Dr. Vanderhoof Joins the Central Family Skip to content

Dr. Vanderhoof Joins the Central Family

Dr. VanderhoofCentral Christian College of Kansas is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Lara Vanderhoof as the new Chief Academic Officer.  

Vanderhoof completed her undergraduate and Master’s Degree at Roberts Wesleyan College, later completing her Doctorate of Social Work from Capella University. Her work experience has included time in the public sector as a mental health therapist and social work program director. With teaching experience at Roberts Wesleyan and Indiana Wesleyan, Vanderhoof has most recently served as the Social Work Program Director at Tabor College. Her experience has helped her become a recognized academic expert who is regularly engaged in scholarship through peer review opportunities, conducting research, and presenting at national conferences.  

With 15 years of teaching experience Vanderhoof brings familiarity with online, distance, and face-to-face modalities, at both the undergraduate and graduate level.  Vanderhoof has led efforts to expand teaching pedagogies and experiences in alignment with student needs.  

Administratively, Dr. Vanderhoof has played an essential role providing development to faculty through trainings, one-on-one meetings, correction-action meetings, and on-going supportive efforts.  She has spearheaded efforts to embed aspects of love-driven justice into coursework and campus engagement activities, including collaboration with spiritual formation initiatives focused on enhancing the engagement of faith and learning. To achieve this, Vanderhoof draws from her extensive experiences in urban and rural communities, both locally and abroad. Dr. Vanderhoof Smiling 

As a member of the Free Methodist Church, Dr. Vanderhoof is active at the local, regional, national, and global level. Currently, she serves as the Great Plains Free Methodist Conference Mission Chair, and the Great Plains Free Methodist Conference Mission Liaison for the denomination. Locally, Vanderhoof serves as a leader for the Set Free Movement, Offender Victim Ministries, and active volunteer with the United Way of McPherson County. 

Reflecting on her new role, Vanderhoof said, “I am honored and excited to be joining Central Christian College of Kansas. Christian Education brings the opportunity to be in community with one another, serve one another, and to build the Kingdom of God.  I am excited to continue to invest in Christian Higher Education and come alongside the faculty to intellectually challenge and encourage college students to utilize their knowledge to serve the kingdom of God. Knowledge is important, gaining knowledge is exciting, meaningful, and fulfilling. When engaged in life of the mind activities one develops and discovers the world and yes, God, and how he creates and provides avenues for each of us to gain skills, knowledge, and abilities.”

Vanderhoof formally began her new role during the summer of 2022. Central President, Rev. Dr. Leonard Favara said, “Vanderhoof brings a record of achievement that will enhance the strategic initiatives of Central Christian College.  She not only has the necessary experience to provide academic leadership, but her shared heritage as a leader within the Free Methodist Church of North America and unique focus on social initiatives, from a Biblical perspective, means that she comes equipped to amplify the unique mission of the College.” Dr. Vanderhoof Speaking

She hit the ground running in her first three months and has already made a lasting impact on campus. Some of the highlights include, in June, she led a workshop for the faculty and staff on the history, importance, and impact of Juneteenth. As well as, overseeing a strategic review of several of the College’s strategic academic partnerships, organizing the annual academic convocation, and making several key hires in the faculty. This fall she is also bringing her extensive background to the classroom where Central students have the opportunity to glean from her depth of wisdom and vast experiences.

Join us in welcoming Dr. Vanderhoof to the Central Community!


Central Christian College of Kansas is a regionally accredited institution offering undergraduate and graduate-level programs. Central strives to offer Christ-centered education for the whole person – heart, mind, soul, and strength. Its history dates back to 1884, and it is located in the friendly town of McPherson, Kansas. Central is a strategically small college that offers over forty areas of residential study and a thriving online program for non-traditional students. To learn more about other openings go to the Employment page.

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