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I am continually amazed at how Bethel is able to nurture so many truly gifted and passionate human beings.
Mayeken Kehr ’10

Outcomes

Some of our graduates have taken service assignments or community- and church-related jobs. Over the last 30 years, about two-thirds of Bethel graduates and alumni in Bible and religion have gone on for graduate study at Mennonite, United Methodist and other church-related seminaries, as well as widely known institutions such as Harvard, Yale, Princeton and the University of Chicago. They have entered the following fields and professions, among others:

  • bankruptcy law, environmental law
  • director of international programs for Mennonite Central Committee
  • community organizing
  • human rights work with Muslim women in Afghanistan
  • pastoral ministry, including youth ministry
  • director of a Mennonite relief and service program in West Bank
  • teaching religion at the college and university level
  • principal of an international school in India
  • conflict mediation

Alumni

Hannah Klaassen ’06
Hannah was a refugee job placement specialist at Jewish Vocational Service in Kansas City for three years following graduation, working mainly with immigrants from East Africa. In fall 2009, she began working on a dual master’s degrees in theology (Chicago Theological Seminary) and social work (University of Chicago.
Samuel Schrag ’04
Since he graduated from Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary, Elkhart, Ind., in 2007, Samuel has pastored the St. Louis Mennonite Church. Before that, he served as a youth pastor at Faith Mennonite Church, Newton, and as a chaplain at Greencroft Retirement Community, Goshen, Ind.
Matthew Friesen ’90
Matt graduated with a double major in communication arts and Bible and religion. In his 15 years as a pastor of Mennonite churches in Wichita and in Albany, Ore., he was able to work within both of his chosen disciplines. Since fall 2008, he has been working on a Ph.D. program in sociology, with an emphasis in peace, justice and social change, at the University of Oregon.
Joel Goering ’05
After graduation, Joel worked for five years as a community organizer and program director in Kansas City, Kan. He spearheaded the effort to start a Children’s Defense Fund Freedom School in his neighborhood and served as the school’s first project director. In 2011, he completed a master’s in business administration, with an emphasis in nonprofit management, at the University of Texas at Austin and now works as a charter school finance specialist for EdOps, an organization that provides business management services to charter schools, based in Washington, D.C.
Alan Stucky ’03
Alan became a youth pastor at Buhler (Kan.) Mennonite Church while studying in the Great Plains Seminary Extension Program of Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary. During that time, he worked to create a joint youth group for youth from several churches in the Buhler area. Alan earned an M.Div. from AMBS in 2009 and began pastoring at Pleasant Valley Mennonite Church, Harper, Kan.
Palwasha L. Kakar ’99
Palwasha graduated from Harvard University with a master of theological studies degree focusing on gender, religion and politics. The Afghanistan Research and Evaluation Unit invited her to research women’s participation in local government and development institutions in Afghanistan, which she did for two years, followed by two years at Kabul University as a program manager, creating a Gender Studies Institute. She is now is a gender consultant for non-governmental organizations in Kabul.
Alain Epp Weaver ’91 and Sonia Weaver ’91
Alain and Sonia worked for more than 10 years with Mennonite Central Committee in the Middle East, most recently as co-directors for MCC’s program in Palestine, Jordan and Iraq, based in Amman. They served for three years as English teachers in an Arab village on the West Bank and for two years in the Gaza Strip. Alain completed a M.Div. degree and Sonia an M.A. in theology at the University of Chicago. In 2009, Alain completed doctoral coursework at the University of Chicago and is now employed as director of the program development department for MCC in Akron, Pa.
Jalane Schmidt ’91
Jalane earned a Ph.D. in religious studies at Harvard University, spent 18 months in Cuba studying Afro-Cuban religions as part of her dissertation work and completed a two-year fellowship at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill before becoming assistant professor of Latin American and Caribbean religions in the religious studies department at the University of Virginia, Charlottesville.
Kathleen Hayes Wolgemuth ’91
Kathleen earned her law degree from the University of Oklahoma and is part of the litigation practice with the firm of Martin and Churchill Chartered in Wichita.
Karen Rice Ratzlaff ’89
Karen completed an M.Div. degree at St. Paul School of Theology, Kansas City, Mo. Since 1996, she has been one of the pastors at First United Methodist Church in McPherson, Kan., after serving Calvary United Methodist Church, Wichita, 1992-97.
Heidi Regier Kreider ’83
Heidi received a North American Ministerial Fellowship and earned an M.Div. degree from the Yale University Institute of Music, Worship and the Arts. She was pastor of Emmanuel Mennonite Church, Gainesville, Fla., before moving to the lead pastor role at Bethel College Mennonite Church, the position she currently holds.
Raymond Reimer ’76
Ray earned a Ph.D. from Princeton Theological Seminary and was assistant professor of religion at Augustana College, Sioux Falls, S.D., where he taught New Testament courses, specializing in Paul and in peace studies. He now serves as an intentional interim pastor for the Western District Conference of Mennonite Church USA in congregations that are in the midst of leadership transitions.
Ron Flaming ’74
Ron is currently director of international programs for Mennonite Central Committee, based in Akron, Pa., after serving several years as principal of Woodstock School, Mussoorie, India, and then as executive secretary of the Commission of Overseas Mission of the General Conference Mennonite Church. He has also been a pastor in Topeka, Kan., and Bethel dean of students. He earned an M.Div. from Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary in Elkhart, Ind.