Office of the President

Paul MaurerPaul J. Maurer became the eighth president of Montreat College in July 2014. He is a visionary and results-driven leader who believes deeply in the value of Christ-centered higher education. President Maurer has more than 30 years of leadership experience in nonprofit and higher education administration. Prior to Montreat College, Dr. Maurer served as president of Sterling College, a sister institution within the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU).

Dr. Maurer’s tenure at Montreat College has been marked by multiple years of record enrollment, a host of new academic programs, and dozens of physical campus upgrades. He led the college to clarify its identity as a Christ-centered institution, which resulted in a mission-centric culture focused on intellectual inquiry, spiritual formation, and preparation for calling and career. It also means the college intentionally teaches character and ethics in all degree programs.

Under Dr. Maurer’s guidance, the college has recommitted to teaching the liberal arts competencies, believing that the development of character, reading, writing, critical thinking, communication, and teamwork skills are the core of a good education and what is most desired by employers. At the heart of the college’s liberal arts commitment is a rapidly growing Great Books, Big Questions honors program that combines graduate-style seminar courses with any major.

The college’s growth has been driven by new STEM-related programs. In addition to new and growing programs in the health sciences, the college made a major commitment to develop multiple offerings in cybersecurity, in-person and online, and was the first faith-based school in the United States to be designated a Center of Academic Excellence by the National Security Agency (NSA). The college has taken clear steps to become an emerging leader in cybersecurity education. In 2020, the college launched the Carolina Cyber Center, a public-private partnership (P3) with the intent of creating a national demonstration model that serves both the common good and as a support to the college’s mission.

Dr. Maurer is a published author and frequent speaker. He earned his Ph.D. in political science from Claremont Graduate University, where he was an H. B. Earhart Fellow and a John M. Olin Fellow. He earned his B.A. from the University of Cincinnati where he was co-captain of the men’s soccer team and a local Young Life leader. He earned his Master of Divinity from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. Dr. Maurer is a scholar of the American presidency and teaches American Constitutional History. In his free-time he enjoys biking, golf, and almost anything outdoors. He has the special talent of cutting his own hair. Dr. Maurer and his wife, Joellen, have been married since 1989, and have four children, a daughter-in-law, and three grandchildren.

Speaking Topics

President Maurer speaks on a wide range of topics including leadership, culture, parenting, and higher education. He travels frequently, speaking at leadership conferences, high school commencements, homeschool conventions, church retreats, chapel services, and other events in the Southeast and beyond. If you are interested in having Dr. Maurer speak at your event, contact Sara Baughman at, or call 828.669.8012 x3778. Here is a list of speaking topics and descriptions:

Cybersecurity: A Response to the Security Threat of our Age
Cybersecurity has reached a national threat level once reserved solely for nuclear armament. From Washington, D.C. to board rooms across America, leaders are scrambling to address the overwhelming threats to every facet of life, including personal information, health care, the grid, commerce, and defense and intelligence. Paul Maurer makes the case that persons of character and integrity have the opportunity to substantially influence both the national narrative and strategic response. This message also offers practical tips for you and your business.

Suggested audience: Business owners and C-suite executives; parents of high school students; high school students; educators, high school administrators and/or guidance counselors; homeschool conferences; civic groups.

Raising Kids in a Post-Christian Culture
Parenting requires courage and engagement, and this is especially true in our post-Christian culture. In this talk, a set of core principles is offered to help parents focus on the essentials, and offers a unique perspective on some of the biggest decisions parents need to make.

Suggested audience: Parent groups; Christian leadership gatherings; Sunday morning sermon; church leadership gatherings; men’s groups.

A Suite of Values for Leadership
A set of values is explored as a basis for biblical-based leadership in our post-Christian culture. Originally compiled as a set of common values for all employees in an organizational turnaround, it frames a set of values that apply to any person in leadership or those who aspire to leadership. The values of humility, trust, relationships, effectiveness, sense of urgency, belief, and extraordinary commitment are ordered with intentionality. Together, they form a powerful, biblical understanding of contemporary leadership.

Suggested audience: Any audience of leaders or those aspiring to leadership.

