Bethel University’s 76th Commencement Set for April 29 | The Rev. Dave Engbrecht to Speak

by | Apr 20, 2023

Academic graduation helm

This year, 327 students will graduate from Bethel University. The 2023 commencement ceremony will be held Saturday, April 29, in the Wiekamp Athletic Center on Bethel’s campus. This single ceremony at 2 p.m., includes traditional undergraduate, adult and graduate programs. The Rev. Dave Engbrecht, Pastor at Large of Nappanee Missionary Church in Nappanee, Ind., and Bethel University Trustee, will be the speaker. The event will also be live-streamed on Bethel’s website,

“We can’t wait to celebrate the accomplishments of all our graduates of the class of 2023. This is the first four-year class to graduate from Bethel University, since its name change from Bethel College in 2019,” says Bradley Smith, Ph.D., vice president for academic services.

Graduation day activities also include a nurse pinning ceremony at 10 a.m., in the Everest-Rohrer Auditorium and a traditional procession through Bethel’s campus at the start of the commencement ceremony.

On Fri., April 28 at 5 p.m., Bethel University will hold a Baccalaureate Service for graduates and their families, followed by Reunion Zero at 6 p.m., a dinner and celebration in the Dining Commons.

For more information about the weekend’s graduation activities, visit


Dave EngbrechtDave Engbrecht serves as Pastor at Large of Nappanee Missionary Church, Nappanee, Ind., which is part of the Missionary Church, Inc.

Previously, Dave served as Senior Pastor of Nappanee Missionary Church for 41 years before changing roles to work with local, regional and global partners along with being a part of the teaching team at Nappanee Missionary Church, which is in rural Northern Indiana. The church has been called “the miracle in the cornfield.” Dave’s vision is to make fully committed disciples through healthy local churches led by gifted leaders.

One of Dave’s passions is to pour himself into leaders and organizations with whom Nappanee Missionary Church has partnerships. He currently serves as Chairman of both the Sammy Tippit Board of Directors (San Antonio, Texas) and the World Gospel Mission Board of Directors (Marion, Ind.). Along with many other organizations, he also serves on the Bethel University Board of Trustees. Along with his team, Dave has planted and restarted numerous churches across Northern Indiana.

He has spoken at numerous retreats, leadership and business training events, conferences and camps in North America as well as in India, Haiti, Puerto Rico, Bolivia, Mexico, Honduras, Pakistan, Jamaica, Kenya, Russia, Romania, and Armenia.

Born in South Bend, Ind., Dave earned a bachelor’s degree from Vennard College in University Park, Iowa and a Master of Education degree at Concordia University in Seward, Neb. He has done doctoral studies at Temple Baptist Seminary in Chattanooga, Tenn. He and his wife, Christy, reside in Nappanee and are the parents of two married children and five grandchildren.