As Bethel University’s eighth president, Barbara Bellefeuille, Ed.D., brings three decades of higher education experience to the role. She is the first woman to serve in the highest leadership role of the university in its 75-year history.
Her vision for Bethel’s future is academic excellence with a specific focus on centering the campus around Christ. With this in mind, she chose John 3:30 as the biblical and campus focus for the academic year of 2021-22: “He must increase, but I must decrease.”
Guiding Bethel as president is a commitment to the students — from traditional undergraduate students to adult learners to graduate students. By enriching their experiences in campus or virtual classrooms, her goal is to prepare future leaders who have been educated in biblical truth.
Together with the Bethel leadership, the Trustees and the Missionary Church we will advance our mission to transform communities through Christ-centered graduates!”
Bellefeuille served the university as interim president for nearly nine months, following her role as Vice President for Academic Services since 2012. In that role, she was a member of the President’s Cabinet, had oversight of faculty and all academic service areas. She also served as the liaison to the University’s regional accrediting association, the Higher Learning Commission.
Bellefeuille’s time in higher education spans 30 years. Prior to coming to Bethel, she spent 21 years in Georgia at Toccoa Falls College. Her roles there were Teacher Education professor and chair, Vice President for Academic Affairs, and acting CEO during a presidential transition at the college (for 20 months during 2011-12). Additionally, Bellefeuille was an adjunct professor in the Master of Education program at Covenant College (GA) for 16 years. Before her career moved to the collegiate level, Bellefeuille was a middle school/high school teacher in Bluefield, W. Va.
Bellefeuille has a Bachelor of Science degree in Biblical Education from Columbia International University, a Master of Education in Educational Administration from Reformed Theological Seminary, and a Doctor of Education in Curriculum and Instruction from Virginia Tech.
While much of her career has been spent in the southern states, she grew up in Michigan, and has enjoyed returning to the Midwest.
UPDATED MARCH 10, 2022