SEU Calls On ‘Dream’ Pastor

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Paul Steven Ghiringhelli

One week after its president said he will leave in July to take the helm at Oral Roberts University in Tulsa, Okla., Southeastern University called on Pastor Tommy Barnett for spiritual leadership.

Feb. 4, 2009 — Southeastern University (SEU) in Lakeland, Fla., has named Los Angeles Dream Center co-founder Tommy Barnett as the school’s “transitional chancellor” after learning last week that its current president, Mark Rutland, was leaving this summer.

“Tommy Barnett will provide positive leadership for SEU during the time that the board of regents is searching for a new president,” said SEU spokeswoman Anita Whitaker. “It is a largely honorary post and it has not been determined when he will assume that role.”

Barnett is currently senior pastor of the burgeoning Phoenix First Assembly of God in Phoenix, Ariz. It was not immediately clear how the channels of communication between Barnett and SEU will be arranged after Barnett assumes the new role.

The board of regents at SEU has begun the search process for qualified presidential candidates. SEU is one of the fastest growing Christian universities in the nation.

Last Wednesday, Rutland was named the new president of Oral Roberts University in Tulsa, Okla., which lost its former president, Richard Roberts, amid financial controversies in November 2007. Rutland will remain at SEU until July 1, when he is scheduled to begin at ORU.


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