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Jim Bender

Vice President for Advancement



I had the privilege of joining Bethel’s Advancement team in 2014 overseeing the Office of Alumni and Family Relations (AFR). After briefly serving as associate vice president for AFR and operations, President Barnes asked me to step into the chief advancement officer role leading the entire university advancement team. 

My favorite part of my job is...
I love serving our alumni, families, students and our financial partners. Seeing God provide financially for Bethel brings me joy, as I know the funds will create opportunities for our students to learn and then serve as leaders in the world. I also enjoy helping our donors and supporters make their philanthropic dreams come true. It is a joy to work with each individual as we explore what they desire to accomplish and then identify the project that will meet their desired outcome. I also love serving on the president’s cabinet as we serve our faculty, staff, and students. My desire is to see God honored by all we do and say. 

Outside of work...
My wife, Rachelle, and I have nine grandchildren that are the joy of our lives. We love to visit them in Jacksonville, Florida, Indianapolis, Indiana, and Fargo, North Dakota. We also love to travel and explore new places and serve in our local church.