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Charleston Southern University chooses new provost

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Charleston Southern University has selected Michael Wilder as its new provost and vice president for academic affairs.

Having spent the last four years in Fort Worth, Texas, Wilder currently serves as the interim vice president for strategic and academic initiatives and chief catalyst officer at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. He will begin his new role at Charleston Southern on July 1.

WilderIn addition to his current administrative roles at Southwestern, Wilder serves as professor of educational ministries in the Jack D. Terry School of Educational Ministries. Most recently, he managed oversight of nontraditional programming including synchronous and asynchronous online programs as associate provost for innovative learning. Wilder also served as dean of the Terry School, where he most notably redesigned seminar delivery structure, increased faculty size and added multiple degree programs resulting in strong enrollment growth. Prior to Southwestern, he served 18 years in various roles in teaching and administration in Christian higher education, including associate vice president for doctoral studies at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary as well as various professorship levels at Southern and New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. He also brings more than 30 years of pastoral ministry and church leadership experience.

“I am thankful for President Costin’s leadership, and I look forward to co-laboring with faculty and academic leaders as we seek to think creatively about the future of CSU and how to best serve our students and the broader community well,” Wilders said in a news release. “Perhaps more than anything, I want to reinforce an institutional environment that promotes mission success and genuine human flourishing among students, faculty and CSU team members. Beyond this daily endeavor, I want to be a part of helping CSU imagine and embrace an innovative and academically excellent future marked by the integration of faith in learning, leading, and serving.”

Wilder earned his Ph.D. in Christian education and leadership studies from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, an MDiv in pastoral ministries from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, and both a BBA in management with a minor in finance and an AA in mathematics from Clayton State University. 

Wilder is the co-author of The God Who Goes Before You: Pastoral Leadership as Christ-Centered Fellowship and TransforMission: The Making of Disciples through Short-term Missions. He has contributed to numerous edited works and is an active member of the Evangelical Theological Society and the Society of Professors in Christian Education.

Reach Ross Norton at or 864-642-5229.

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