Just before Christmas 2021, LBC | Capital President Dr. Thomas L. Kiedis announced that Pete Beers would take on the role of Vice President of Traditional Undergraduate Education effective Jan. 1—an interim position he’d held since April 2021. Beers has effectively led teams in Student Affairs, Admissions and Athletics while serving as an integral member of the President’s Cabinet. Traditional undergraduate refers to students who are typically 18- to 22-years-old, live on or near campus and are taking classes full time.
“Paul reminds us in Romans and 1 Corinthians that a variety of strengths builds a strong team, and I’m grateful for the strengths Pete brings to this role,” Kiedis said. “I’ve come to know Pete as a leader, a learner, a visionary and a person who truly loves the mission of LBC | Capital and who has a heart to see young adults become the people God created them to be. During his 22 years here at 901 Eden Road, Pete has grown with the campus and the college. He shares the history, the DNA and the vision we’re building for the coming years.”
LBC | Capital connected with Pete Beers about his vision for undergraduate education.
LBC | CAPITAL: You spent many years at Lancaster Bible College as Director of Athletics (a role now held by Rod Baughman). What did you learn about LBC and its students during your time in that position?
PETE BEERS: So many lessons learned. One lesson I learned later in life, probably later than I should have, is to be more caring during times of turmoil. In hindsight, I wish my pursuit of excellence and honesty would have been accompanied by kindness and gentleness. What I mean is, when changes needed to be made, not everyone was at the same point or conclusion, so taking the time to understand other perspectives might have helped in the processing of decisions and garnered respect rather than creating ill will. Another lesson I learned is to be willing to adjust from your ideals in order to accomplish a goal. Adapting, usually done through collaboration, potentially yields an even better result than your original ideal.
LBC: How is the role of Vice President of Traditional Undergraduate Education different than Athletics? Are there any parallels?
PB: The pace of the Athletics Department is constant with 20 sports (teams) creating constant activity. The pace of this new role might not be as frantic, but it is heavier in that the significance of decisions affect more of the whole experience of the traditional undergraduate student. The parallels, which I love, still involve the student experience, just a bit more expansive.
LBC: Describe LBC students. How are they making an impact today and what do you see for them in the future?
PB: I love the students, and I especially appreciate the involved student. I believe if we are going to thrive in fulfilling the mission of LBC, we must keep encouraging both involvement in the Church and serving others. The simple understanding of the challenge of loving God and loving others must be fleshed out in the laboratory of the traditional undergraduate experience.
LBC: What is your vision for Undergraduate Education at LBC | Capital?
PB: Lord willing, we can accomplish the goal of President Kiedis in making the traditional experience at 901 Eden Road a destination location. Part of that will involve an investment into the facilities, but the larger focus is making sure our people intentionally invest in our students each day.
LBC: What are three specific goals or outcomes you’d like to see in the realm of Traditional Undergraduate Education in 2022?
PB: My first goal is to improve the communication skills in our students. Learning to solve problems, show respect, disagree amiably and confront appropriately are skills that are desperately needed in our world today. A second goal is to see involvement in churches grow among our students. I echo our President in saying that an involved student in the local church is a vital part of the equipping process in our institution. Theory put into practice is critical to implementation. Finally, I want to keep improving the activities that can be experienced on campus so that application of learning and community among the LBC family can continue to grow together.
LBC: As you mentioned, President Kiedis has said many times that we want our beautiful campus at 901 Eden Road in Lancaster to be a destination location for undergraduate students who want a biblically integrated education taught by caring faculty members in an engaging community of believers. How will LBC continue to live up to that goal?
PB: We have been blessed with incredible faculty, coaches and staff who understand both the mission (of the college) and the heart of young people. Strengthening our foundational investment in the development of students gives way to having the tools and excellence to support the process. The college has many exciting developments for the Lancaster campus on the horizon that will help cultivate community and continue to accomplish kingdom work to honor God.