The Call to Humility in a World Focused on Power
Humility and power can co-exist, serving as a model of healthy and biblical leadership. The Bible is filled with examples of the power of God and the people he uses for his purposes. We are also called to leadership that is rooted in humility. This talk explores the marriage of these concepts, commonly thought to be diametrically opposed to each other.

Suggested audience: Christian leadership gatherings, Sunday morning sermon, church leadership gatherings, men’s groups.

Engaging Culture as the Ground Shifts Beneath the Church
Christians find themselves reassessing how to engage culture, or whether to, as we grapple with the rapid changes in societal values. What is the Christian response? Three approaches are explored, taking into account history, politics, and biblical teaching. Highly practical suggestions are offered for moving forward.

Suggested audience: Christian leadership gatherings; Sunday morning sermon; church leadership gatherings; men’s groups.

Our Promise
Montreat College’s Promise to Students and Parents. Most colleges today are unwilling to offer a promise to its students. But Montreat College is different than most. Montreat College is an independent, Christ-centered, liberal arts institution that educates students through intellectual inquiry, spiritual formation, and preparation for calling and career. In this talk, the promise is unpacked and its uniqueness is explained.

Suggested audience: Parents of teenagers; groups of pastors, youth pastors, or leaders in Christian high schools; educators; homeschool conventions; men’s and women’s groups; any group of leaders; civic groups.

Living by Faith in a Post-Christian Era
This message offers guidance on how Christians can live by faith in a post-Christian era dominated by scientific inquiry. The book of Hebrews was largely written to exhort Christians to persevere in the face of persecution. Its message is timeless and has great application for the Church today. This message focuses on a biblical understanding of faith, with practical tips on how to strengthen it.

Suggested audience: Sunday morning service; any group of leaders; high school students; parents; men’s or women’s gatherings or retreats; homeschool conferences.

Making the Most of Your Twenties
An entire generation has bought the lie that 30 is the new 20. It is not. Dr. Meg Jay argues in The Defining Decade: Why Your Twenties Matter and How to Make the Most of Them Now, that 50 million twenty-somethings are “living with a staggering… amount of uncertainty” as a result of buying into the false narrative that the twenties are reserved for fun and delayed decision-making. Dr. Maurer integrates a biblical worldview into Dr. Jay’s research and offers practical advice for how teens and twenty-somethings can make clear steps toward realizing their God-given destiny through a purpose-driven youth.

Suggested audience: High school commencements; twenty-somethings; parent of teens and twenty-somethings; high school juniors and seniors; homeschool conferences; men’s or women’s gatherings or retreats.

Love God with Your Mind
In two of the central passages of Scripture, we are taught to love God with our mind, and that it is though our mind that we understand the will of God. In this talk, we explore the central role of intellect, and its further development, in being a Christ-follower.

Suggested audience: Students of all ages; high school guidance counselors; parents of teenagers; educators; homeschool groups/conventions.

Our Core Identity

Our identity as humans is at the core of who we are. There are many components to our identity, but none should rank higher than our identity as a Christ-follower. It should be #1, higher than the identity we draw from our human family, racial and ethnic heritage, achievements, politics, or sexuality. In this talk, we explore the biblical basis for prioritizing the components of our identity.

Suggested audience: High school chapel; staff retreat for Christian workers in any setting; women’s or men’s groups; Christian business leaders.

The Moral Leadership of the President of the United States
This non-partisan talk explores the question of whether the president of the United States has historically provided moral leadership to the nation, and whether we should expect this of our presidents today. The conversation surrounding this question is hotly debated in our age of pluralism. The constitution is reviewed regarding what it says about the topic, including the topic of the separation of church and state. The case is made that separation of church and state is distinct from the idea of separating morality from politics. Presidents from George Washington through Bill Clinton are examined for their rhetoric on religion, morality, and moral leadership. In the end, we focus on two presidents in the modern era, Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan, to explore their religious and moral rhetoric, and whether it was connected to public policy. The results of the research may surprise you!

Suggested audience: Civic groups; men’s groups; any group interested in leadership or politics.

Living Life Through a Biblical Worldview
There are few topics more important for us to consider than the question of our worldview. Everyone has a worldview. It shapes the way we think and act. For those who profess Christianity and believe in the authority of the Bible, it is incumbent to understand a biblical worldview.

