Ross Allen Becomes Bethel University’s Sixth President

The presidential search process formally ended on June 25, when delegates of Converge churches named Allen the university’s next president.

By Jenny Hudalla '15, senior content specialist

June 25, 2020 | 3:45 p.m.

The Board of Trustees has named Ross Allen the sixth president-elect of Bethel University.

After graduating from Bethel with a degree in business administration, Allen enjoyed a decades-long career as an executive at Medtronic before transitioning to work in higher education.

The search for Bethel University’s next president is officially over. President-elect Ross Allen, a 1984 Bethel alumnus, was formally voted in as Bethel’s sixth president by the delegates of Converge churches June 25.

“It’s deeply humbling to look back and see how God has used the last 20 years to prepare me for this role at Bethel,” says Allen, who is the first Royal to become president. “It’s an honor, and I’m thrilled to be able to work with such talented people who are passionate about developing scholars to pursue God’s glory and do great things for Christ.”

Throughout his career, Allen has specialized in helping organizations transform their financial results and sustainability while clarifying and advancing their mission and vision. During his 25-year tenure at Medtronic—a multinational medical device company—he used his strategic, relational, and operational expertise to lead seven successful corporate transformations in Denmark, Switzerland, and across the United States. In his most recent position at Azusa Pacific University, a private Christian school in California, Allen played an instrumental role in preparing the institution to thrive in the dynamic environment of higher education.

"The results Ross achieved in his previous roles align with our recent work to position Bethel for a bright future,” says Jim Green, chair of the presidential search committee. “We are incredibly excited to see how his ability to build relationships with faculty and staff—along with his experience in healthcare—will drive Bethel’s mission forward."

Allen will begin his first term on July 1. He inherits a strong foundation from former President Jay Barnes, whose 12 years of leadership were marked by strategic academic growth, campus expansion, and intentional efforts to increase diversity.

“I’m excited to get to know more people at Bethel and continue the great work that’s already being done,” Allen says. “I can’t imagine doing anything more critical for society than developing leaders who own their faith, step into the world with boldness and confidence, and act with integrity as Christ’s vessel—for God’s glory and our neighbors’ good.”

Bold leadership for a bright future.

With an impressive background in healthcare and higher education, Bethel's sixth president is a deeply committed Christ-follower, a seasoned executive leader, and a transformative developer of people, culture, and organizations.

Meet Ross Allen