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Chenoweth Begins Tenure as Bethel College President

Bethel College President, Gregg Chenoweth, Ph.D.

Gregg A. Chenoweth, Ph.D., began his tenure as Bethel College’s seventh president on Monday, July 8. Chenoweth succeeds Steven R. Cramer, Ph.D., who announced his retirement last August.

Chenoweth is enthusiastic about beginning his role at Bethel. “Everyone I speak with – faculty, staff, trustees, community members – believes Bethel is important to our region, is successful and increasingly necessary!  I look forward to helping Bethel realize her potential.”

Chenoweth most recently served as the vice president for academic affairs at Olivet Nazarene University (ONU)in Bourbonnais, Ill., where he also held positions as dean of the college of arts and sciences, honors program director and journalism program director. Throughout his 10 years at ONU, he was a professor of journalism and public relations.

During his administrative tenure at ONU, Chenoweth established 15 new academic programs, achieved accreditation for 13 distance education degrees and increased faculty morale during a time of $3 million in wage freezes and budget cuts.

Chenoweth spent the first part of his career as a public relations specialist and journalist. He has been published in more than 30 outlets including the Chicago Tribune, Christianity Today, Inside Higher Ed and the Forum on Public Policy.

Chenoweth is also active in community service. He was a founding board member of Starfish Family Homes in Kankakee County — Illinois’ only group home for abused or neglected children to remain with siblings through high school graduation. In 2005 he led an Adopt a Village group, which raised $40,000 to assist with tsunami relief in Thailand.

He has wide international experience, having visited 15 countries, lived abroad for one year in Korea, led an Asia Initiative across three countries (China, Japan and Korea) and gave a lecture at the 20th anniversary of the Oxford Roundtable in Oxford, England.

During his first months at Bethel, Chenoweth plans to establish a Transition Council of staff, faculty, students and community members to accelerate his understanding of Bethel's history, strengths, unrealized capacity and institutional culture. 

“We will create several venues for interested constituents to express insights, culminating around the first of the year in a multi-year, comprehensive set of commitments which best express Bethel's mission and the needs of contemporary students,” says Chenoweth. “I will spend a lot of time talking with people — working professionals in our adult programs, traditional undergraduates, church leaders, staff, faculty, trustees, community leaders, government representatives and more.”

Chenoweth’s wife, Tammy, is a former Mishawaka resident and a graduate of Penn High School. The Chenoweths have been married for 23 years and have three children: Abbey is a student at Azusa Pacific University in Azusa, Calif., and Allison and Aaron will attend Penn High School.

Prior to his start, Chenoweth was already connecting with the Michiana community, having attended the Community Leader’s Breakfast at the University of Notre Dame and the “Down the Avenue” fundraiser at Saint Mary’s College.

Chenoweth’s inauguration will take place in the fall. A presidential video message can be found at BethelCollege.edu/President, along with three video interviews with the Chenoweths. For headshots, a full bio and other media resources visit BethelCollege.edu/Media.

Interview requests can be directed to Erin Kinzel, Erin.Kinzel@BethelCollege.edu, 574.807.7382.

Bethel College is an accredited Christian college offering associate, bachelor’s and master’s degrees in more than 70 areas of study. The current enrollment of more than 2,000 includes students from 34 states and Puerto Rico, 19 countries, more than 25 denominations and 16 percent from culturally diverse backgrounds. Scholarships are available based upon a variety of factors including academic achievement, talent in the arts or athletics, ethnicity and church affiliation. In addition to its beautifully wooded 75-acre main campus in Mishawaka, Ind., Bethel also offers specific academic programs at sites in Elkhart, Ind., Fort Wayne, Ind., Dowagiac, Mich., and St. Joseph, Mich. Nursing programs are also offered in cooperation with Grace College in Winona Lake, Ind. Connect with Bethel online at BethelCollege.edu, or via Facebook (Facebook.com/BethelCollege), Twitter (Twitter.com/BethelCollegeIN), YouTube (YouTube.com/BethelCollegeIndiana) and Instagram (Instagram.com/BethelCollege).