligan community on Tuesday inside the Gregory Center. Waers will succeed Dr. Bill Greer, who announced his decision last spring to retire as Milligan’s president following the current academic year and transition to his new role as chancellor.
“The search committee set out last May to find an experienced, innovative, Christian leader capable of continuing Milligan’s long tradition of academic excellence into the 21st Century,” Phillips said. “We have full confidence Dr. Waers has the ability to carry on our rich traditions and standard of excellence while finding innovative ways for our beloved university to thrive in the years to come.”
Milligan launched its search for the university’s next president following Greer’s retirement announcement last April. The call for applicants yielded 40 strong candidates, which the search committee carefully narrowed to a pair of outstanding finalists who both had ties to Milligan.
Waers, who received a Master of Divinity degree from Emmanuel Christian Seminary at Milligan with a concentration in Church History, was ultimately chosen to be Milligan’s next president and enthusiastically accepted the position. Waers also holds a Doctorate in Historical Theology from Marquette University in addition to his undergraduate degree, which he earned at Point.
“When I think about what it means to be faithful as I serve Milligan as its next president, I am conscious of the tradition, history, and excellence of Milligan,” Waers said. “I am cognizant of the fact that the history, tradition, and excellence are rooted most deeply in Milligan’s faithfulness to Christ and determined adherence to its Christ-centered mission of educating men and women to be servant-leaders.”
As he prepares to take over as Milligan’s next president, Waers noted that the university is in the strongest position it has ever been thanks to Greer’s leadership. During Greer’s tenure, Emmanuel Christian Seminary was integrated into Milligan, several significant new programs were added – including engineering and physician assistant studies – Milligan’s endowment more than tripled, Milligan’s academic programs were reorganized, and the institution was elevated to university status.
“Without compromising identity or mission, Dr. Greer led the university to expand its curriculum so it could prepare Christian servant-leaders to serve in technical fields like engineering and computer science,” Waers said. “He led the university to incorporate a seminary as an expression of its commitment to serving the local church. Dr. Greer’s presidency has been marked by change, but it is good and faithful change.”
Greer will continue to serve Milligan as chancellor. In this role, he will work alongside the university’s leadership to maintain important external relationships. Waers is expected to assume the presidency on August 1 of this year. “Milligan has been at the heart of my life for most of my life, and I plan to continue furthering Milligan’s mission in my new role as chancellor,” Greer said. “As we move forward, I am excited to see the way God works through Stephen to further Milligan’s mission of developing men and women into servant-leaders.”