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Bethel University is a Christian higher education institution with approximately 6,000 students from 36 countries enrolled in undergraduate, graduate, seminary, and adult education programs. The main campus is located in Arden Hillsmarker, Minnesotamarker, and the school has satellite seminary locations on both coasts.

The university has a performing arts program, including Benson Great Hall, a concert hall, and The Bethel Choir, the university's 75-voice concert choir which has performed throughout Europe and Scandinavia.

Fully accredited by the Higher Learning Commission—North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, the university is also a member of the Christian College Consortium.

Bethel University is affiliated with and supported by the congregations of the Baptist General Conference.


Bethel University began in Chicago, Illinois as a seminary for Baptist immigrants from Swedenmarker. John Alexis Edgren opened a department for Scandinavian theological students in the fall of 1871 in the basement of First Swedish Baptist Church in Chicagomarker starting in 1871. The seminary merged with Bethel Academy in St. Paul, Minnesota in 1914. In 1931 the Academy became Bethel Junior College. The addition of a four-year liberal arts college program created Bethel College and Seminary in 1947. Beginning in 2004, the institution amended its name to Bethel University, better reflecting the broad scope of its academic programs.

Schools of Bethel University

Bethel University is divided into five different schools, each focusing on a different area:

College of Arts & Sciences

The College of Arts & Sciences offers 66 majors (78 including emphases within majors) and 41 minors (42 including emphases within minors).

College of Adult & Professional Studies

Graduate School

Bethel offers programs leading to the master's degree in a range of fields, including education, nursing, communication, and counseling psychology. At the doctorate level, Bethel confers the Doctor of Education in Educational Administration.

School for Executive Leadership

Bethel Seminary

Facilities - Main Arden Hills, MN Campus

Main Education Buildings

There are five main education buildings located on Bethel University's main campus in Arden Hills, MNmarker. They run Southwest/Northeast and are centrally located within the campus. They are all connected through weather-protected skyways and tunnels.

Starting from the Southwest and running to the Northeast the buildings are as follows (with abbreviations in parentheses): Benson Great Hall and Lundquist Community Life Center (CLC), Academic Center (AC), Clauson Fine Arts Center (CC), Hagstrom Student Services Center (HC), and Robertson Physical Education Center (RC).

Map of Campus

Campus Housing

There are four freshman residence halls located on-campus. Three of them are on a hill known informally as Freshman Hill; they are Bodien Hall, Getsch Hall, and Edgren Hall. The other freshman dorm is Nelson Hall, and it is located a short distance away from Freshman Hill. Nelson Hall is the oldest building on Bethel University's current campus in Arden Hills.

There are three residence halls that house mainly sophomores located on-campus: Arden Village West, Arden Village East, and Lissner Hall. Lissner Hall is the newest building on campus; it was completed in the Summer of 2005.

Two residence complexes, North Village and Fountain Terrace, house mostly juniors. Fountain Terrace is a renovated apartment complex located about two miles from the main campus. These two complexes are the only campus housing that offers a full kitchen in every suite. A shuttle service runs regularly between Fountain Terrace and the campus. North Village (a housing compound comprising five small residence halls) is located on the campus within walking distance of the academic buildings, but a shuttle also services these residences due to the occasionally extreme Minnesota climate.

Heritage Hall is the primary senior residence on campus but also houses some juniors.

Some students also choose to live off-campus.

New University Commons Building

Bethel University started construction on a 30 million dollar University Commons project. Construction began on May 19 2007, and was completed in the spring of 2009. The building project was headed by the current Vice President for Campus Services, Bruce Kunkel . The Commons includes the college bookstore, a new Dining Center and Market Square (alacarte dining), a new board room, and office space for the Office of Student Life and the Bethel Student Association.

On June 27, 2008 the building was renamed "George K. Brushaber Commons," in commemoration of the recently retired president, George K. Brushaber.


Bethel University offers a wide range of undergraduate and graduate programs. It regularly achieves the top ranks in the US News and World Reports . Undergraduates leave Bethel for positions in industry, nursing, business, social service, community organizations, and many other fields. Graduates have gone to excel at top graduate schools in the United States, including Yale, Princeton, UC Berkeley, the University of Chicago and many others .

In the last ten years there has been a strong emphasis on study abroad, and Bethel offers programs on every inhabited continent and highly encourages its students to study for a semester or, at least, a January term in some other part of the world.

The Covenant

All full-time students in the College of Arts and Sciences are expected to abide by the Covenant for Life Together. This lifestyle agreement focuses on living a Christian life of personal morality, which includes a respect for all persons and ethnic traditions, refraining from extramarital sex, gambling, illegal drugs, and tobacco in any form. It also states Bethel students should live a biblical lifestyle, which would mean staying away from gossip and gluttony. The goal of the Covenant is to build a community of faith and learning centered around common values.

The consumption of alcohol was previously prohibited by the covenant. As of June 25, 2008 it is allowed when the school year is not in session, with the exception of Bethel University sponsored events..


In the last four years Bethel University has embraced a call to Biblical Reconciliation. The ministry of reconciliation is dedicated to breaking down social divisions and barriers in order to bring people together, encouraging them to embrace their common bond of humanity rather than emphasizing the differences between them. In the case of Bethel this especially refers to the idea of racial reconciliation. Initially, the push toward reconciliation arose as a reaction to racially-charged incidents that happened in the 2002-2003 school year. Since that time Bethel University has made great strides towards reconciliation. These include creating a Major in Reconciliation Studies housed in the Department of Anthropology and Sociology. Additionally, the University has created the Bethel Anti-Racism and Reconciliation Commission (BAARC) using materials and processes developed by the Minnesota Collaborative Anti-Racism Initiative(MCARI). The University has also sought to emphasize this issue through its core value statements, describing the biblical qualities of disciples of Jesus. The seventh of the core values reads: "We are reconcilers— honoring the worth and dignity of people from all races and purposely seeking to create a community that reflects the diversity of the Body of Christ."

Student Publications

Bethel University has three student publications, The Clarion, the Coeval, and the Bethel Table Tent.
  • The Clarion is a biweekly newspaper run by paid students. During the 2006-2007 School Year, the Clarion was a weekly publication, but went back to the biweekly schedule for the 2007-2008 school year.
  • The Coeval is Bethel's bi-annual fine arts journal, publishing fiction, non-fiction, poetry, and other forms of text, such as geometrical proofs, political persuasion, and business plans—if they're interesting. Coeval prints artworks as well.
  • The Bethel Table Tent is a weekly publication placed on the tables in Bethel's Dining Center and Market Square. It usually contains upcoming Bethel Student Association events, random facts, polls, quotes, and satirical articles. After a two year absence, The Table Tent resumed in October 2007.


  • Men and Women's Cross Country
  • Men and Women's Track and Field
  • Men's Baseball
  • Women's Softball
  • Men and Women's Basketball
  • Men and Women's Hockey
  • Men and Women's Soccer
  • Men and Women's Tennis
  • Men's Football
  • Women's Volleyball
  • Men's Rugby (Club)
  • Men and Women's Lacrosse (Club)
  • Men's and Women's Golf
  • Men's Volleyball (Club)

Notable alumni

Notable Faculty

External links


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