A professional of deep experience and commitment will be the next vice president of student development at Fresno Pacific University. 

Jake Gilbertson, Ed.D., will join the university in this cabinet-level role on July 1. Gilbertson comes to FPU from fellow California Christian university Point Loma Nazarene University, where he served as dean of students after other various student development roles, including director of community life and assistant director of residential life, at the San Diego school.

At PLNU Gilbertson implemented innovative student success programs, developed comprehensive wellness initiatives and led diversity and inclusion efforts. “His visionary approach and passion for student development have made a significant impact at Point Loma, and we are confident he will bring the same level of dedication and innovation to Fresno Pacific,” said André Stephens, Ph.D., president of Fresno Pacific University. 

For Gilbertson, student development—education that takes place outside the classroom—is central to higher education. Character formation, mentorship and concern for students’ mental and emotional health and well-being are all important components.

“At a Christian university, all of this work is informed by our commitment to follow Jesus and see students grow in their faith. Student development professionals have the opportunity to walk closely with students. This provides the chance for true incarnational ministry to be lived out as we strive to be good company for the journey,” he said. “We are the people that are often with students in the darkest and hardest seasons during college. These become crucial moments when a staff’s intervention can make all the difference in a student’s experience. We have these opportunities to be the hands and feet of Christ. 

Gilbertson is excited to join the FPU community. “Fresno Pacific has a long legacy of providing transformational education. President Stephens and the leadership team are committed to fulfilling the mission in ways that best serve the incredible students at FPU, and I am honored to join that work,” he said. 

Gilbertson received his B.A. in Philosophy and Theology from Point Loma Nazarene University, his M.A. in Education from San Diego State University and his Ed.D. in Higher Education Leadership from Azusa Pacific University. He and wife Lisa have two daughters.



Wayne Steffen
Associate Director of Publications and Media Relations