Former Northwest University President Don Argue transitioned to the new position of Chancellor on August 15. His new role was announced June 28 by Northwest University’s then President-elect Joseph Castleberry and Board Chair Les Welk.
“We are privileged to have Dr. Argue continue in partnership with Northwest University,” said Welk. “The Board hoped that we could forge a way to capitalize on Don’s unique abilities and contacts. We are grateful to God that He has led us in such a way that the next chapters in the story of Northwest University will have a level of continuity provided by Don’s ongoing service.”
Joseph Castleberry, who began serving as Northwest’s sixth president on August 15, said, “I have admired Don Argue for years; I am looking forward to this season of working alongside this respected leader.”
As Chancellor, Argue will be an ambassador for Northwest University, serving the President by representing the University to donors, government leaders, and other influencers. The Chancellor may serve as a counselor to the President and will likely serve in other representational and ceremonial roles.
Northwest University offers undergraduate degrees in more than 50 academic programs and graduate degrees in Counseling Psychology and Business. Since Dr. Argue’s arrival at Northwest, the University has added more than a dozen undergraduate programs, including The Mark and Huldah Buntain School of Nursing, as well as four graduate programs: the Master of Arts in Counseling Psychology, the Master of Business Administration, the Master in Teaching, and the Master of Education. He led growth that included an increase in the number of faculty and the addition of 14 new buildings, including the acquisition of a 35,000 square foot office building that serves as the Center for Graduate and Professional Studies, and the construction of the new 45,000 square foot Health and Sciences Center. During his tenure as President, enrollment grew 52%.
Argue was recently appointed to the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF), an independent, non-political and non-partisan federal agency. The USCIRF was created to monitor violations of the right to freedom of thought, conscience, and religion or belief abroad, and to give independent policy recommendations to the President, Secretary of State, and Congress. The Commission is the first government commission in the world with the sole mission of reviewing and making policy recommendations on the facts and circumstances of violations of religious freedom globally. The Commission’s impact and success in accomplishing its mission is achieved through its efforts to bring advice and accountability to U.S. foreign policy in the promotion of religious freedom abroad. By providing reliable information and analysis, as well as careful and specific policy recommendations, the Commission provides the U.S. government and the American public with the tools necessary to promote this fundamental freedom throughout the world.
Argue also will continue his leadership among Evangelicals. Northwest University’s Board recently established the Center for Evangelical Vision, which will provide a context for Argue’s ongoing role at the University.
Before accepting the invitation to become President of Northwest University in 1998, Argue served as President of the National Association of Evangelicals (NAE). The NAE is comprised of approximately 43,000 congregations nationwide from 53 member denominations, and individual congregations from an additional 26 denominations, as well as several hundred independent churches.
Dr. Argue served as President of North Central University, Minneapolis, Minnesota, for 16 years. Under his leadership, the university received the Christianity Today Decade of Growth Award in recognition of being the fastest growing college of its kind in the nation.
Argue earned a Bachelor’s degree at Central Bible College, Springfield, Missouri, a Master’s degree at Santa Clara University, Santa Clara, California, and a Doctorate in Education at the University of the Pacific, Stockton, California.
Dr. Argue is known as a Christian statesman, visionary leader and able communicator. He has been invited to serve on national boards and committees. President Bill Clinton and Secretary of State Madeleine Albright invited him to serve on the (non-partisan/non-political) President’s Advisory Committee on International Religious Freedom. As a member of the Committee, he chaired the subcommittee dealing with international religious persecution.
President Clinton appointed Dr. Argue, Theodore Cardinal McCarrick (Washington, DC) and Rabbi Arthur Schneier (New York City) as the first official (non-partisan/non-political) religious leaders delegation from the United States to visit The People’s Republic of China and, as a result, he was involved in 50 personal meetings with China’s top leaders. The purpose of their visit was to confront Chinese leaders on the issues of religious freedom and religious persecution. The significance of their mission was highlighted when President Jiang Zemin met with the delegation, a meeting that U.S. Embassy staff indicated was unprecedented and historic. The relationship continues with many of these Chinese government leaders, including the new Chinese Ambassador to the United States, Yang Jiechi, who is a personal friend of Dr. Argue.
Dr. Argue pastored churches in Missouri and California. He has served in denominational positions.
He and his wife Pat have three children: Laurie Neary, Lee Argue M.D., Jon Argue and six grandchildren. His hobbies include skiing, biking, hiking, and restoring a 1966 VW Beetle.