Meet the interim president
Dr. Pete C. Menjares most recently served as provost and senior vice president for academic affairs at Vanguard University where he was also the founding senior director of the Institute for Faculty Development. He is a Senior Fellow for Diversity with the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities (Washington, D.C.), as well as a current member of the Board of Trustees at Seattle Pacific University. Dr. Menjares has over 27 years of leadership experience in Christian higher education, including serving as the 11th president of Fresno Pacific University (Fresno, California). He also spent 17 years as a professor and administrator at Biola University (La Mirada, California), where he held the positions of associate professor of education, Education Department chair, associate provost for diversity leadership, and vice provost for faculty development and academic effectiveness.
Prior to his career in higher education, Dr. Menjares was a public school educator in southeast Los Angeles where he taught English language arts at a school of 3,800 students that was 98% Latino and where 67% of the students spoke Spanish as their first language. He also has more than 45 years of urban ministry experience as a local church leader and pastor of churches in the Los Angeles metro area.
Dr. Menjares earned a PhD in education with a specialization in language, literacy, and learning from the University of Southern California; a master of arts in education with a specialization in teaching and curriculum, a single-subject professional clear teaching credential in English/language arts from California State University, Dominguez Hills; and a bachelor of arts in religion with a major in pastoral ministries from Vanguard University of Southern California.
Dr. Menjares has extensive experience in curriculum development, culturally responsive pedagogy, faculty development, Hispanic Serving and Minority Serving Institutions, faith integration, and academic administration. Over the course of his career, he has engaged senior leaders, faculty, and students on matters of diversity, inclusive excellence, and reconciliation ministry from a practical and biblical perspective. Further, he is a higher education advocate for students from historically underrepresented and underserved communities, including low income and first-generation college students.
As a CCCU Senior Fellow for Diversity, Dr. Menjares provides guidance to the council’s staff and member schools through research and writing, campus climate studies, strategic planning, keynote speaking, workshops, mentoring, and professional development for senior leaders, faculty, staff, and boards of trustees. Additionally, he has served as a resource leader and session presenter for several of the CCCU’s Leadership Development Institutes and Multi-Ethnic Leadership Development Institutes. He also served as a founding member of the CCCU’s Commission for Advancing Intercultural Competencies from 2002–04.
Dr. Menjares is a contributing author and section editor of Diversity Matters: Race, Ethnicity and the Future of Christian Higher Education, published by Abilene Christian University Press in 2017. The book features the contributions of diverse Christian leaders offering practical tools for effective education and service in a multicultural world.
Dr. Menjares is married to his wife, Virginia, and they have a married daughter, son-in-law, and three grandchildren.