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Bethel Seminary Celebrates New Dean and New Space

Peter T. Vogt is installed as Dean of Bethel Seminary followed by an open house at the seminary’s new Anderson Center location.

By Michelle Westlund ’83, senior content specialist

February 11, 2019 | 9 a.m.

Peter T. Vogt S’97, a former Old Testament faculty member, was installed as dean of Bethel Seminary on February 4. Vogt, left, stands with Bethel University President Jay Barnes before the service.

Peter T. Vogt S’97, a former Old Testament faculty member, was installed as dean of Bethel Seminary on February 4. Vogt, left, stands with Bethel University President Jay Barnes before the service.

On February 4 at Bethel Seminary’s new Anderson Center location, enormous glass windows showcased the snowy landscape outside, while inside was the warmth of a community celebrating new beginnings. Events included an installation service for Peter T. Vogt, dean of Bethel Seminary, followed by an open house in the new seminary space.

Vogt, a Bethel Seminary graduate and former faculty member, returns to lead Bethel Seminary into a new era of seminary education. “This is a time to celebrate and look to the future with hope for what God will do through the leadership of Peter Vogt,” said President Jay Barnes. “For such a time as this, he has returned to Bethel Seminary.”

Vogt has close ties to Bethel Seminary, graduating in 1997 with an M.Div. and returning in 2001 to serve as a full-time faculty member in Old Testament. In between, he earned a Ph.D. in Old Testament at the University of Gloucestershire in Cheltenham, England. He has demonstrated leadership in a variety of settings, including service as a naval officer aboard the destroyer USS John Rodgers, and most recently as senior pastor of LifePoint Church in Maplewood, Minnesota.

In a time of significant changes in seminary education both nationally and at Bethel, Vogt brings experience and energy to his new role. “We are convinced that Dr. Vogt is the leader we need for the seminary during this time of change,” says Randy Bergen, associate provost for the College of Adult and Professional Studies, Seminary, and Graduate School.

Vogt’s remarks at his installation service centered on “Rebuilding for the Future.” He acknowledged the community’s grief at the closure of the seminary’s San Diego location, as well as the challenges faced by seminaries today. Yet “pain and possibility are often experienced together,” he said. “If we’re going to move forward, we have to accept both.”

He pointed out that the seminary’s customized space at Anderson Center demonstrates an ongoing institutional commitment to Bethel Seminary and offers the opportunity to build a new sense of community. Together, that community can move forward with confidence because, said Vogt, “First, God is in this. And second, our mission is essential. The church needs leaders who can live out truth and raise up the next generation of leaders. I believe Bethel Seminary is uniquely prepared to do this.”

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