A prominent Christian college, Bethel University was founded in 1871 by John Alexis Edgren as a seminary for Baptist immigrants from Sweden. The seminary merged with Bethel Academy to form Bethel Junior College and after multiple name changes, the school gained university status in 2004. The main campus is located in St. Paul, Minnesota and the university operates additional seminaries on both coasts.
Bethel offers more than 100 different undergraduate and advanced academic degree programs through four different schools. Students can choose majors and minors from the following areas of study: accounting and finance, media communication, mathematics, modern world languages, political science, chemistry, business, physics, reconciliation studies, and religious studies.
Students may select from a variety of pre-professional degrees and are encouraged to discuss their interest in a pre-professional degree with an academic advisor to create a program that best suits their interests. Some of the programs are Pre-Law, Pre-Chiropractic Medicine, Pre-Dentistry, Pre-Medicine, Pre-Occupational Therapy, Pre-Optometry, Pre-Pharmacy, Pre-Physician’s Assistant, and Pre-Podiatry.
The graduate school offers a variety of certificate programs for professionals looking to advance their careers. Many of the advanced certificate programs are based on education. These include autism spectrum disorders, international baccalaureate education, literacy education, nursing education, nursing leadership, and postsecondary teaching. Additional certificate programs are also offered through the College of Adult and Professional Studies.
Schools and Colleges
Academics are organized by graduate, undergraduate, post graduate and special programs through the following four units: College of Arts & Sciences; College of Adult & Professional Studies; Graduate School; and Bethel Seminary.
Most Popular Fields of Study
Each year, the university enrolls more than 6,000 students from over 45 states and more than 28 countries. Students seeking admission must submit their completed application form along with a personal statement (essay), an academic reference, and a spiritual reference. Applicants must also send all of their official transcripts and scores for any of the following tests: SAT, ACT, or PSAT. The institute also requires freshman students to sign a commitment to ‘A Covenant for Life Together’. Getting a transfer to the institute is fairly easy. Applicants must submit their official transcripts from all previously attended institutes.
Students seeking financial aid must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The institute offers financial aid through four different mediums: scholarships, grants, loans, and student employment. Scholarships are like gifts and they do not require any repayment. Students may be eligible for federal, state, and private scholarships. Some of these scholarships are the Robert C. Byrd Honors Scholarship, Minnesota Indian Scholarship, Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship, Ambassadorial Scholarships, Institute of International Education, Blandin Foundation, Daniels Fund Scholarship, Scholarship America, and Twin Cities Adult Education Alliance.
Grants are another type of gift aid offered to students. Some of the private, state, and federal grants are Federal Pell Grant, Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG), Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grant, Minnesota State Grant, Minnesota GI Bill Program, Bethel Housing Grant, Bethel Grant, Bethel Opportunity Grant, Canadian Student Grant, International Student Grant, and Transfer Housing Grant.
The financial aid office also offers a variety of loan programs for its students. Some of the loans include Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans, Federal Perkins Loan, Direct PLUS Loan (Parent Loan) and Private Loans. The university also provides financial aid opportunities through government programs intended exclusively for veterans and their dependents or those currently serving in the military. Eligible students may also opt for work-study programs that enable them to take on part-time jobs to help pay for college. More than 1,000 students are employed on campus to aid with their college expenses.
Student life is welcoming, active, and sometimes a little exhausting. The campus environment is perfect to nurture tomorrow’s leaders, fighters for justice, anime geeks, movie buffs, political activists, research biologists, and competitive athletes. The student-run clubs and organizations are sponsored by the Bethel Student Association (BSA). The on-campus clubs are divided into Academic & Honor Societies, Club Sports, and Special Interest Clubs. Some of the popular clubs are Nurses Christian Fellowship, Omicron Delta Kappa, Psychology Club, Tri-Beta (Biological Honor Society), Lambda Pi Eta, Hockey Club, Acting on Aids College Republicans, and International Justice Mission.
Media and Publications
The Clarion is a biweekly newspaper managed by the Bethel students.
The Coeval is a bi-annual fine arts journal publishing non-fiction, fiction, poetry, and other types of text, such as political persuasion, geometrical proofs, and business plans.
Residence Life offers housing options for the students who wish to live on campus. The residence life department aims to develop the overall personality and outlook of the students. It offers academic and spiritual development, small-group discipleship social and intercultural opportunities. Residence life presents a supportive, healthy, Christ-centered home for everyone. The residence halls are well-furnished and equipped with modern amenities including wireless internet access, TV lounges, study areas, private bathrooms, multiple kitchens, and game rooms. Students can choose from a variety of residence halls including Arden Village East, Bodien Hall, Fountain Terrace, Edgren Hall, Getsch Hall, Heritage Hall, Lissner Hall, Nelson Hall, and North Village.
The campus also features a well-equipped dining center that offers a variety of regional and international delicacies such as American hamburgers, Asian stir fry, deli sandwiches, Italian pastas, and home-style food. The dining centers include the two-story dining space overlooking the serene Lake Valentine, the 3900 Grill campus restaurant, and the Royal Grounds for late-night snacks.
Student Enrollment Demographics
Student Graduation Demographics
The athletic department sponsors a variety of men’s and women’s teams participating in sports such as baseball, basketball, cross country, football, golf, ice, hockey, soccer, tennis, and track and field. The athletic teams are nicknamed the Royals. The Royals compete at the NCAA Division III level in more than 15 intercollegiate sports. The school is also a member of the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (MIAC).
The university sponsors several intramural sports for the recreation and enjoyment of students, faculty and staff. Students are encouraged to compete at the club level for certain sports such as men’s rugby (club), men’s and women’s lacrosse (club), and men’s volleyball (club).
Prominent alumni include:
Harvey L. Wollman, former Governor of South Dakota
Joel Hodgson, creator of Mystery Science Theatre
Cameron Anderson, founder of Foot Locker
Chris Larson, noted artist
Doug Ohlson, noted abstract artist
The university is a member of the Christian College Consortium and is affiliated with the congregations of the Baptist General Conference.
It is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission – North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.
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