Bethel University names new Vice President for Academic Services

by | Apr 17, 2024

Vice President of Academic Services Abson Joseph

Abson Joseph, Ph.D., has been appointed Vice President for Academic Services (VPAS) for Bethel University, beginning his new role on July 15. Joseph brings 18 years of experience in higher education to the role, as a faculty member and administrator. He has served the last 12 years at Indiana Wesleyan University (IWU), most recently as dean of academic services for Wesley Seminary, where he previously served as vice president for academic affairs and academic dean at the seminary.

“Dr. Joseph has had life, faith and professional experiences that perfectly suit him for ministry at Bethel University. I look forward to working with him and watching the incredible impact I know he will have leading the academic work at Bethel,” says Barbara K. Bellefeuille, Ed.D., president of Bethel University.

Joseph’s administrative experience includes serving as the chief academic officer for Wesley Seminary, providing leadership to the student success team, student accounts team and the academic operations team, and caring for faculty in their professional development and scholarship. He collaborated with deans and program directors for program development, curriculum assessment and programmatic evaluation, working closely with the seminary executive leader to implement the seminary’s overall strategic plan and oversee and manage the academic budget. He also served as a member of IWU’s University Academic Leadership Council, Governance Advisory Council and Higher Learning Steering Committee.

During his leadership, Joseph successfully led the seminary through reaccreditation with the Association of Theological Schools, secured affiliate status with the International Council for Evangelical Theological Education, oversaw the redesign of the Master of Divinity curriculum, established partnerships with other Wesleyan universities in the United States and theological schools in the global south and secured a $1 million grant for the Lilly Pathways for Tomorrow Initiative.

Prior to serving at IWU, Joseph served as academic dean for six years at Caribbean Wesleyan College, Jamaica.

“I seek to make a positive impact on the world around me through teaching, scholarship and leadership that foster and promote spiritual transformation in peoples’ lives,” says Joseph. “As VPAS, I will continue to promote the liberating power of a Christian liberal arts education for current and future generations of BU graduates. I will hold firmly to the institutional mission and look for creative ways to implement and advance it.”

Joseph has a diploma in theology from Caribbean Wesleyan College (Jamaica), a master of divinity from Asbury Theological Seminary (Wilmore, Ky.) and a doctor of philosophy from Brunel University/London School of Theology (London, United Kingdom). He also earned a certificate in fundraising management from Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy.

Additionally, he has served for 12 years on the Executive Committee of the Caribbean Evangelical Theological Association, the accrediting body for theological schools in the Caribbean. He is a member of the Higher Learning Commission Peer Corps and an ordained minister of the Wesleyan Church of Haiti.