CAPS, SEM, and GS Fall Retreat 2023

CAPS, SEM, and GS Fall Retreat 2023
Date Tuesday, August 22, 2023
12:30 - 8 p.m.
Location Anderson Center Community Room - View maps and directions
Bethel University
3900 Bethel Dr St Paul MN 55112
Instructions for GuestsFull-time faculty attendance is expected. Adjunct faculty and staff are warmly invited, but attendance isn't compulsory. Please register and indicate if you will be participating in person or remotely.

For those attending virtually, please follow this Zoom link.  
Registration RSVP for university-wide kickoff events as well as school-specific opening events on one form. Please register by August 14. You will also receive a Google Calendar invitation when you register.  

Event Description

Tentative Agenda

12:30-1 p.m. - Check In

1-1:30 p.m. – Welcome and Opening Prayer

Katie Bonawitz, Ed.D., Associate Dean of Education, Program Director, and Professor of M.A. in Special Education

Jodi Wolkerstorfer, Adjunct Faculty for Special Education Programs

1:30-2:40 p.m. – Plenary Session | Reflections of Beth-El: How can we foster flourishing for all?

Rahn Franklin, Ph.D., VP of Inclusive Excellence

Sara Shady, Ph.D., Associate Dean for Academic Inclusive Excellence

Guided by our Biblical Vision for Diversity and Inclusive Excellence, we are cultivating a Christ-centered learning community that fosters flourishing for all. Given our namesake, part of our aim is to reflect the house of God in our climate, character, and composition. In other words, do we look, feel, and act like the house of God? As educators, we have the privilege of reflecting Christ through our leadership, scholarship, and service. One way to foster flourishing is through inclusive excellence. This session will include a breakout that includes practical applications for teaching.

2:40-3 p.m. - Fellowship Break

3-4:10 p.m. – Plenary Session | Experiencing Grace in the Midst of Brokenness

Ray Hanson, Ph.D., Teaching Partner for the College of Adult Professional Studies

The book of Ruth takes place during the dysfunctional, broken time period of the Judges. This story opens with the stark reality of living in the midst of famine, death, and barrenness. With the decision to “return” to Naomi’s homeland, the story enters into ways God’s grace is at work behind the scenes to bring about redemption through the lives of those living in faithful stewardship. We will have a break-out small group time to share how the themes of brokenness, returning, faithfulness, and grace all tie in with our own story here at Bethel. This session will include a breakout discussion.

4:10-5 p.m. –Fellowship Break and Professional Photos (ANC Level 2 Lobby, offered until 5:15 p.m.)

Take a walk on the Anderson Center trails.  Connect with someone you haven't seen in a while.  Take a nap.

5 -5:15 p.m. – Dinner served/Welcome and Introduction of Speakers

Katie Bonawitz, Ed.D., Associate Dean of Education, Program Director, and Professor of M.A. in Special Education

5:15-5:45 p.m. – Leadership Address
Randy Bergen, Ph.D., Associate Provost for CAPS, Sem, & GS

5:50-6:00 p.m. – Fellowship Break

6:00 p.m.-6:15 p.m. – Leadership Address
Robin Rylaarsdam, Ph.D., University Provost

6:15-6:30 p.m. – Leadership Address
Ross Allen, B.A., President

6:30-7:30 p.m. – Plenary Session | The Discipline of Attention and Intention

Student Success and Retention Leadership (Kim Thorstad, Dan Nimlos, Kristin Wilson, and Kathleen Sipprell)

Creating a sense of belonging by reducing structural stress, making early connections, and using data and tools to support students. The Office of Student Success and Retention will host an interactive workshop to encourage building practices of attention and intention into our interactions with students and colleagues in order to enhance the student experience and promote retention.

7:30-7:40 p.m. – Student Testimonies

  • Lisa Sullivan (Physicians Assistant Program)
  • Kaia Nordtvedt (Ed.D. Leadership in K-12 Admin Program)

7:40-7:50 p.m. - Faculty Excellence Award Announcement

  • Molly Wickam, Ph.D., Faculty Development Chair

  • Peter Vogt, Ph.D., Seminary Dean

7:50-8 p.m. – Devotion and Sending Prayer


Logistics questions:
Mikaela Taylor: or 651.638.6250
Katie Bonawitz: or 651.638.6724

Seminary employees, see additional details about the Seminary Faculty and Staff Workshops. Contact Peter Vogt with questions at