Bethel’s new Helm and entrance in 2007

Enrollment: 2097

Majors offered: 50, plus graduate programs in Business, Education, Ministry, Theology and Nursing

Special Dates: Basketball NAIA Champions (1998), Men’s Tennis NCCAA Invitational Champions (1999), Men’s Tennis NCCAA Champions (2000), Women’s Basketball NCCAA Champions (2000), Men’s Soccer NCCAA Champions (2000), Women’s Tennis NCCAA Invitational Champions (2000), Oakwood renamed Oakwood/Slater (2002), Baseball NCCAA Champions (2002), Women’s Basketball NCCAA Champions (2003), Cheerleading FCC College Division Champions (2003), Women’s Basketball NCCAA Champions (2004)

Clubs, sports and other extracurricular activities available: Baseball, Men’s Basketball, Women’s Basketball, Cheerleading, Cross Country, Golf, Men’s Soccer, Women’s Soccer, Softball, Men’s and Women’s Tennis, Track and Field, Volleyball

Architectural developments: Sailor Residential Center (1998/1999), Taylor Memorial Chapel (1998/2000), Miller/Moore Academic Building (1999/2000), Jenkins Stadium (2000), Logan Village added (bought in 2004-built in 2002), Bookstore (2003), Elkhart Campus (2005), New Helm and Entry Way (2007), Pannabecker Science Wing added (2007), Bridges Hall (2007)

Jacob and Carly on Bethel’s baseball senior day

Ten years ago, Jacob Ringenberg ’07, a biology major, walked across the stage in Gates Gymnasium to receive his Bethel College diploma. His soon-to-be wife Carly Randol ’07, an accounting major, would follow the next semester in December of 2007, walking with the class of 2008. One decade later, the beautiful wooded campus, the personal and accessible size, and an approachable and caring faculty remain memorable in the couple’s minds as they reflect on their time as Pilots.

Carly was initially attracted to Bethel by the unique element of business training in a Christian setting. For Jacob, it was the Bethel Baseball team that sealed the deal:

“It was baseball that brought me to Bethel … It allowed me to get a solid education in the area of study I wanted and was a great fit for me athletically.”

As a member of the men’s baseball team, Jacob earned the title of 2007 All-Crossroads League member. He also developed lasting friendships with his teammates that enriched his Bethel experience.

2016 reunion of Bethel friends

In fact, Jacob and Carly cultivated many relationships as Bethel students that were essential to their spiritual growth, and the Ringenbergs have conintued many of them following their time at Bethel.

“We were blessed to meet and live with incredible people who are now our lifelong friends. They have been a continual source of encouragement and discipleship, even as we are now 10 years from graduation,” Carly says.    

World exposure was a defining part of the Ringenbergs’ Bethel experiences well. The historic visit of President George Bush in February of 2006, of which Carly was a part, was a highlight. It was also a significant time of student service; the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina spurred initiatives such as mission trips and fundraising for the cause. In addition to the servant mindset on campus, Jacob had the opportunity to join two task force trips: one in the Dominican Republic, the other in Puerto Rico.

“Those were my first exposure to overseas missions and important times in my spiritual growth.”

Memorable chapel services, particularly spiritual emphasis week, a continuing tradition that many alumni remember, made such an impression on the couple that, according to Jacob, they still tune in from time to time:

“We still sometimes listen to recordings from chapel speakers. Technology has allowed us to stay in touch even though it has been quite some time since our last physical visit to campus.” 

Jacob serving on medical missions in Haiti in 2012

After graduation, Jacob continued his education at the Indiana University School of Medicine, where he earned his M.D. He completed a residency in Family Medicine and a fellowship in Primary Care Sports Medicine at Self Regional Medical Center in Greenwood, South Carolina. Carly went on to get her Certified Public Accounting license, and worked in public accounting for three years.

“We were given a foundation of how to use our skills within the context of our mission as followers of Christ – to make disciples. It was such a blessing to study at an institution that incorporated Christian principles into multiple disciplines of study,” says Jacob.

Today, Carly stays at home full-time with the couple’s two children: Brooks Matthew (age 2) and Madison Grace (5 months). Jacob is a practicing sports medicine physician in Vincennes, Ind., where the family has been for almost two years.

A recent family photo of the Ringenbergs (left to right): son Brooks, Jacob, Carly and daughter Madison

As the years pass, the Ringenbergs have realized more and more the influence their Bethel experience has had on their vocations. Looking back, Jacob recognizes this in a profound way.

“The older I get, the more I have come to understand that Christ gives us each unique blessings and abilities that He intends for us to use to reach our neighbors and the nations for Him. I now have a better appreciation for the foundation that Bethel laid for me in that regard.”