Ten years ago, David McCabe, then on faculty at a school in Lithuania, had completed his dissertation and was looking for a place to belong, a place he could fit in missionally and theologically. He found it at Bethel College.

Now, as the first Missionary Church Endowed Professor of Biblical Theology, McCabe will help ensure that the college and the denomination remain a place where fit and opportunity come together to create that sense of belonging for ministerial candidates. This is Bethel’s first-ever endowed professorship, where an external entity perpetually supports a faculty member.

McCabe recently co-led Bethel’s largest-ever international trip to Israel, with 48 faculty, staff, students, alumni and friends of Bethel who learned about Scripture in the places it happened.

“There has been a growing effort to ensure our ministerial students are more prepared, better able to articulate their faith,” McCabe says. “We want our candidates to be fully prepared and ready to hit the ground running in ministry.”

How that will look is in development he says, although it could mean more internship and mentoring opportunities. “It’s all part of continuing the legacy and maintaining the integrity of this group.”

McCabe’s position is a first for Bethel and the denomination. He says, “This endowment communicates strongly the commitment of the Church to Bethel. As Jesus said, ‘Where your treasure is there will your heart be also.’ This funding indicates that the heart of the Church is with Bethel.”

The Church, through Missionary Church-related individuals and foundations, has committed to supporting the endowment for 10 years at $75,000 a year, with the option to extend it. In addition to his teaching duties, McCabe will commit 25 percent of his time to develop the church/college relationship in three ways:

  1. Turn Bethel into a resource hub for leaders and pastors through events, seminars, symposia and more.
  2. Attend church events and conferences to represent Bethel and be a listening ear for frontline ministry personnel.
  3. Serve as a doctrinal consult, writing white papers to outline doctrinal issues.

McCabe says listening to pastors will be key. “We hope we have something to offer them, but we also recognize that we need to hear from them and learn from them. We want everyone to feel they have a voice and they are being heard.”

McCabe’s Credentials

David McCabe, Ph.D., served as a John Wesley Fellow of post-graduate study with the Foundation for Theological Education and held prior faculty posts in Lithuania and Scotland, as well as serving in pastoral assignments in Kentucky and Texas, before coming to Bethel.

Ph.D., New Testament Language, Literature and Theology
New College, University of Edinburgh (Scotland)

M.A., Biblical Studies
Asbury Theological Seminary

B.S., Christian Ministries
Southwestern A/G University