BETHANY, W.Va. – Bethany College on Saturday recognized the president of the Disciples Church Extension Fund with an honorary doctorate during the college’s 181st commencement ceremony.

Bethany President Tamara Nichols Rodenberg presented Erick Reisinger with an honorary doctorate in ministry with a specialization in finance.

In introducing Reisinger, Rodenberg called him a friend, mentor, and colleague.

“I have known Rick for most, if not all, of my professional life,” Rodenberg said. “He is one of the reasons that Bethany College remains strong to this day. He has assisted in multiple ministries, congregations, and colleges and universities in extending their capacity to reach through financial support, through generous donors in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ).”

Bethany College has longstanding ties to the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). Alexander Campbell, who founded Bethany in 1840, was one of the principal founders of the church.

Reisinger became president of the extension fund in 2012, overseeing the loan, investment, and capital fund-raising services that have been the primary focus of Church Extension for 138 years.

Throughout his career, Reisinger has helped the Disciples Church Extension Fund successfully navigate many challenges, including record-high interest rates in the late 70s and early 80s; the Dotcom collapse of the late 90s; the 2007-08 recession; and the current pandemic.

He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in business administration and economics from Culver-Stockton College in Canton, Mo.

Reisinger began his career at the Board of Church Extension, as it was then called, in 1975 as a summer intern. He went on to serving Church Extension in areas of finance and operations, service development, asset and liability management, congregational consulting, Regional partnership, and as vice president and treasurer.

He plans to retire in December from his role as president.


Bethany College, founded in 1840, is the oldest private college in West Virginia. The Bethany experience focuses on academic excellence in the area of liberal arts and prepares students for a lifetime of work and a life of significance.