The Sattler College Board of Trustees has announced the selection of Dean Taylor to serve as president beginning February 1st.
Mr. Taylor will replace incumbent president James Bradford, who has plans to retire. The Sattler College Board appreciates Mr. Bradford’s work—particularly his leadership in gaining degree-granting authorization from the Massachusetts' Board of Higher Education—and anticipates the vision and skills Mr. Taylor will bring to the role of President.
Dr. Finny Kuruvilla, founder of Sattler College, believes Mr. Taylor is especially fitted for this position because of his widely respected leadership among Anabaptist, Charity, and kingdom churches. In addition, says Dr. Kuruvilla, “[Mr. Taylor’s] journey in leaving the United States Army and promoting peacemaking aligns beautifully with Sattler College's goal of ‘equipping Jesus' peaceful revolution.’”
Mr. Taylor received his education in health science, with a B.A. in nursing and M.A. in anesthesia. He is also well known as a speaker, teacher, minister, and author.
Dean’s revolutionary journey started with his wife Tania in Germany where they were stationed with the US Army. In 1988, during the Cold War, Dean made a trip to the Berlin wall when Tania was in basic training. Coming to the checkpoint Dean experienced the heavily guarded, intimidating atmosphere of the barrier wall between East and West Germany. A year later, he visited the city again with Tania. But this time, as he stood there looking at the wall, he witnessed German citizens exuberantly tearing down the hated Berlin Wall by hand. Looking on, Dean and Tania could see Russian and East German guards leaning through holes in the wall shouting, “Mein Bruder!”
“As I stood there and looked at that, it really made an impression on me, and I asked the question, ‘What changed?’” Mr. Taylor recounts. “Why was it that last year I could have been called on to kill these people, and this year they’re calling me brother and friend through the holes in the wall?” That question, along with an even more life-changing one: “What if Jesus really meant what he said?” eventually propelled Dean and Tania Taylor out of the United States Army and into an Anabaptist community.
Since that time, they have tirelessly “contended for the faith”, laboring with partners from a wide variety of Anabaptists—Hutterites to Beachy Amish and Mennonites. Last year, the Beachy Amish ordained him as bishop to enable him to establish sound Biblical churches for new believers in refugee camps on Lesbos Island, Greece. Mr. Taylor states that his alliance with Anabaptist churches is not limiting or insular.
Dean and Tania Taylor are entering their thirty-second year of marriage and have six children ranging in age from thirteen to twenty-five. The Taylors’ three daughters—Stephana, Christina, and Joanna—and their youngest son, John Wesley, will move to Boston with their parents when Mr. Taylor assumes the role of president. The Taylors’ oldest son, Stephen, who is a member of Sattler’s inaugural class, already lives in Boston with his wife Linda and one-year-old son, Hudson. The Taylors’ middle son, Christian, plans to remain in Lesbos Island to continue serving refugees—a work the whole family loves. The older Taylor children hope to be involved with the college ministry and teaching English to students in Boston. Tania will help to disciple the female students.
As president of Sattler College, Mr. Taylor will recruit both students and dedicated Christian professors. As Sattler continues to attract students from different backgrounds, he will play an important role in their discipleship. Building from his own experience in places like Greece, he plans to lead Sattler toward direct involvement in mission work around the globe. Mr. Taylor will not only represent the college as president, but will teach and interact daily with students in the friendly learning atmosphere of the classroom. He is committed to building relationships with pastors and leaders from students’ home communities and desires to send graduates back to their home areas, not with prideful attitudes, but as strong, encouraging laborers for the harvest.
What is Mr. Taylor’s ultimate vision for Sattler College? “It is my prayer and my dream,” he says, “that we will not just impart head knowledge, but that we will truly create dedicated, radical followers of Jesus Christ that are going to be planting the kingdom in all different walks of life. The end result is not just to walk across the stage with a four year degree, but rather it is seeing the students truly be involved in kingdom work with their lives and by living a radical life of serving Christ.”