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Bethel Remembers Alfred Glenn

Glenn was Bethel’s first campus pastor and a longtime professor of theology.

By Michelle Westlund ’83, senior content specialist

February 18, 2019 | 9:30 a.m.

Al Glenn was Bethel’s first campus pastor and a theology faculty member at both the college and seminary.

Al Glenn was Bethel’s first campus pastor and a theology faculty member at both the college and seminary.

Alfred Glenn, professor of theology emeritus, died on January 28 at the age of 86. Glenn was Bethel’s first campus pastor and a longtime professor of theology, both at the college from 1964-1994 and at the seminary from 1985-1995. The combination of his pastoral spirit and his keen theological insights impacted countless students during his many years of Bethel service. “Al was a winsome and popular professor across a range of theological and apologetic courses,” says Bethel University President Emeritus George K. Brushaber. “Not a mere hard-headed theologian, he was always pastoral and devotional in his classrooms and in his demeanor in the office and hallways. This combination made Al effective in both undergraduate and seminary classrooms.”

Glenn left a lasting legacy among his colleagues as well. “Al Glenn was one of those special professors I sought to emulate,” says David Clark, who has served in various faculty and administrative roles at Bethel Seminary and Bethel University since 1988. “He combined a deep commitment to evangelical theology with a curious mind and a genuinely loving spirit. He represented the best of Pietism. I still clearly remember a stunning devotional he gave about resting in God’s care and trusting in the Lord’s promises—and that was 25 years ago. To me, Al Glenn was a beautiful, authentic Jesus-follower.”

A 1957 graduate of Bethel College, Glenn later graduated from Princeton Theological Seminary and earned a Ph.D. from Northwestern University. He was also an Air Force Korean War veteran. Following his many years at Bethel in St. Paul, he went on to teach at Bethel Seminary San Diego and Fuller Theological Seminary in California.

Glenn is survived by his wife Barbara, who also taught at Bethel for a number of years; children Kimberly (Scott) and Kristin (Dan), six grandchildren, and nine great-grandchildren. Find more details in the full obituary.

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