Rev. Phil Greenwald has been named the next president of Mid-America Christian University, the MACU Board of Trustees announced March 9. He will become MACU’s fifth president effective June 1, 2022.
For the past 25 years, Rev. Greenwald served as a non-profit leader, pastor and administrator in Methodist churches and associated nonprofit organizations. While serving as Executive Pastor of Administration and Chief Financial Officer at St. Luke’s United Methodist Church in Oklahoma City, Rev. Greenwald led the formation of Meals on Wheels OKC and the expansion of the St. Luke’s Children’s Centers. His entrepreneurial approach to ministry and business includes a strong emphasis on building relationships with members and donors, a commitment to excellence in administration, focused efforts on staff development and creating a culture that promotes generosity and growth.
Greenwald spearheaded multiple successful initiatives at St. Luke’s, including the construction of a new campus in Edmond, expansion of childcare to four locations with more than 675 children, significant endowment and budget growth and the establishment of a highly successful food outreach ministry which prepares more than 600,000 meals a year to serve children and seniors throughout Oklahoma City.
“I am humbled by the Search Committee and Board of Trustees’ support and confidence in selecting me to serve as the fifth President at MACU,” Greenwald said. “MACU has a tremendous history of training and preparing Christian leaders to serve in churches, businesses, schools and nonprofits. While continuing to grow, the University remains committed to personal discipleship and strong relationships with students. Believing the best is yet to come, I look forward to meeting the students, alumni, staff, faculty and community as we look toward the future.”
Greenwald was recommended to the Board of Trustees by the 15-member search committee, which was composed of a diverse mix of members from across MACU’s stakeholder groups, including trustees, cabinet members, faculty and students. Additionally, MACU solicited input from all areas of the University through written submissions, listening sessions and forums open to employees, students, alumni and community members.
“Throughout the search process, the Presidential Search Committee prayed, listened to God and each other,” said Dr. Gary Kendall, chair of the Presidential Search Committee. “We did our due diligence in researching the candidates and paying close attention to the details of the interviews. We feel strongly convicted that God has led us to our next President for Mid-America Christian University in Rev. Greenwald. I believe that with Rev. Greenwald at the helm, we are on track with His plan for the university and I am confident that our campus community will sense the same leading.”
The search committee, with the help of the executive search agency Hyatt-Fennell, interviewed a diverse group of candidates across the country before coming to select Greenwald as their foremost candidate for the presidency.
“Rev. Greenwald’s gift mix is that of a visionary leader with strong administrative skills,” said Dr. Randall Spence, Chairman of the MACU Board of Trustees. “His strong people and collaborative leadership skills will help to build a strong and loyal team. His strong and existing network within the Oklahoma City community will go far in helping MACU expand her footprint and influence. His strong fundraising skills will enable MACU to create a strong endowment and to raise needed funding for capital projects. His commitment to personal discipleship and evangelism and the tenants of the Wesleyan tradition make him a sound and biblically grounded choice.”
Spence thanked the search committee for their role in the process.
“The Presidential Search Committee consisted of the best of the best. They put their hands to the plow and worked hard, long and with spirit. With an attitude of prayer, they sought the one God has chosen to lead MACU into the future. We owe a great debt of gratitude to each.”
Greenwald will succeed Dr. John Fozard, who has served as president of MACU since 1999, making him the longest-serving president in university history. Fozard’s tenure will conclude on May 31, 2022, though he will continue to serve as chancellor to aid in the presidential transition.
“We are all especially grateful for the leadership of President Fozard over these past 23 years,” said Greenwald. “His vision, commitment to teaching the Bible and love for students are exemplary of his love for Christ and the Church. I’m incredibly grateful and pleased that President Fozard has agreed to remain as chancellor, serving alongside me in continuing to advance the mission of our University. Together, we will ensure a smooth transition for students, faculty and staff. In doing so, we will build upon the great work that has been done with an eye toward the future.”
Greenwald has strong ties to MACU, where he earned his MBA in 2020 and served on the School of Business Leadership Advisory Council. He received his bachelor’s degree from Messiah University (PA) and theological training from Perkins School of Theology (SMU) and Asbury Seminary (KY). As an ordained deacon in the United Methodist Church, Greenwald is a certified church administrator and Senior Certified Professional in human resources (SHRM-SCP). He previously served at churches in Tulsa, Alpharetta (GA) and Duncan (OK). He is active with many church boards and nonprofit groups, including Light Up the Dark (Sterling, KS), El Sistema Oklahoma and the Rotary Club of Oklahoma City (Club 29).
Greenwald has been married to his wife, Stephanie, for 22 years. They have two daughters, Kalli and Tori.