Stephen Bretsen, J.D.

William Volkman Professor of Business and Law, Associate Professor of Business and Law, Department Chair, Pre-Law Advisor
On Faculty since 2003

Office: Memorial Student Center 315
Phone: (630)752-5899


J. D., University of Colorado, 1986

B.A., Government, College of William and Mary, 1983

About Stephen Bretsen

Prior to accepting a position at Wheaton College, Steve was an in-house attorney and a director-level corporate development executive for several publicly traded companies. His activities focused on mergers and acquisitions, domestic and cross-border commercial transactions, venture capital equity investments, corporate law, and antitrust law.

Steve's wife, Cindy, recently served as the interim children's minister at their church and is a small group discussion leader for Bible Study Fellowship. His two daughters-Wheaton College Class of 2012 and Taylor University Class of 2014-are married. Steve is active in his church as treasurer, an elder on his church's governing board, in the choir, and as a teacher for children and adult Sunday school classes. Steve enjoys running, cross-country skiing, hiking, camping, and bicycling

Courses Taught

  • B/EC 452 Business Law
  • B/EC 493 Business Strategy
  • B/EC 494 Senior Seminar 
  • PS 271 Introduction to Law
  • PS 381 Constitutional Law

Membership in Professional Societies

  • Academy of Legal Studies in Business
  • Midwest Academy of Legal Studies in Business (President, 2011-2012)
  • Christian Business Faculty Association
  • Christian Legal Society
  • Licensed Attorney in the State of Colorado


  • 2007-2008 Wheaton College Junior Faculty Achievement Award


Current research interests include water law, business as mission, and Christianity and the corporation.


Bretsen, Stephen N. and Peter J. Hill, "Water Rights and the Anticommons," in Aquanomics: Water Markets and the Environment, eds. Randy Simmons and B. Delworth Gardner (Oakland, CA: Independent Institute, 2012).

Bretsen, Stephen N., "In Competition with Godless Hoards: Are Some Strategic Approaches More Appropriate for a Faithful Business?," The Journal of Biblical Integration in Business, 13 (2011): 110-127.

Bretsen, Stephen N., “Rainwater Harvesting Under Colorado’s Prior Appropriation Doctrine: Property Rights and Takings,” Fordham Environmental Law Review, 22, no. 2 (Spring 2011): 159-232. 

Bretsen, Stephen N. and Peter J. Hill, "Water Markets as a Tragedy of the Anticommons," William & Mary Environmental Law and Policy Review, 33, no. 3 (2009): 723-783.

Bretsen, Stephen N., "The Creation, the Kingdom of God, and a Theory of the Faithful Corporation," Christian Scholar's Review, 38, no. 1 (Fall 2008): 115-54.

Bretsen, Stephen N. and Peter J. Hill, "Irrigation Institutions in the American West," UCLA Journal of Environmental Law and Policy, 25, no. 2 (2006/2007): 283-331.

Bretsen, Stephen N., "The Faithful Business as a Publicly Traded Corporation - Testing the Outer Limits of Corporate Law," The Journal of Bilblical Integration in Business, 1, no. 1 (Fall 2006): 42-80.

Bretsen, Stephen N., "Bringing the Appellate Court to the Classroom," Christian Business Academy Review, 1, no. 1 (Spring 2006): 57-63.

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