The president will serve as the senior executive, having and exercising overall leadership for Bethel College. The president is a (nonvoting) member of and reports to the board of trustees (24 members).
Standards for trustee membership reflect Bethel’s close relationship to the Missionary Church. At least one-half of the Bethel College board of trustees belong to the Missionary Church. Additionally, the president of the Missionary Church, Inc. serves as a member ex officio of the college board. All appointees of the Bethel College board of trustees must affirm the doctrinal statements of the college which conform to the Articles of Faith of the Missionary Church, Inc.
The new president is expected to formulate vision and to provide strategic leadership in developing long‑term initiatives that will advance the mission of Bethel. This vision must be translated into clear goals and objectives. It is imperative that the president be effective in communicating these goals and objectives to the trustees, campus community and various outside constituencies.
The president shall develop, formulate and direct policy and governance in accordance with the policies of the board.
Under the current organizational structure the members of the president’s cabinet are the following:
- Senior Vice President
- Vice president for academic services
- Vice president for financial affairs and chief financial officer
- Vice president for development
- Vice president of college relations
- Vice president for student development
- Vice president for life calling and student enrichment
Bethel College’s bylaws stipulate that the president be a member in good standing of a Missionary Church. If the successful candidate is not a current member of a Missionary Church, s/he will be expected to join a Missionary Church upon being appointed as the president of Bethel College.
The next president of Bethel College should have an impressive array of business management and leadership experience. S/he will probably have a background in leading organizations that offer reasonably comparable types of management problems and challenges. While an earned doctorate is preferred for this executive position, consideration will be given to candidates with requisite attributes, qualifications and experience.
Key Characteristics of the Ideal President
Mature Spiritual Leader
- Demonstrate a commitment to Jesus Christ; embracing and modeling Bethel College’s ethos, lifestyle covenant and the “Articles of Faith & Practice of the Missionary Church”
- Sense a call from God to lead Bethel College
- Be able to articulate and apply biblical principles and possess the ability to be at ease with people from diverse theological and denominational backgrounds
Strategic, Visionary Leader
- Lead the board, cabinet and larger Bethel community in a strategic planning process that recognizes and addresses the impact of a rapidly and ever-changing landscape for Christ-centered higher education
- Enthusiastically and effectively communicate Bethel’s vision to all internal and external stakeholders
- Inspire trust throughout the Bethel community and will be approachable by people at all levels of the organization
- Encourage the community to craft bold vision and courageous ideas for Bethel’s future
- Ability to inspire and support creative thinking and innovative planning
- Enjoy meeting people in both professional and social settings
- Enjoy building deep and lasting relationships with a broad range of people (donors, faculty members, trustees, students, parents of students and potential students, and leaders from the private sector and broad evangelical world
- Demonstrated experience in the revenue-generating aspects of the college, inspiring donors and other constituents to actively support Bethel College
- Increase and promote student enrollment and new academic programs
- Understand the economics of higher education
- Demonstrated ability to consistently assemble, present and execute balanced budgets in line with fiscal responsibility
- Courageous decision maker with demonstrated ability to thoughtfully and decisively act in a timely manner to steward college priorities
- Demonstrated ability to hire the right people, delegate appropriate authority and responsibility to others according to their talents and gifts and hold them accountable to mutually agreed upon goals
Expectations of the President
Successful leadership in this position will be judged by how well the president meets the expectations of the board of trustees, drives excellence, and responds to input of faculty, administration, students and other constituent groups. Following are the key expectations of the next president:
- Strategically lead Bethel’s response (i.e. strategic plan) to the rapidly and ever-changing environment of Christ-centered higher education; collaboratively leading the development and execution of a strategic plan that effectively and aggressively addresses Bethel’s response
- Develop and manage an annual balanced financial plan/budget based on realistic, expected tuition-driven revenues
- Thrive in the role of primary champion and spokesperson for Bethel College; setting the tone and direction for fundraising; inspiring donors and other constituents to actively support Bethel College; building the foundation for future capital campaigns
- Expand Bethel’s service to the local community; become known for gracious hospitality; take specific measures to eliminate Bethel’s reputation as “the best kept secret” in Michiana
- Continue the strong relationship with the Missionary Church