Campus News

Bethel’s next president announced

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Dr. Gregg Chenoweth has been named as Bethel College’s seventh president by Brian L. Hamil, the chair of the board of trustees. Both the presidential search committee and the board of trustees voted unanimously on choosing Chenoweth, and the general oversight committee for the Missionary Church approved the decision on April 8, according to a Bethel College news release. The search committee was formed in September of last year after the announcement of President Cramer’s retirement in August. “The goal of the search committee is only to interview candidates and make a recommendation to the board of trustees,” said Robby Prenkert, a Bethel professor who served on the search committee. According to Prenkert, the committee started by spending “significant time” with constituents of Bethel College, including students, staff and members of the community. They asked what Bethel College meant to each of these groups, and what attributes they believed the next president should have. From there, the committee presented their findings to SIMA International, a search firm that helped connect Bethel to potential candidates. Prenkert said that the firm did a great deal of work between November and February, and gave eight candidates’ names to the search committee. The committee then narrowed the group of candidates down to three, and interviewed them. Ultimately, they recommended Chenoweth. Chenoweth, who is currently the vice president of academic affairs at Olivet Nazarene University, stood out to Prenkert partly because of his track record of success in academic institutions. Prenkert said that both Chenoweth and his wife, Tammy, have “spiritual depth,” and he stressed that the committee had reached a “profound consensus” that Chenoweth was the best choice. “I would’ve been shocked if he wasn’t approved,” Prenkert said, later adding. “We [the search committee] were really, really thrilled and excited. We strongly believe we got the person that God wanted and we’re really happy about that. We’re really excited.” Prenkert said that he believed Chenoweth would “fit nicely” with Bethel in terms of theological beliefs, and that the Nazarene denomination that Olivet belongs to is closely associated with the Missionary Church’s background. “He’s very interested in paying attention to Bethel’s unique ethos and heritage,” Prenkert said. “He’s going to be respectful of our identity even as he strives to press forward.” Prenkert also praised Chenoweth for the depth of experience he has, citing his work in the fields of journalism, academia, missions and more. Prenkert, who is the chair of the committee on the Humanities at Bethel College, added that Chenoweth is also a great storyteller. “I think students will find him engaging when he speaks in chapel,” he said. Look to the Beacon for continuing coverage on Bethel College’s next president. For a look into Chenoweth's vision for Bethel College, click the following link to a story by Aaron Charles: http://beacon.bethelcollege.edu/?p=7982
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