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The Council for Christian Colleges & Universities Announces Leadership Change in 2025

The Council for Christian Colleges & Universities Announces Leadership Change in 2025

December 18, 2023

WASHINGTON, D.C., December 18, 2023—The Council for Christian Colleges & Universities (“CCCU”), the leading national voice of Christian higher education, today announced that Shirley Hoogstra is retiring as the president, effective on or before December 31, 2024. The board of directors extends their deepest appreciation for her decade of service and Christian leadership. Hoogstra will lead a year of transition to ensure a smooth, successful process for the new president.

During her tenure, Hoogstra’s unwavering devotion to the CCCU mission resulted in many legislative wins. Under Hoogstra’s leadership the Council filed hundreds of letters and dozens of amicus curiae (“friend of the court”) briefs in the appellate courts and the Supreme Court of the United States. She improved organizational finances and strengthened CCCU relationships with donors and foundations. Under Hoogstra’s leadership the Council completed “Pursuing Excellence: 2023-2027,” a new strategic plan. Membership grew during her tenure and now proudly includes over 185 member institutions today in 19 countries. As a front-line leader, she shaped, defended and strengthened Christian higher education’s place within the ecosystem of higher education in the United States.

“The leadership of Shirley Hoogstra has been nothing short of a gift of God to the work of Christian higher education. Her consistent hope, strategic wisdom, timely encouragement, and grounded faith are expressions of her passion for the education of the generations in the way of Jesus. She is deeply loved and will be deeply missed,” stated President Dan Boone, chairman of the board and president of Trevecca Nazarene University.

Hoogstra has a long-standing career in Christian higher education. Prior to the CCCU, she served as the vice president for student life at Calvin University in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Before that, she was a litigator in a private practice in New Haven, Connecticut. Using her skills and bridge-building talents as an attorney and higher education professional prepared her for leadership on the national stage.

Her exemplary leadership and service resulted in several honors and awards. Hoogstra was awarded honorary doctorates from Gordon College, Nyack College/Alliance University and Dallas Baptist University. She received the Nina Griggs Gunter Servant Leadership Award from Trevecca Nazarene University (TNU), the Maggie Sloan Crawford Award at Olivet Nazarene University (ONU), the Lifetime Education Impact Award (National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference) and the Keepers of the American Dream Award (National Immigration Forum).

She is a member and serves on the steering committee for the Washington Higher Ed Secretariat, is a leader for the Evangelical Immigration Table and served on the board of the American Council on Education and National Immigration Forum. Currently she serves on the boards of the National Association of Evangelicals and The Trinity Forum.

“God knew what he was doing from the very beginning. The foundational work that has been accomplished over the last decade brings me a profound sense of satisfaction as I announce my retirement. I would like to express my deep and enduring gratitude again to the board, staff, volunteers, donors, and all individuals associated with CCCU. The unwavering support, dedication, and passion for our mission has been the driving force behind our collective accomplishments,” stated Hoogstra.

The search for the next president will begin in January 2024 and be conducted by FaithSearch Partners. Further details will be released at a later date.

All media inquiries should be directed to Dr. Amanda Staggenborg, Chief Communications Officer, at



About the CCCU

The Council for Christian Colleges & Universities is a higher education association of more than 185 Christian institutions around the world. Since 1976, the CCCU has served as the leading national voice of Christian higher education. With campuses across the globe, including more than 150 in the U.S. and Canada and more than 30 from an additional 19 countries, CCCU institutions are accredited, comprehensive colleges and universities whose missions are Christ-centered and rooted in the historic Christian faith. Most also have curricula rooted in the arts and sciences. The CCCU’s mission is to advance the cause of Christ-centered higher education and to help our institutions transform lives by faithfully relating scholarship and service to biblical truth.