Willie Hucks Named New Assistant to the President

   Campus News | Posted on June 6, 2024

Willie Hucks has accepted the invitation to serve as assistant to the president for Mission & Culture at Andrews University. In that capacity, he will also carry forward the role of diversity officer.

Hucks earned a BA from Oakwood College in 1985 and an MDiv from Andrews University in 1992. He went on to complete a DMin from Andrews University in 2006.

For almost 15 years, Hucks served as a pastor in the Southwest Region Conference. Then, from 1999–2006, he was faculty at Southwestern Adventist University, where he specialized in applied theology and taught several general education religion courses. He also coordinated the student pastor program with local conferences and the preparation and interview process for ministerial students to meet with potential employers. He says, “I enjoyed shaping young minds and preparing young people for pastoral ministry.”

Hucks next moved into the role of associate editor of Ministry Magazine, and from 2010–2016, he was associate ministerial secretary for the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists.

In 2016, Hucks was invited to return to the classroom as associate professor and, later, chair of the Department of Practical & Applied Theology in the Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary at Andrews University. “The faculty and staff of Andrews are among the most dedicated and committed people I have ever met, and my interactions with them have made me a better person,” he says. “I especially can say that about my colleagues in the Practical and Applied Theology Department (PATH). Colleagues isn’t the right word to use. We are family.”

A prolific author and engaging presenter, Hucks writes and speaks on a wide array of topics, including homiletics, the intersection of church and community, ethnicity, justice, and ministry to “the least of these.” He has also chaired the Seminary Ethnicity, Race, and Social Justice Committee for eight years.

Hucks’ interest in the position of assistant to the president for Mission & Culture at Andrews began after hearing President John Wesley Taylor V’s passion for these themes. Hucks concluded that his gifts and life experiences could contribute to Andrews University’s culture and biblical mission.

Hucks says, “This role calls on me to foster a climate in which the University’s core values—wellbeing, integrity, innovation, trust, humility, justice, compassion—permeate everything we do. Intentionally integrating these values gives us the credibility and efficacy to be world changers. The final two core values are most clearly seen when it comes to matters of diversity. Justice and compassion are integral to possessing a sense of belonging. And the concept of belonging stands front and center in Andrews University’s strategic plan. I don’t want Andrews to create spaces for belonging. I want Andrews to always be known as a space of belonging.”

Hucks hopes that, in his new work, the familial interaction he has had in the Seminary can be expanded campus-wide. He also wants to foster a broad sense of spiritual rest. Comparing the priorities of Mary and Martha in Luke 10, Hucks notes the significant work of the Andrews learning community while also emphasizing that “diligence to the tasks must not result in our spiritual, mental, social, psychological and physical harm. We must experience spiritual Shabbat.”

President Taylor says, “I am delighted that Dr. Willie Hucks has accepted this key role at our University. Over the years, I have observed and admired his commitment to the biblical worldview and his passion for extending the ministry of Jesus. It will be a special privilege to work closely together to deepen the connectedness of the Andrews University family and to vividly embody our core values as we move Forward in Mission.”