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Heritage Christian president steps down after 28 years

Dennis Jones, who served for 28 years as president of Heritage Christian University in Florence, Ala., has retired, effective April 6, the university reports.

The 115-student ministry training school, associated with Churches of Christ, was founded as International Bible College in 1971.

Following is a statement from the university’s Board of Trustees:

After months of contemplation on his part and with several discussions about retirement and succession with the Board of Directors, Heritage Christian University President Dennis Jones has elected to retire from his position effective April 6, 2017. In his letter to the Board announcing his retirement, President Jones stated, “The future of HCU is bright, and I look forward to applauding its progress from the sidelines. May God bless all the dedicated Christians who will take the university to a better place. My prayers will be with them every step of the way.”

President Dennis Jones displays an Ole Miss football helmet signed by Archie Manning as part of a fundraiser for Heritage Christian. (PHOTO BY BOBBY ROSS JR.)
President Jones has more than 40 years of association with HCU. He is a graduate of International Bible College (now Heritage Christian University) and, in later years, served as Director of Development and Vice-President. During the 28 years of his presidency, the school transitioned from a college to a university propelled by physical growth and implementation of three master’s degrees, including the Master of Divinity degree. He initiated the construction of a new dormitory for students, has been supportive of the expansion of the Overton Memorial Library into one of the foremost theological libraries in the Southeast, and added a Distance Learning department. During his tenure he has represented HCU at hundreds of churches and other organizations throughout this nation and abroad.

The current Administrative Council, consisting of Vice-President for Academic Affairs Bill Bagents, Vice-President of University Advancement Philip Goad, and Vice-President for Administration Pat Moon, will assume the duties of the president in addition to their usual responsibilities. During this interim, the Board of Directors will be implementing a long-term plan for the leadership of the university.

The Board of Directors appreciates President Jones’ work and sacrifices for HCU during the last 28 years and wishes him well in his retirement as President Emeritus. Board members remain firmly committed to advancing the kingdom of God by equipping effective communicators, preachers, teachers and missionaries for real-world ministry with a focus on evangelism and a commitment to scripture. Please join us in prayer for this new period of growth and development for Heritage Christian University.

See Bobby Ross Jr.’s 2015 interview with Jones — and feature on Heritage Christian’s ambitious plan to graduate every student debt-free.

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