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Dan Church Selected as Bastyr University's New President
Dan Church Selected as Bastyr University's New President

by Courtney Cavaliere

Bastyr University, the nation's largest accredited teaching facility for natural medicine, located in Kenmore, WA, has selected Daniel K. Church, PhD, to serve as the university's new president. Church began his tenure as president on September 1, 2005.1

"I was drawn to Bastyr University because of its unique mission and its excellent faculty and staff," Church stated (e-mail, August 30, 2005). "Bastyr University is not content to merely pass on the accumulated knowledge of earlier generations but is committed to credible research which tests the efficacy of natural health interventions and pioneers the development of new approaches."

Kathleen Warren, director of media and community relations at Bastyr, said the university's selection committee chose Church because they wanted a new president with experience as a CEO, as well as experience in the fields of health care and academia (oral communication, July 2005). "He had all of those in his background," Warren said. "He also has Seattle roots, which is important for a small community like Bastyr, especially when it comes to fundraising. That was sort of icing on the cake."

Church served as General Secretary and CEO of the General Council on Ministries of the United Methodist Church before joining Bastyr. His previous career experiences also include leadership of the nonprofit Edwin Shaw Hospital in Akron, Ohio; 10 years as a tenured professor at Seattle Pacific University; and several years on the executive administration team at Malone College in Ohio.1

Church replaced Thomas Shepherd, DHA (Doctor of Health Administration), as Bastyr University president. Shepherd left Bastyr University in the fall of 2004 and moved to the East Coast to be closer to his family.1 He is now serving as executive vice president of DeVry Inc. and president of Ross University, which has administrative offices in Edison, New Jersey.2

While Bastyr University searched for Shepherd's replacement, John Daley, PhD, acted as interim president (J. Daley, oral communication, August 2005). Daley was the university's executive vice-president for 10 years and executive vice-president/provost for one year. Daley postponed his retirement to serve as the university's temporary president for nine months. According to Daley, Church's background and skills strongly qualify him for the job as university president. "He's very bright and articulate," Daley said. "I think he'll work well with faculty and others at the institution. I think he was a very good choice."

Bastyr, founded in 1978, offers academic degree programs in naturopathic medicine, acupuncture and Oriental medicine, nutrition, herbal sciences, health psychology, exercise science and wellness, and applied behavioral science.3 Students can earn bachelors, masters, and/or doctoral degrees in various fields or participate in certificate programs.4 Statistics for 2002-2003 show over 1,000 students attending Bastyr,5 which occupies 50 acres of land on the shore of Lake Washington, 10 miles north of Seattle. The 186,000 square-foot facility, built in 1959 as a Catholic seminary, includes classrooms, lab and research facilities, an extensive library, and dormitory space.6


1. New President of Bastyr University Brings CEO, Higher Education and Health Care Experience [press release]. Kenmore: Bastyr University; July 18, 2005.

2. Ross University Administration page. Ross University Web site. Available at: Accessed September 1, 2005.

3. Bastyr University: Academic Programs. Bastyr University Web site. Available at: Accessed September 9, 2005.

4. Bastyr University: Core Programs. Bastyr University Web site. Available at: Accessed September 9, 2005.

5. Bastyr University: Vital Statistics. Bastyr University Web site. Available at: Accessed September 9, 2005.

6. Bastyr University Admissions: Student Life. Bastyr University Web site. Available at: Accessed September 9, 2005.