Student Life Staff

Bethel's Student Life team is here to help you maximize your college experience. Many of us are former Bethel students that have lived — and loved — the Bethel lifestyle. We have a firsthand understanding of how engaging in student life can transform the lives of students, which is why we came back to ensure that current and future students get that same chance. Even our staff members who’ve only served in a professional capacity can speak to the impact our team has on the campus community. Day in and day out, we strive to create a challenging, supportive growth environment for every Bethel student.

Whether you’re an on-campus Pilot developing community connections through residence life or a commuter Pilot staying connected through campus-wide events, Student Life is here to help you fully experience Bethel’s vibrant community.

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Get to know our Student Life staff

Shawn Holtgren

Dr. Shawn Holtgren

Vice President for Student Development

For more than two decades, Shawn has worked in the area of Student Development at Bethel College. Besides serving as Vice President for Student Development, Shawn also serves as chapel coordinator and worship leader. An ordained minister in the Missionary Church, Shawn is Pastor of Worship Arts at St. Mark Missionary Church. A 1995 graduate of Bethel (Christian Ministries), he went on to complete his Master of Ministries degree at Bethel and his Ph.D. in Educational Studies at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Deerfield, Illinois. Shawn is married to Katie and has three children, Autumn, Nathan and Victoria. If you have questions regarding student life, spiritual life, mentoring, or chapel, please feel free to email with questions:

Julie Beam

Julie Beam

Director of Student Life

Julie has served in student development at Bethel College for a number of years, first as a resident director and director of service learning and now as director of student life. She received a B.A. in Biology from Tabor College, a master's in Public Affairs from Indiana University, and is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Higher Education from Azusa Pacific University. Julie, her husband Travis and son Cooper live in Elkhart, where they enjoy the outdoors, sports and traveling together. If you have questions regarding student life, residential living or community standards and programming, please feel free to email:

Zach Gillis

Zachary Gillis

Commuter Life Coordinator

Zach, a Bethel Alumnus, graduated in 2013 with a degree in Liberal Studies and went on to complete his Master of Arts in Intercultural Leadership from Goshen College in 2015. He serves as the Commuter Life Coordinator, the Campus Coordinator for the Office of Diversity & Inclusion, and worship leader of the Gospel Chapel Band. Although proudly originally from Gary, Ind., Zach would also consider himself a Southern boy at heart and loves making people laugh! He enjoys singing, dancing, and cooking and feels blessed to be a member of the Student Life Staff. Excited to see the amazing things that God has in store for Bethel, Zach always looks forward to seeing how The Lord will work through our students with each passing school year. Please feel free to email with questions:

Resident Director Josh Hartsell

Josh Hartsell

Resident Director

Josh joined the Bethel Student life team in 2008 and currently serves as the Resident Director in Oakwood-Slater Hall. Whether through traveling, time spent with people, or mastering a new skill, he loves conquering new challenges. After spending a decade in Oakwood, he knows how transformative the first year in college can be and he seeks to help freshmen navigate the transition to college through introducing them to a community rooted in faith, tradition, and brotherhood. He hopes after a time in Oakwood guys will find themselves closer together, closer to God, and closer to graduation. Please feel free to email with questions:

John Kaehr

John Kaehr

Resident Director

John graduated from Bethel College in 2001 with a degree in Christian Ministries and returned to Bethel after 10 years in pastoral ministry, to serve as a Resident Director and a member of the Spiritual Life Team. He also oversees Bethel's Intentional Living Communities (Brenneman and RamseyerLogan Village). His passion is to see college students come to know Jesus, while walking with them on this journey. John is married to his wife Melissa and they have a six-year-old daughter, Hannah. John enjoys the outdoors, camping, grilling and anything caffeinated. He would love to share a cup of coffee with you and hear more about what God is doing in your life. Please feel free to email with questions:

Resident Director Leah Evans

Leah Evans

Resident Director

Leah is a 2015 graduate of Bethel with degrees in Economics and Business Administration. After college, Leah worked in South Bend for a year before heading back to her home state to work for the University of Michigan-Flint. Now, she is excited to be returning to Bethel to serve as Resident Director for Bridges Hall and Campus Activities Coordinator. Leah enjoys cooking and entertaining, Saturday morning trips to the farmer’s market, and exploring new cities. She is passionate about mentorship, diversity and good coffee. Leah is looking forward to being a part of building community and tradition on campus, and helping students come to know God and themselves more fully during their college experience. Please feel free to email with questions:

Resident Director Jess Lyons

Jess Lyons

Resident Director

Jess graduated from Bethel College in 2011. After graduation, Jess spent two years teaching at an alternative high school in South Bend. In 2013, she returned to Bethel as Tuckey’s RD and completed a Master’s of Ministry degree in 2016. She loves working with students - getting to know them and seeing them thrive in community. Jess is married to Reed, her favorite person, and they have a one-year-old extrovert named Bo. Jess enjoys good food, books, and exploring new cities. She is thankful and hopeful for what's ahead in Tuckey, and looks forward to joining others in learning to be disciples of Jesus. Please feel free to email with questions:

Resident Director Reed Lyons

Reed Lyons

Resident Director

In 2010, Reed graduated from Bethel College with a degree in Communication. Originally, from Carol Stream, Ill., Reed couldn't stay away from the Bethel Community and returned as a Resident Director and Director of Campus Activities in 2012. He has previously worked as an Athletic Director with the Boys and Girls Clubs of Fresno County, in Fresno, Calif., and as a middle school teacher with the Mishawaka Crossing Educational Center. He enjoys collecting hobbies and loves to learn new things. He is athletic, intellectual, and handsome, or at least his wife, Jess, thinks so. His son, Bo, is a bouncing, blue-eyed, blonde-haired baby boy. He is pumped to lead the guys of Manges Hall and Eastwood Hall as they grow in their relationship with Christ and learn what it means to be a man of God. Please feel free to email with questions:

Elizabeth Studebaker

Elizabeth Studebaker

Resident Director

Elizabeth graduated from Cedarville University in 2009 with a degree in Psychology. After teaching English in China for several years, Elizabeth returned to America to begin a career in Student Development as she completed her Master’s Degree in Christian Formation and Ministry at Wheaton College. She enjoys taking road trips, thrifting, baking cookies, and spending time at camp with friends. Elizabeth loves getting to know the women of Shupe and watching God work in their lives throughout their freshman year at Bethel! Please feel free to email with questions:

Resident Director Courtney Chapman

Courtney Chapman

Resident Director

Courtney graduated from Bethel in 2012 with a degree in Intercultural Studies and spent the following several years serving with an organization in the Dominican Republic. She returns to Bethel as the Resident Director over Egle and Lambert Hall. She also serves as the International Student Coordinator. Courtney enjoys traveling and experiencing other cultures, coffee, and anything related to the outdoors. She loves to see others grow in their knowledge of the Lord and who He is and looks forward to watching that play out in the lives of students. Please feel free to email with questions: