MISHAWAKA, IND. -- On Sept. 19, Bethel College President Gregg Chenoweth announced that on May 6, 2019, Bethel College changes its name to Bethel University.
Chairman of the Board of Trustees, Randy Lehman, spoke about the history of this choice, stating that the discussion first started 15 years ago. In January of this year, the topic resurfaced. In April, the Board of Trustees voted in favor of the change. Lehman spoke about how the name college is almost synonymous with high school, while university represents education higher than college. But both Chenoweth and Lehman agree that Bethel is on the same level as many universities.Chenoweth said, “The high-level talking points are that Bethel now enrolls one-in-eight as graduate students with all the research rigor that entails; one-in-10 students are in online format, reaching across broad geographical and cultural spaces; one-in-13 students are from outside the United States; alumni are in 65 countries, where the name “college” more often connotes tech school or community college than a four-year bachelor’s degree.” Chenoweth spoke more about the number of programs that Bethel has. Many of these, he believes, are on the same level as most universities. He gave a list of degrees, ranging from Accounting to Youth Ministry. He said that Bethel now has over 50 undergraduate degrees, and 10 graduate programs. Chenoweth and Lehman made it clear that, although the name of the school may be changing, Bethel will remain, at its core, the same place it has been since 1947.