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Michael F. Fales '75, M.Div./M.Min.

Director of Service Learning and Campus Ministries; Associate Professor Interdisciplinary Studies

Phone: 269-749-7624

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After a 16-year career as a hotel general manager with Residence Inn, Hilton and Omni hotel franchises, Mike Fales returned to his alma mater in 1992. He initially served as Director of the Annual Fund and Director of Alumni Engagement, later taking responsibility for Church Relations. Professor Fales currently serves as Director of Service Learning and Campus Ministries, Advisor to the International Students, and Associate Professor of Interdisciplinary Studies and Religion. Professor Fales regularly teaches Religion 101, World Religions, Old and New Testament, and Civilization Studies. He also teaches cultural awareness travel classes and has taken students to 16 different countries around the world including Japan, South Africa, Iceland, Australia, Cuba and most recently the United Arab Emirates.  Mike has led a variety of disaster relief trips to 15 states and Puerto Rico starting with eight trips to New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina. Professor Fales is the recipient of The University of Olivet Advisor of the Year Award, The University of Olivet Humanitarian Award, the Michigan Campus Compact Faculty/Staff Award, The Leadership In Individual and Social Responsibility Award, The Gorton and Peggy Riethmiller Award for Excellence in Scholarship, and the Distinguished Alumni Award. He is a 1975 graduate of The University of Olivet with a secondary teaching degree. He did graduate work in urban planning and historic preservation at The George Washington University and has a Master of Ministry/Master of Divinity degree from Earlham School of Religion. While in seminary Mike received a fellowship from the Congregational Foundation for Theological Studies and received their John Claxton Memorial Award for Excellence in the Understanding and Practice of Congregationalism at his graduation in 2007. He also attended chef school and loves to cook. Mike was ordained in the Congregational Christian Churches and has ministerial standing in the Central Michigan Association of Congregational Churches as well as duel standing in the Michigan Conference of the United Church of Christ. He is Past Moderator of the Michigan Conference of Congregational Christian Churches, and past chair of the Vitality Council of the National Association of Congregational Christian Churches. He also served for many years on the board of directors of the Congregational Foundation for Theological Studies.  He served for four years on the Executive Council of the National United Church of Christ and is currently serving as Moderator of the International Congregational Fellowship (ICF) which is the fellowship arm of Congregationalists around the world. ICF met in Fiji in July of 2023 and will meet in Thessaloniki, Greece in May of 2025. Closer to home, Mike is on the board of directors of the Port Austin Area History Center. He is married to Judy, who recently retired as the University Librarian. They live across the street from campus. Together they have three sons and two grandchildren.

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