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Dr. Leslie Pollard, President of Oakwood University, is pleased to announce the appointment of Elder Robert Edwards as the Vice President for Enrollment Services and Retention. Elder Robert Edwards is a minister and leader with over 40 years of service to the Seventh-day Adventist church. With a passion for spreading the gospel, serving his community, advancing education, and working with families, Elder Edwards has made significant contributions as a church pastor, youth minister, conference evangelist, community program administrator, and educator. He has served the Regional Work in both the South Central and Allegheny East Conferences. He earned both a Master of Divinity (M.Div.) from Andrews University and a Bachelor of Arts Degree from Oakwood College.

Elder Edwards returns to a second tour of duty at his Alma Mater, Oakwood University, where from 1994-1998, he served as Director of Enrollment Management. In 2023, he accepted an invitation to return as our Vice-President for Enrollment Services and Retention, effective January 1, 2024. This University role allows him to merge his passion for ministry with a focus on education and student success. As an administrator, he brings a wealth of experience and a deep commitment to nurturing the educational and spiritual growth of students within the Seventh-day Adventist tradition.

Before coming to Oakwood, from 2018 to 2023, Elder Edwards served as the Vice-President for Black Ministries for the Southeastern California Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, Elder Edwards provided strategic leadership, guidance, and support for the ministry. He has played a vital role in fostering spiritual growth, community engagement, and empowerment within the Black Adventist community, leaving a lasting impact on the lives of many. In this role, the Vice President for Black Ministries worked as a member of the executive administration team to accomplish its mission of expanding the outreach to the cross-cultural communities of the Southeastern California Conference territory. As Vice President, he also led the Community Services, Stewardship, Retirees, and Prison Ministries Departments. Elder Edwards is accustomed to reaching out to communities and supervising personnel in accomplishing the goals of the institution. Elder Edwards was responsible for the supervision of 22 pastors, 15 churches, and over 10,000 members, overseeing the territories of Riverside, San Bernardino, Orange, and San Diego counties.

As a minister, Elder Edwards is known for his ability to connect with people from all walks of life and to inspire them to live a faithful and purposeful life. His compassionate and empathetic approach has made him a respected figure within the Seventh-day Adventist community and beyond.
Elder Edwards is married to Dr. Denise Henderson Edwards, an accomplished school administrator on all grade levels, and current Supervisor of Teacher Education and University Professor at the University of California Riverside since January 2017. They are the proud parents of two adult daughters and three amazing grandchildren.