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Administration

Dr. Kent Ingle

President

Office Contact Patrick Fitzgerald, Deputy Chief of Staff ptfitzgerald@seu.edu | 863.667.5002

Dr. Kent Ingle serves as the president of SEU (Southeastern University) in Lakeland, Florida. Ingle is the executive head of the institution and all of its departments, directing the university’s operations in accordance with its vision, mission and beliefs. As the 15th president of SEU, Ingle is passionate about educating and preparing students for Christ-centered leadership and service.

Ingle has held a variety of leadership positions in higher education, pastoral ministry and the nonprofit sector. He is the author of several leadership books and the creator and host of the Framework Leadership podcast. He is also a frequent columnist for Fox News, Newsmax and Influence Magazine. He has appeared on Fox & Friends, CBSN, CNN, HLN and The Ingraham Angle on Fox. Ingle has earned his Doctor of Ministry degree from the Assemblies of God Theological Seminary.

Learn more about Dr. Ingle
View the 2023 President’s Report

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Dr. Chris Owen

Executive Vice President
Dean, Barnett College of Ministry & Theology

Office Contact
Jill Johnson, Executive Director for Administrative Planning
jmjohnson1@seu.edu | 863.667.5146

Since 2017, Dr. Chris Owen has served as the university’s executive vice president. Owen assists the president by leading SEU’s strategic planning and development. Additionally, he oversees the Barnett College of Ministry and Theology. 

Previously, Owen spent seven years as the vice president of student development, managing all non-academic areas of the student experience. Owen has more than 17 years of executive leadership experience in the local church and received his Doctor of Ministry degree from George Fox University. 

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Dr. Meghan Griffin

Provost & Senior Vice President

Office Contact
Wendy Alderman, CAP, Executive Assistant
wfalderman@seu.edu | 863.667.5004

Originally established as SEU’s provost and chief academic officer in 2021, Dr. Meghan Griffin serves the university through executive leadership and management of academic programs and deliveries across the SEU network of campuses as well as student success, library services, honors, and academic partnership initiatives. As provost, Griffin ensures that all academic resources and collegiate objectives align with SEU’s mission, vision and strategic plan. 

Griffin first joined the university in 2017 as the academic dean of unrestricted education. Prior to that, she served in extension campuses at Palm Beach Atlantic University for seven years and served as a faculty member and department chair in Florida’s public state college system for six years. Griffin has received a Ph.D. in texts and technology from the University of Central Florida.

Dr. William C. Hackett, Jr.

Provost Emeritus
Professor of Practical Ministry

Office Contact
Kim D. White, CAP Expert, Executive Administrator
kdwhite@seu.edu | 863.667.5553

Dr. William “Bill” C. Hackett, Jr., currently serves SEU as provost emeritus, providing guidance to the university’s leadership team. He is also a professor in the Barnett College of Ministry and Theology and teaches a variety of practical ministry and Bible courses.  He also teaches speech courses in the College of Business, Communication and Leadership.

Previously serving for 10 years as provost, Hackett has been an integral part of the university since 1988. He has held several positions in teaching, administration, student development and academic affairs. With 15 years of experience in ministry, Hackett has also served in many pastoral roles. He has received a Doctor of Ministry degree from Biola University and a Doctor of Education degree from SEU.

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Dr. Cody J. Lloyd

Senior Vice President of Strategy & Operations
Chief Information Officer

Office Contact
Lindsey Francia, Executive Assistant
lmfrancia@seu.edu | 863.667.5933

Dr. Cody Lloyd is the vice president for institutional research and effectiveness and chief information officer (CIO). In his role, he oversees the accreditation process and provides key data and analysis for the university. He is responsible for leading and managing the Office of Institutional Effectiveness, Office of Institutional Research and Strategic Projects, the Office of Accreditation and Compliance, Office of the Registrar, Instructional Design and Technology, and Information Technology.

Prior to his current position, he served as the university’s associate vice president for information management. Lloyd has also worked in various capacities at Taylor University and Rollins College, and has led a wide variety of institutional accreditation projects. Lloyd has earned an Ed.D. in organizational leadership from SEU.

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Phillip Schmitt

Senior Vice President of Finance
Chief Financial Officer

Office Contact
Julie Ann Hudson, Executive Assistant
jahudson@seu.edu | 863.667.5006

Phillip “Phil” Schmitt is the vice president of finance and the university’s chief financial officer (CFO). In this position, he is responsible for leading and coordinating all financial elements of SEU. Schmitt oversees accounting, compliance, financial analysis and reporting, investment management, risk management and treasury function.

Previously serving as the director of finance for both SEU and Roberts Wesleyan College, Schmitt has filled a variety of finance and accounting roles within higher education since 2012. He has earned his Master of Business Administration degree from the University of Rochester.