Suggested audience: Any group of leaders; high school students/chapel/commencements; parent groups or gatherings; homeschool conferences; Sunday morning service; men’s or women’s gatherings or retreats.

Power of Habit
Our lives are filled with habits, good and bad. Habit formation is often unintentional, meaning we allow habits to be formed without proactively shaping them. Based on the book by New York Times’ writer Charles Duhigg, this talk explores the world of habit formation. Topics include the creation of new habits, changing habits, and identifying the “keystone habit,” which impacts many other aspects of life.

Suggested audience: Parents of teenagers; groups of pastors, youth pastors, or leaders in Christian high schools; educators; homeschool conventions; men’s and women’s groups; any group of leaders; civic groups.

Being a Big Fish in a Small Pond
It is commonly assumed that going to an elite college or large public university are the best options for high school students. However, there is compelling evidence that there may be a better option: being a big fish in a small pond. This option offers a range of life-impacting benefits not seen at elite or large university settings.

Suggested audience: Parents of teenagers; teenagers; groups of pastors, youth pastors, or leaders in Christian high schools; educators; homeschool conventions; men’s and women’s groups; any group of leaders; civic groups.

The Crisis of American Higher Education
American higher education faces challenges on multiple fronts: cost; debt; doubts about the value of an education; declining state support; and the confusion caused by for-profit schools, to name a few. However, there is a crisis in American higher education that rises above all other problems: that American education no longer teaches the meaning of life. For most of the nearly 400 years of American higher education, its central purpose was to shape students’ souls. Doing so makes them better people and better contributors to civil society. Today, most colleges and universities go no further than helping students find a job. This is a fine outcome, but it represents a shallow version of what parents and students should expect given the significant investment of time and resources. This idea is explored in part by bringing highly regarded educators into the conversation. In the aggregate, these authors and intellectuals offer a common voice: American higher education has abandoned its core purpose and badly lost its way. But there is hope. There remains a group of colleges and universities that have maintained their focus on teaching the meaning of life. These gems offer a uniquely distinctive education, one desperately needed for the civil society of tomorrow.

Suggested audience: Parents of teenagers; groups of pastors, youth pastors, or leaders in Christian high schools; educators; homeschool conventions; men’s and women’s groups; any group of leaders; civic groups.

Esse Quam Videri
A Latin phrase translated “To be rather than to seem,” Esse Quam Videri is the motto of over 100 schools and colleges in the United States. But is it relevant today? Yes! A biblical understanding of authenticity is unpacked, and contrasted with the world’s version.

Suggested audience: Christian high school chapel; Christian high school commencement address; homeschool convention; any audience of Millennials.

Lessons of the Wilderness
Sometimes the greatest lessons of leadership are learned through difficulty, the wilderness experiences of life. In this talk, biblical examples of wilderness are explored in the context of the personal experience of the speaker having entered, endured, and emerged from a painful season in the wilderness. The wilderness, unwanted and unwelcome, can be transformed into a beautiful and life-giving journey.

Suggested audience: Civic groups; men’s groups; Sunday morning sermon.

This is a Football
The Hall of Fame football coach Vince Lombardi famously began training camp for the World Champion Green Bay Packers by holding up a football and declaring “Gentlemen, this is a football.” His point was that greatness begins with mastering the fundamentals. Most of success and in life is rooted in a small number of fundamentals. This talk proposes those fundamentals and the need to master them. Suggested audience: Parents of teenagers; groups of pastors, youth pastors, or leaders in Christian high schools; educators; homeschool conventions; men’s and women’s groups; any group of leaders; civic groups.
Stewardship: A Christian View of Wealth and Poverty
We live in an era of unprecedented wealth in the history of the world, while we also continue to struggle with vast problems of poverty. The Bible has a lot to say about these topics. Paul Maurer offers an overview of the scope of both wealth and poverty on a global and national scale, followed by a biblical perspective on our call to stewardship of the resources entrusted to us.

Suggested audience: Any group of leaders; men’s or women’s gatherings or retreats; high school students/chapel; homeschool conferences; Sunday morning service; parents of teens.

Master Plan

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Contact Information

310 Gaither Circle | P.O. Box 1267 | Box 883 | Montreat, NC 28757
828.669.8012 x3721