First Bethel Endowed Professorship

Bethel has created the David Price Professorship in Theology, the first endowed professorship in university history, which will fund a faculty position at Bethel Seminary. The professorship honors the legacy of David Price, former Bethel board member, donor, and longtime supporter.

By Michelle Smith Westlund '83, S'21, senior content specialist

March 17, 2022 | 2:30 p.m.

Bethel Seminary

Bethel’s first endowed professorship acknowledges the university’s founding as a seminary in 1871, honors its recent 150-year celebration, and recognizes the legacy of Bethel Seminary San Diego.

Bethel University has created the first endowed professorship in the university’s history. The David Price Professorship in Theology is specific to Bethel Seminary, in acknowledgment of Bethel’s founding as a seminary in 1871 and in honor of the institution’s recent 150-year celebration. The professorship reinforces Bethel Seminary’s commitment to sound, theologically grounded education as well as a sustainable financial model for the seminary and the university, with the ongoing goal of making seminary education more affordable for students. It also serves to honor the legacy and impact of Bethel Seminary San Diego as Bethel Seminary moves into the future.

The David Price Professorship in Theology is named in recognition of David Price, former Bethel board member and donor. Price died in 2016, but his legacy as a longtime supporter of Bethel Seminary lives on in myriad ways. His connection to Bethel began at College Avenue Baptist Church in San Diego, where he and his wife Mary Ann were members and David served as vice chairman. Bethel Seminary held classes in a space provided by the church, and the Prices took note. “In the beginning, we didn’t know anything about Bethel,” says Mary Ann, “but once David got involved, there was no stopping him.”

David would eventually chair the first committee to raise funds for Bethel Seminary San Diego’s building in the 1990s. Then he chaired the second building campaign, completed in 2013. “He was a very creative person,” says Mary Ann, “and he would get these wonderful ideas to raise money for Bethel.” While the San Diego campus closed in 2019 as seminary education moved to an increasingly online model, the proceeds from its sale fund an endowment to support the future of Bethel Seminary. David served on the Bethel Seminary San Diego Executive Board from 2005 until 2016, and on the Bethel University Board of Trustees from 1997 to 2008. His investment of time, talent, and treasure during his lifetime continues to impact seminary students now and far into the future, including through the new endowed professorship that bears his name.

“We are deeply grateful to David and Mary Ann Price for their faithful support of Bethel over many years and in tangible and meaningful ways,” says Bethel University President Ross Allen ’84. “The David Price Professorship in Theology is a tribute to their steadfast commitment to theological education and to Bethel Seminary.” Bethel plans to have the first David Price Professorship in Theology recipient in place by August 2022.

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