Corban University names Dr. John Mark Yeats next president

Corban University has named Dr. John Mark Yeats, a Midwest-based educator, as its next president.

A search committee of trustees, staff, alumni and students selected Yeats after a seven-month long search, according to a press release from Corban, a private Christian university in southeast Salem..

Yeats is the dean of students and student success, title IX coordinator and a professor of church history at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and Spurgeon College in Kansas City, Missouri.

“Dr. Yeats brings a passion for Christian education and a commitment to Corban’s mission and vision that excites us about the future of the university. Our unwavering desire is for Corban to achieve its mission to educate Christians who will make a difference in the world for Jesus Christ,” said Rod Hoff, chair of the university’s Board of Trustees in the release. “We believe that Dr. Yeats has the experience and capabilities to advance that mission, growing Corban’s influence for God’s glory.”

Yeats holds a PhD in Church History from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Illinois, and has degrees from Southern Seminary, Oxford University, Criswell College and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, according to the release.

He also has experience as a pastor and church consultant.

“It’s very humbling,” said Yeats in the release. “We are excited about the future. We are excited about who Corban is and maintaining faithfulness to the Gospel, to the Word of God, while training the next generation to make a difference in the world for Jesus Christ.” 

Yeats will start at Corban on June 1, becoming the university’s 11th president since its founding in 1935.

A university spokesperson said Thursday that Yeats was not available for further comment.

Dr. Sheldon Nord, who had been the university’s president since 2013, announced in 2022 that he would be stepping down effective after graduation ceremonies that May.

“After considering the challenges ahead, the Board and Dr. Nord agreed that a change in presidential leadership was in the best interest of the university and its strategic direction for the future,” the university said in a press release at the time. 

“Corban University is fortunate to welcome Dr. John Mark Yeats—a warm, relatable, and highly capable leader,” said Interim President Dr. Tom Cornman in the release. “Having served with distinction in university and church settings, he is both a gifted scholar and a recognized Christian thought leader. I am confident that Dr. Yeats will lead and represent Corban well, continuing to enthusiastically advance its mission.”

Contact reporter Abbey McDonald: [email protected] or 503-704-0355.

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Abbey McDonald joined the Salem Reporter in 2022. She previously worked as the business reporter at The Astorian, where she covered labor issues, health care and social services. A University of Oregon grad, she has also reported for the Malheur Enterprise, The News-Review and Willamette Week.