Office of the Provost

The mission of the Office of the Provost is to implement the mission of HCU by providing a learning experience that instills a passion for excellence in academic, spiritual, and professional pursuits.  This mission is motivated by our central confession that “Jesus Christ is Lord.”  This is accomplished through the work of outstanding faculty in seven colleges, and student support services such as Student Success and Advising, Student Life, and various organizations and ministries, the Library, and other key offices.

Learn more about the academic leadership of HCU, find our School and Colleges, explore our museums and libraries, and connect with the resources offered through the Institute of Christianity and Scholarship and the Academic Support and Resources.

Our goal is to lead HCU in Christ-centered teaching, service and research so that the “…true Light which, coming into the world, enlightens every man” () can be more fully known by our students and communities.  As part of being a comprehensive university we are committed to developing excellent programs in all areas of the human experience as “All things came into being through [Jesus], and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being” ().  I am excited about HCU’s vision and all the great work being done by our faculty and staff.  My prayer is that our students will be more aware of God’s goodness and sovereignty over their lives as our faculty and staff lead them to the Way, the Truth, and the Life ().

Dr. Stan NapperDr. Stan Napper, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs,  reports directly to the University President.  Dr. Napper’s brief personal biography is available at “What I Would Like You to Know About Me.”  He is instrumental in the development of innovative curriculum and leads the efforts in faculty recruitment, professional development and establishing policies and procedures commensurate with the University Mission and Vision.



Dr. Kristina Cerling, Associate Provost for Academic Affairs and Dean of The Graduate School, reports directly to the University Provost. She assists academic programs to grow through innovation, excellence, and in accordance with HCU’s mission. As Associate Provost, Dr. Cerling supervises Institutional Research, the Office of Academic Records, Academic Technology, Academic Support and Resources (including the Library, the Writing Center, and student success initiatives funded through Title V LEAP), and the University’s assessment and compliance efforts including serving as Liaison to the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) and supporting college- and school-specific accreditations. She coordinates faculty and staff professional development for Academic Affairs and Student Affairs through her leadership in the Center for Learning Innovations and Teaching Excellence (C-LITE). She also serves as a member of the Deans’ Council.


Dr. Jay Spencer, Associate Provost for Online and Digital Learning, reports directly to the University Provost. He directs long-range planning, assessment, and implementation of digital/online academic offerings and assists in establishing guidelines and protocols for the Pampell Adult and Graduate Studies Division in compliance with SACS standards. He also collaborates with University colleagues on institution-wide technology initiatives and projects that relate to online and digital learning opportunities. In addition, he supervises selection, training, and evaluation of adjunct faculty (including online course evaluation) and develops partnerships internally and externally to create additional opportunities for the delivery of existing and new HCU programs (including degree programs, certificates, and other non-traditional forms of learning). He also serves as a member of the Deans’ Council.


Mr. Eduardo Borges, Assistant Provost for Student Affairs, provides leadership for the implementation of key initiatives within Student Life and Student Success. and works collaboratively with Deans, the Office of the Provost, and other key administrative offices of the University to facilitate and maintain excellence in communication and policy development. He also provides leadership and oversight for Residence Life, Student Care and Conduct, the Gideon Counseling Center, and the Spahr-Tan Center for International Education. Mr. Borges also serves as a member of the Deans’ Council.


Mr. Scott Bertrand, Assistant Provost and Dean of Spiritual Life, reports directly to the University Provost and serves the Provost, the Deans, and the faculty to more effectively accomplish the University’s mission. He helps facilitate the development and implementation of the University’s strategic plan for Academic Affairs and Student Affairs; communications; budget development and management; research and data analysis; administrative and operational problem solving; and the development of policies and programs in furtherance of the University’s mission and strategic plan. As Dean of Spiritual Life, Mr. Bertrand leads efforts to strengthen the University’s Christian identity and mission, offering vision and strategic leadership to the Spiritual Life Department, HCU’s weekly Convocation program, faculty and staff discipleship initiatives, and other University efforts in faith integration and spiritual formation throughout Academic Affairs and Student Affairs. He also serves as a member of the Deans’ Council.


Ms. Samantha Bottoms, Dean of Student Success, is responsible for supporting the Provost in providing leadership in University retention efforts and in directing the operations and management of the Department of Student Success in Student Affairs. She oversees the areas of TRIO Student Support Services, the Tutoring Center, Career & Calling, and Advising & Student Persistence. These areas represent key academic support systems and student support services for the University. Ms. Bottoms reports directly to the Provost.