On Saturday, February 3, 2024, the Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary Board of Trustees unanimously voted to appoint The Rev. Ryan Arnold as the new vice president for institutional advancement, effective March 1, 2024. Arnold is currently the director of community engagement in the Development Office at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa, where he has exercised strategic leadership for nonprofit, corporate, government, and neighborhood relations.
In his current position, Arnold has raised millions for university projects connecting the campus to the community, authored the university’s anchor framework and economic impact report, and managed private and public partnerships to generate $130 million in real estate development. Drake University President Dr. Marty Martin said, “From then till now, Ryan has been an indispensable colleague. His accomplishments – all of which have advanced our mission – are many and powerful. Community relationship upon community relationship has been dramatically advanced, leading to major financial support and major projects brought to fruition.” Last year, the Des Moines Business Record listed Arnold on their annual Forty under 40 list of successful young professionals in the region.
Arnold connects his fundraising experience to the overall mission of the Christian community to promote God’s realm of justice within our proximate society and into the world. He brings more than a decade of pastoral experience in congregational settings. Austin Seminary President José R. Irizarry said, “Ryan’s experience in identifying, building, and sustaining relationships to further institutional mission was clearly evidenced during our conversations. He brings a keen analytical mind and a deeply committed pastoral heart to this work. His gifts will not only service our advancement work but will also enrich our beloved community.”
A budding scholar in educational philosophy, Arnold is researching and writing a doctoral dissertation exploring university and community relations' philosophical foundations, policy, and theological orientation. In reflecting on this appointment as Austin Seminary’s new vice president for institutional advancement, Arnold said, “Equity, integrity, optimism, collaboration, and innovation are key personal and professional values. The Christian story and the power of education inspire me. I know the sacred trust required to cultivate relationships to advance the mission of the institution.”