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Dr. Bethany Thomas

Senior Vice President of Student Development & Campus Services

Office Contact
Sarah Gross, Executive Assistant
segross@seu.edu | 863.667.5654

As vice president for student development, Dr. Bethany Thomas serves the university through leadership and coordination of all elements of the student experience. Thomas works to create a cultural environment at SEU that empowers students’ growth missionally, encourages students’ achievement academically and socially, and inspires students’ depth spiritually. 

Thomas has served the university since 2008, and previously held the position of executive director of student experience. Before coming to SEU, she worked in the office of the provost at the University of Miami. Thomas has received her Doctor of Education degree from SEU.

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Dr. Michael Steiner

Vice President of Innovation
Chief of Staff

As vice president for innovation and communication, Dr. Michael Steiner is an integral part of the executive leadership team, overseeing the start-up of new university initiatives and seeking funding for these initiatives through grant sources. He is also responsible for cultivating relationships with local, state and federal representatives. Additionally, Steiner is responsible for the development of the SEU Media Network.  

Steiner has worked for the university in a variety of positions since 2015. He has received a Ph.D. in business psychology from the Chicago School of Professional Psychology.

Justin Lathrop Smiling in front of yellow background, Headshot

Justin Lathrop

Vice President of Strategic Partnerships

Office Contact
Katie Marki, Executive Assistant 
kmarki@seu.edu | 863.667.5502

Justin Lathrop serves as the vice president for strategic partnerships at SEU. He works to secure and maintain key partnerships for the university.

Lathrop has spent over 20 years in local church ministry. During that time, he started businesses and ministries that partner with pastors and churches. He is the founder of Helpstaff.me (now Vanderbloemen Search), Oaks School of Leadership, and YoungPastors.com. Prior to coming to Southeastern, Lathrop worked as the director of strategic relations for the General Council of the Assemblies of God. He has also worked with the Leadership Network and Convoy of Hope and is the author of the book The Likeable Christian.

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Sylvia Blackmon-Roberts

Vice President, Community Relations
Chief Diversity Officer

Office Contact
863.667.5506 

Sylvia Blackmon-Roberts is the vice president for community relations and chief diversity officer. As a part of the executive leadership team, Blackmon-Roberts works to ensure that the values of diversity, equity and inclusion are upheld in the university’s culture, policies and practices. She is also responsible for advancing SEU’s vision, mission and brand through community engagement, outreach, awareness, and the building of corporate relationships that create partnerships, talent pipelines, experiential learning opportunities and support funding. 

Blackmon-Roberts, a former CEO, brings over 35 years of executive leadership experience serving as a consultant to government, not-for-profit and corporate industries. She has been a panelist on Black Enterprise Television and CNBC.  Additionally, she is a highly sought-after speaker regarding women in leadership. She has earned a master’s degree in human resources administration from Southeastern University.

A picture of Steve Saccone smiling with a black shirt on in front of a yellow background.

Steve Saccone

Vice President, SEU Ministry Network

Office Contact
Katie Marki, Executive Assistant 
kmarki@seu.edu | 863.667.5502

Dr. Ben Sigman serves as the Chief Advancement Officer. In this position he is responsible for capital development and fundraising at SEU  This includes planned giving, annual initiatives, grants and special initiatives. These efforts help fund and fuel the innovation of the university and help keep SEU affordable and accessible for students  .

Prior to coming to SEU, Sigman has worked as a Generosity Strategist at Generis and is the founder and Principle of Ministry Advance, a capital development group. 

He holds both a master’s and doctorate from Fuller Theological Seminary.

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Julie Paul

Chief Advancement Officer

Office Contact
Jennifer Kress, Administrative Assistant 
jekress@seu.edu | 863.667.5193

Dr. Ben Sigman serves as the Chief Advancement Officer. In this position he is responsible for capital development and fundraising at SEU  This includes planned giving, annual initiatives, grants and special initiatives. These efforts help fund and fuel the innovation of the university and help keep SEU affordable and accessible for students  .

Prior to coming to SEU, Sigman has worked as a Generosity Strategist at Generis and is the founder and Principle of Ministry Advance, a capital development group. 

He holds both a master’s and doctorate from Fuller Theological Seminary.

SEU's Approach to Leadership

At SEU, our leadership is guided by frameworks, each intricately woven to foster our strategic and operational objectives. These frameworks are dynamic, incorporating a meticulous framing process that involves listening, auditing the context, clarifying goals, and cultivating alignment. We have developed distinct yet interlinked frameworks, including Urgent, Visionary, Cultural, Functional, Innovative, and Breakthrough.

Three coexistent leadership ecosystems leverage the diverse talents within SEU, fostering a robust foundation for progressive growth and innovation. This leadership structure enhances our focus on leadership frameworks, directly aligning our philosophy with our organizational structure.