Share this
December 9, 2013

Roberts Wesleyan College and Northeastern Seminary Name New President

ROCHESTER, N.Y. — Dr. Terry Taber, chair of the Roberts Wesleyan College and Northeastern Seminary boards of trustees, announced to the campus community on Monday, Dec. 9, that Deana Porterfield, Ed.D., will be the 11th president of Roberts Wesleyan College and the third president of Northeastern Seminary.

"Dr. Porterfield is a visionary Christian leader who transforms her ideas into actions and results," Taber said. "She immediately impressed the search committee with her passion for Christian higher education and her ability to inspire transformation in an ever-changing environment for colleges and universities. Dr. Porterfield is a courageous leader who has the commitment and capability to advance the missions of both Roberts Wesleyan College and Northeastern Seminary."

President-elect Dr. Deana PorterfieldNo stranger to Christian Higher Education, Porterfield has served at Azusa Pacific University and Azusa Pacific Online University for more than 24 years in various roles, including vice president for enrollment management, chief of staff, senior vice president for people and organizational development, and executive vice president. It was the consensus of the search committee that her commitment to advancing Christian higher education, administrative experience and passion to prepare students who will make a difference leading in the world prepared her for the presidential role. Porterfield voiced her commitment to the mission, vision and core values of Roberts and Northeastern, and identified herself as a leader who drives change for new, more-impactful ways of serving the next generation of students through Christian education.

"As the field of higher education continues to change, I believe Roberts and Northeastern are positioned to be a beacon, delivering Christian education that is affordable and accessible to all who desire it," Porterfield said. "The rich heritage and values of Roberts and Northeastern provide the foundation and momentum needed to propel us into the future. We will continue the legacy of graduating men and women of character, ready to serve the world."

Porterfield earned a doctorate in organizational leadership from the University of La Verne in La Verne, Calif. She also holds a master’s degree in organizational management and a bachelor’s degree in music from Azusa Pacific University in Azusa, Calif. Porterfield and her family will reside in the president’s home in Chili.

Roberts Wesleyan College and Northeastern Seminary began the presidential search in February 2013, after President John Martin announced his intention to step down at the end of the 2013-14 academic year. The board formed a presidential search committee, chaired by Taber, which comprised trustees and representatives from faculty, staff, students and administration. The board also engaged Carter-Baldwin Executive Search to participate in the process. 

"I want to thank each member of the search committee and our consultant for their many months of dedicated effort during this search," Taber said. "They worked as a high-performance team while effectively representing all the voices of the college and seminary communities."

Porterfield will take office on July 1, 2014, at the start of the 2014-15 academic year.


About Northeastern Seminary
Since opening its doors in 1998, Northeastern Seminary on the campus of Roberts Wesleyan College has continued to grow in prominence as a significant resource for the church community in upstate New York.  Northeastern Seminary is a multi-denominational graduate school of theology offering five academically and professionally accredited degrees: Master of Divinity, Master of Arts of Theological Studies, Master of Arts in Theology and Social Justice, Master of Arts in Transformational Leadership, and Doctor of Ministry.  The student body is comprised of more than 30 different Christian faith traditions represented among 180 students and 350 graduates ministering around the nation and world.  For more information visit or call 585.594.6800.