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Steve and Lori Eckert

Steve '85, S'98 and Lori '85 Eckert share why they're thankful that their three children have followed in their footsteps by becoming Bethel Royals.

We have felt extremely comfortable leaving our children at Bethel's doorstep. A large part of that trust is directly correlated to the Welcome Week experience—the prayer for our children at the Friday dinner and the chapel service on Saturday morning. When you know your children are welcomed with prayer and a desire to help them mature spiritually, you have to trust that God will do His work.

Each of our children has had the opportunity to be known by their professors. They are not just students in a class. We appreciate the “whole” education—they hear how their work and lives as Christians intersect, and they’re required to bring their faith into assignments.

It’s evident that Bethel cares about their spiritual life and growth. The authenticity of President Barnes and his wife really confirms and affirms the decision to leave our children at Bethel. Our oldest son began to realize quickly in his freshman year that establishing relationships with other young men was pivotal in his maturity and spiritual growth. He could find a sense of belonging with a group of guys who cared about each other and wanted to be accountable to one another.

Bethel is like family to us. We have a long history of Bethel Royals in our family tree. Through our experiences at Bethel and watching family members thrive in the Bethel community, we have faith that Bethel is like a large extended family. We often meet others who’ve gone to Bethel, and there is a connection. We love coming back for games, concerts, friends and other activities—it feels like home.