“Presidents come and go. What endures is the mission.”
“In academic institutions we always have a change that is coming,” said Dr. Alexander Granados, the new president of Calvary University, who officially took office on the first business day of 2021. “We have students who come, and obviously they graduate. There are faculty and staff that as they grow professionally, sometimes the Lord will transition them to new jobs. Presidents come and go. What endures is the mission of the institution.”
And Dr. Granados is intent on making sure Calvary stays focused on that enduring mission. “As I come in as the new president,” he said, “the mission remains. So, I’m not changing the mission. My job is not to change it. It is to fulfill it.”
On December 15, 2020, the CU Board of Trustees announced the hiring of Dr. Granados. Tom Zobrist, Chairman of the Board of Trustees said, “Dr. Granados comes to us with an extensive knowledge of higher education, business, fundraising, and strategic planning. But, more importantly, we know him to be a man of great faith and humility.”
Dr. Granados was born in Bogotá, Colombia, and migrated to the United States with his family when he was 10 years old. He became a Christian as a teenager while living in Southern California. In 1992, he enrolled at UCLA where he studied international relations and comparative politics.
“The Lord was working in my heart, as I matured in faith and life,” he said. “I got more involved at church as the college and young adult pastor and recognized that I love to teach and preach. I realized that although I was preparing to go to law school, I really enjoyed ministry and my friends encouraged me to consider utilizing my gifts of administration and teaching in Christian higher education.”
In 1995, he attended seminary at The Master’s Seminary in Sun Valley, California, where he earned his Master of Divinity and Master of Theology degrees. In 2008, he earned his PhD in Intercultural Education from Biola University in La Mirada, California.
In addition, he has extensive experience in leadership. He has served as a President, Associate Provost, Vice President of Academic Affairs and Associate Academic Dean. He has served in three other institutions: The Master’s University, Southeastern Bible College in Birmingham, Alabama, and most recently Piedmont International University in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. He has led administratively and pastorally among diverse academic, socioeconomic, cultural, gender, disability, and ethnic communities. He has held administrative positions in both domestic and international for-profit and non-profit organizations.
He also brings to Calvary a broad background of research and scholarly interest. He has studied the interaction of international and domestic factors in educational, religious, social, political, and economic development of Africa, Asia, Europe, Middle East, and Latin America; educational strategies for children displaced due to war and violence; the historical, religious, and cultural factors that influence classical and modern Jewish Education; academic and spiritual development; theological and biblical method of missions; church planting and multiplication, and urban ministry and planning.
Dr. Granados is excited to bring his training and experience to Calvary University.
“The history of Calvary now becomes part of my story,” he said. “The legacy of faithful men and women who earnestly pray and sacrificially give in ways that we can barely imagine becomes my precious heritage. I’m responsible for maintaining the Christian focus in the mission of the university in such a way as to preserve a pervasive Christian influence throughout the entirety of our campus culture. I’m entrusted with the health and integrity — financial, academic and institutional — of the university, what an amazing honor and privilege.”
Dr. Granados takes the helm during a time of great uncertainty and many challenges. But he also noted that this is not the first time God’s people have faced uncertainty and challenges.
He said, “Let us ponder for a moment: in the midst of the Great Depression, Calvary University opened its doors. Right? We have been blessed by those heroes of the faith who were obedient to God’s calling. The immensity of the task before them and the scarcity of resources did not discourage them. We stand on the shoulders of giants and are blessed to be the stewards of the institution they envisioned. Their vision to equip servant leaders for Christian living and service worldwide through being an institution of academic and spiritual excellence continues to be our strategic objective. The mission of Calvary University to produce graduates who are biblically grounded, spiritually mature and culturally relevant remains our fundamental purpose.”
By Kara Adams
“I live the dream of my countrymen, and I live with that burden.”
Dr. Alexander Granados, Calvary University’s new president, was born in Bogota, Colombia. He and his family migrated to the United States — more specifically, the state of California — when he was ten years old.
He is quick to express his gratitude for the opportunities he has received in the US.
“I get to live the dream of many of my countrymen, and I carry that burden. Knowing that my days are their dreams. I have been blessed with great education and I have been blessed with great opportunities to serve the Lord. Many of them are in villages and in frontline ministries, that they dream of educational opportunities, that those are my realities. To be in academic institutions like Calvary — that’s my reality. And because of that, I live my dream, but I live the dream of many people. As a Colombian, as a latin person, I’m very blessed, very blessed.”
Dr. Granados met his wife, Dorian, at church shortly after attending seminary. They have been married for 23 years, and have known each other for 29.
“She is my helpmate and gently calls me every day to be a godly man,” he said. “Marriage has been for me an opportunity to recognize areas in my life where I need to grow. I praise God each day for His wonderful gift, Dorian.”
They have adopted two daughters: Emma is 16 and was adopted from China, and Sophia is 14 and was adopted from Colombia.
Dr. Granados enjoys involving his family in whatever is happening on campus.
“We like to host a lot in our home,” he said. “For them to meet the people that I work with, the people that I’m serving with, and the people that I’m serving. And in that way for them to begin to understand what it is that I do.” Dr. Granados explained that Dorian enjoys having students into their home. “She does crafts and games and all kinds of cooking and sometimes, like, you know, survival guide to cooking in the dorm room.”
Dr. Granados also discussed his desire to not neglect his family while performing well at his job. He said he has seen it happen many times where a person gets so engrossed in their ministry or job that they end up neglecting their family and making them “widows and orphans.”
He continued, “We have always just tried to be very intentional. I don’t want my wife to be a widow and I don’t want my children to be orphans, and to feel like they’ve always got to compete with the church or the school. But instead to make them very much a part of that life. Because my desire is that the things that I love that they would love.”