The Inaugural Vice President of Student Experience

A leader in Christ-centered higher education, Bethel University has more than 4,000 students from 48 states and 42 countries enrolled in undergraduate, graduate, seminary, and adult undergraduate programs. Based in St. Paul, Minnesota, Bethel offers bachelor’s and advanced degrees in nearly 100 fields. Educationally excellent classroom-based and online programs equip graduates to make exceptional contributions in lifelong service to God and the world.

Position Profile

Over the last few months, we have held a variety of listening sessions with members of the Bethel community to hear what they love about Bethel, what they see as challenges, and what they see as opportunities for our university, specifically regarding the student experience.

With this feedback, we've partnered with the external search firm AGB Search to craft a position profile. This document presents who we are, along with the qualifications and characteristics we’re looking for in our inaugural leader. Read the position profile to learn more about Bethel, how to apply, and how to nominate a candidate to be Bethel’s inaugural vice president of student experience.

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Anticipated Timeline

The timeline for the search process is broadly outlined below and is subject to change.

  • October 2021: Listening sessions
  • November 2021: Official launch of the search process
  • January 10, 2022: Full consideration deadline for applications
  • February 2022: Interviews
  • February 2022: Offer extended to finalist
  • Spring 2022: Finalist begins employment at Bethel
Student at Royal Grounds

Boldly informed and motivated by the Christian faith, Bethel University educates and energizes men and women for excellence in leadership, scholarship, and service. We prepare graduates to serve in strategic capacities to renew minds, live out biblical truth, transform culture, and advance the gospel.

Bethel University mission statement

Vice Presidential Search Committee

The search committee is charged with the identification and recruitment of exceptional candidates for the inaugural vice president of student experience. An evaluation of each finalist will be prepared for consideration by the president of the university. It is the responsibility of the president to approve and ultimately hire the final candidate. All members of the search committee willl observe strict confidentiality throughout the search and regularly report progress to the Bethel community. 

Vice Presidential Search Committee Members

  • Nick Cocalis, development officer, head men’s golf coach, committee co-chair
  • Bethany Opsata, associate professor, business, CAS, committee co-chair
  • Ross Allen, president
  • Eli Barlue, student, CAS
  • Julie Finnern, associate provost, CAS
  • Rahn Franklin, vice president of diversity, equity, and inclusion
  • Ryan Gunderson, dean of student success and retention, CAPS/SEM/GS
  • Erik Leafblad, assistant professor, biblical and theological studies, CAS
  • Jennifer Nelson, associate professor, counseling, GS
  • Alicia Ochs, associate dean for student care, CAS
  • Kyle Peach, admissions counselor, CAS
  • Matt Runion, associate dean of christian formation and church relations
  • Jennifer Scott, director of alumni and family relations

About Us

Bethel University has been a leader in Christ-centered higher education since 1871. For generations, our combination of evangelical faith with top-ranked academics has prepared women and men for excellence in leadership, scholarship, and service.

With more than 100 academic programs serving undergraduate, graduate, and seminary students, we’re one of the most comprehensive interdenominational Christian universities in the nation. Our committed faculty are passionate about faith-learning integration and equipping students to tackle the world’s most challenging problems—because at Bethel, we are called to more.

Brushaber Commons Lawn
Covenant Community

Our Faith

Rooted in faith, committed to excellence, Bethel’s vision is to become the Christ-centered university of choice for this century. In order to fulfill this vision, we’ll build on our long-standing strengths and draw on our historic roots in the Pietist tradition. We remain true to the vision of our founder, John Alexis Edgren, to develop broadly educated, critically thinking Christians—changing the world through service and leadership.

We believe in the integration of faith, learning, and life. We challenge ourselves to think critically about our convictions and consider some of life’s most difficult questions from a broadly Christian perspective, all within a supportive, faith-based community. Everything we do at Bethel is guided by our core values, rooted in Scripture. We are:

  • Christ-followers
  • Character-builders
  • Truth-seekers
  • Learners
  • Salt and light
  • Reconcilers
  • World-changers