Allen Bedford

Associate Professor of Chemistry / Director of Institutional Effectiveness


Dr. Bedford teaches biochemistry, chemistry, and mathematics. His approach to teaching is to draw his students into the tension between what we observe and how we understand those observations. Studying chemistry demands attention to observed fact, while also constructing meaning from those facts so that we can understand phenomena well enough to predict outcomes in unfamiliar settings. Theory and observation create tension because the two challenge each other constantly.

Dr. Bedford served as Bryn Athyn’s Dean of Academics and Chief Academic Officer from 2010 to 2017. He took a year-long sabbatical in 2017-18 to study strategic decision making and leadership in higher education and was a participant in the American Academic Leadership Institute’s Executive Leadership Academy. He joined the faculty at Bryn Athyn in 1995, and helped the institution launch its first science major. He also served as science department chair (2004-2009), director of institutional outcomes assessment (2007-2010), and chair of the curriculum committee (2002-2007). As science department chair he led the faculty design team for the Doering Center laboratory and classroom spaces (2007-2009).

He is working currently on a book about pursuing faith.


  • PhD, Temple University, Chemistry
  • MA, Temple University, Chemistry
  • BA, Bryn Athyn College, English and Science


Honors, Awards, and Grants

  • Carpenter Grant to support writing a book about pursuing faith (2018-2019)
  • Selected as a participant in the American Academic Leadership Institute’s Executive Leadership Academy (2017-2018)
  • Selected as a participant in the CIC Leadership Colloquium (2013)
  • Summer Research Grants, Bryn Athyn College (2005, 2007, 2009)
  • Tenure, Bryn Athyn College, 2003
  • Post-Doctoral Summer Research Fellow, Temple University (2000, 2001, 2002)
  • Dorothea Homiller Glenn Excellence in Teaching Award, 1997

Administrative Service

  • Bryn Athyn’s Chief Academic Officer (2010-2017)
  • MSCHE peer evaluator (2014-2016)
  • Chaired Bryn Athyn’s 2012 decennial self-study review for re-accreditation (2010-2013)
  • Associate Dean for Academic Affairs (2009-2010)
  • Science Department Chair (2004-2009)
  • Chair of the Curriculum Committee (2002-2007) and led the effort to redesign the general education program


  • Potapov E., Bedford, F. Bryntesson, S. Cooper, B. Nyholm, and D. Robertson. “White-Tailed Deer (Odocoileus virginianus) Suburban Habitat Use along Disturbance Gradients,” in American Midland Naturalist 171 (2014): 128-138.
  • Potapov E., Bedford, F. Bryntesson, S. Cooper, B. Brown, and D. Robertson. “Impact of snow cover on movements and habitat choice by suburban White-tailed deer (Odocoileus viginianus),” in Bulletin of the New Jersey Academy of Science 56 (2011): 5-8.
  • Bedford, Allen J. “Removing Obstacles: Why Swedenborgian Theology Recasts Christian Concepts of the Last Judgment and the Singularity of the Earth,” in The New Philosophy 111 (2008): 515-564. Reprinted in The World Transformed: Swedenborg and the Last Judgment, Dan A. Synnestvedt, editor. Bryn Athyn: Bryn Athyn College Press, 2011.
  • Brown B., F. Bryntesson, S. Cooper, B. Nyholm, D. Robertson, Bedford, D. Hendricks, L. Klippenstein and E. Potapov. “Moonlight and Suburban White-tailed deer movements,” in Bulletin of the New Jersey Academy of Science 56 (2011): 1-3.
  • Bedford, Allen J. “Planets and Perspectives: New Church Theology and the Plurality of Worlds Debate,” in The New Philosophy 109 (2006): 315-340.
  • Bedford, Allen J. “Chemical Education in a New Church College,” in Faith and Learning at Bryn Athyn College of the New Church, Dan A. Synnestvedt, editor. Bryn Athyn: Academy of the New Church Press, 2004.

Areas of Expertise/Interest

  • College science teaching
  • Strategic innovation
  • Data analysis
  • Resource optimization
  • Swedenborgian contributions to the interplay between science and faith
  • Hemoglobin protein chemistry
  • Curriculum development
  • Institutional assessment and accreditation
  • Leadership and administration
head shot of Allen Bedford
Staff Information
Campus Address
Doering Center 114