Bethel College Commencement Planned for First Weekend in May

This year, 582 students plan to participate in Bethel’s two commencement ceremonies. Commencement for nontraditional programs, organizational management, Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) and Bachelor of Science Degree in Nursing (BSN) completion will take place on Saturday, May 4 at 2:30 p.m. Traditional undergraduate and graduate programs commencement will be held on Sunday, May 5 at 2:30 p.m. Both ceremonies will take place in the Wiekamp Athletic Center.

Bethel College Senior Vice President Dennis Engbrecht, Ph.D., will speak at the nontraditional student ceremony on May 4 and the Rev. William Hossler, president of the Missionary Church, will speak at the traditional and graduate student ceremony on May 5.

Dennis D. Engbrecht, Ph.D., of Bremen, Ind., has served at Bethel College in many roles in his 27 years at the college. Prior to his time at Bethel, Engbrecht served as a youth pastor, senior pastor, high school teacher, coach, professor and executive vice president for Vennard College. In 1986, when Engbrecht arrived on Bethel’s campus, he held the titles of professor of history, chair of the religion and philosophy department, director of the master of ministries program and vice president of student development. He would also serve as the vice president for academic services from 1989-1991. Currently, he holds the title of senior vice president where he has served since 1991. Engbrecht holds a Bachelor of Science in History from McPherson College, a master’s degree from the University of Kansas and a Ph.D. in history from the University of Nebraska. 

The Rev. William A. Hossler of Fort Wayne, Ind., is the president of the Missionary Church. He has served as a pastor for more than 30 years, spending most of that time at Colonial Woods Missionary Church in Port Huron, Mich., where he founded counseling, radio, television and publishing ministries. The author of two books, Hossler was also named Alumni of the Year at Bethel in 1985, and served as president of the Alumni Association. He has served as a member of the Bethel College board of trustees since 2001. In 1998, he became district superintendent of the East Central District of the Missionary Church, and three years later, Hossler stepped into his current position. Other recent accomplishments include helping to start an online pastoral training program, restructure the denomination and create a five-year vision plan. Hossler holds a Bachelor of Arts in Bible and ministry, a Master of Ministry and an honorary Doctorate of Divinity from Bethel College.

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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.