Jay Barnes – President of Bethel University
|Jay became Bethel University’s fifth president on July 1, 2008, after serving as executive vice president and provost of the College of Arts & Sciences, College of Adult & Professional Studies, and Graduate School for 13 years.
“My heart has been pulled toward seeing God work in people’s lives in educational settings so that they are different as a result of the encounters they’ve had in the classrooms, faculty offices, hallways, work offices, athletic teams, and elsewhere.”
|Bethel University is an educational community committed to integrating evangelical Christian faith with learning and life. As people created in the image of the covenant-making God, we covenant together to discover the mind of Christ and to become like Christ. We pursue this mission as people called by Jesus to live holy lives according to the values, expectations, and goals of the Kingdom of God. A crucial part of our mission is to develop whole and holy persons who will go into the world to serve others.
To be whole and holy means to be dedicated to God with purity of thought and action. It means that we are to serve God using the gifts and abilities we have been given. Our community has a special calling to discover, teach, learn, and live what is true. We strive to understand the world in light of the life, death, and resurrection of Christ. This gives us a distinctive worldview, educational mission, and calling.
Our calling includes a commitment to nurture one another. We strive to elevate Kingdom values over personal agendas. We attempt to measure every decision and priority in terms of our loving submission to the lordship of Christ and our commitment to one another. Christ’s power within us and a clear sense of our calling give us a joyful freedom to do God’s will.
Jesus taught us that right motives and loving relationships are at the core of whole and holy living. His two greatest commands are to love God with all of our heart, soul, and mind and to love our neighbors as ourselves . These commands connect serving God with serving others. In grace, Scripture also gives us specific rules to guide us in living. Jesus taught that keeping these rules is an expression of love for God.  The Bible condemns legalistic rule-keeping. It emphasizes loving relationships and pure motives in living out these rules .
Living a Biblical Lifestyle
The Bible frequently speaks about a holy lifestyle. Such passages are found throughout the Old and New Testaments . The Bible describes character qualities and actions that should be present in the lives of believers. These include prayer, kindness, humility, compassion, forgiveness, hospitality, personal integrity, generosity to the poor, care for the oppressed, study of God’s Word, accountability to one another, sharing our faith with others, recognition of the rights of others, commitment to justice, regular gathering for worship, and living in harmony.
The Bible also identifies character qualities and actions that should not be present in the lives of believers. For example: destructive anger, malice, rage, sexual immorality, impurity, adultery, evil desires, greed, idolatry, slander, profanity, lying, homosexual behavior, drunkenness, thievery, and dishonesty .