Bethel University Names New Dean of Humanities and Social Sciences

Lissa Diaz

Robby Prenkert ’92, D.Litt., has been named Dean of Humanities and Social Sciences at Bethel University, beginning his new role July 1. Prenkert has served the university for 25 years, most recently as Chair, Literature & Language Studies; Associate Professor of English & Humanities; and First Year Experience (FYE) Coordinator. Prior to his faculty position, Prenkert was a resident director, men’s JV basketball coach, mentoring program coordinator and adjunct faculty.

“Dr. Prenkert has been an integral part of my team for the past several years,” says Vice President for Academic Services Bradley Smith, Ph.D. “I am delighted to have such a talented and creative individual serving Bethel as the Dean of Humanities and Social Sciences.”

Prenkert is an alumnus of Bethel University, with a B.A. in English. He earned his master’s degree in Intercultural Studies from Wheaton College and his doctorate (D.Litt.) from Drew University. He is also licensed as a minister in the Missionary Church denomination.   

“As an alumnus, Dr. Prenkert brings deep commitment that only comes from someone who has lived the Bethel student experience. For years now, he has been recognized by all as one of the most profoundly thoughtful voices within the faculty,” says Interim President Barbara Bellefeuille, Ed.D.

Prenkert has served as associate editor of Reflections (a publication of the Missionary Church Historical Society) since 2001, and as faculty advisor of Crossings (Bethel’s literary magazine) from 2004-2012. Selected professional affiliations include Christians for Biblical Equity, the Modern Language Association, and the Conference on Christianity and Literature, among others. He has also published and presented on his experience as a missionary in Jamaica and his practices as a teacher of writing and literature as a means of discipleship and spiritual formation.

“I am blessed to have lived my calling by serving Christ at Bethel for 25 years. My love for this beautiful place, my amazing colleagues and students, and our Christ-centered mission continues to grow. I believe Christ-centered liberal arts education in a community of learners like Bethel’s is just the sort of vision-expanding, life-shaping experience the church and the world need for us to offer our students. I am delighted to continue serving Bethel’s mission in this new role,” Prenkert says.

As he transitions into this position, Prenkert will still teach at least one course per semester.

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