Bolivian Evangelical University
Bolivian Evangelical University in Santa Cruz, Bolivia, is the first private university in Bolivia and the first evangelical university in Spanish-speaking South America. The main ministry of BEU is to reach the youth of Bolivia for Christ through higher education and to influence the country and other countries for Christ through its students and graduates.
The school was started by WGM missionary Meredythe Scheflen and held its first classes on April 15, 1982. More than 200 students were enrolled at the time in six areas of study: nursing, electronics, communications, English, music, and theology. Today, the university offers 15 different majors, and approximately 2,000 students attend each year.
Students at BEU are granted a licenciatura (bachelor’s degree) upon completion of a five-year program that includes a thesis defense. BEU also offers a master’s degree in missiology and has plans for additional master’s programs in the future.
In addition to its list of majors, BEU operates its own educational radio station, agricultural center, daycare center, and a medical center with an operating room. Classrooms, offices, and laboratories surround a beautiful chapel on the 60-acre campus.
Although quality education is scarce in Bolivia, the staff at BEU has been working to raise the level of education of the Bolivian people. In May 2002, the university was granted full accreditation as a PLENA university. This certification signifies that BEU has more than satisfactorily completed the basic requirements of the Bolivian government for this level of recognition, which at present is the highest for Bolivian universities.