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It is the comprehensive Bethel education both inside and outside of the classroom that will have a lasting and profound impact on my future
Josh Chittum ’09

Benjamin Kreider

Hometown: North Newton, Kan.
Major: Social Work; Bible & Religion
Class of 2015

What’s your major? Why did you choose it?
I am a Social Work and Bible and Religion double major. I like helping people and theology captivates me. I figure that as a human and as as Christian I’ll be engaging questions of faith and life for a good while to come and the holistic nature of the Social Work discipline is something I can take in a lot of different directions.
What brought you to Bethel?
Bethel was initially a prime college choice because of family and church connections. But my decision to come to Bethel was cemented when I was in high school. I saw Bethel students doing things I wanted to do in the future, weaving gorgeous harmonies in a choir, playing soccer at a collegiate level, engaging issues of faith in serious ways and having a joyous and creative approach to learning which seemed to flow well beyond the classroom.
What activities have you been involved in?
I play soccer, sing in the Men’s Chorus, acted in a One Act, am a Student Senator, serve on the chapel planning committee and participate in Students for Social Change and the Student Social Work Organization.
How are you different now from when you first arrived on campus?
I am more willing to try things and get involved. I’m not afraid to say, What the heck, I might as well go for it.
For what are you most proud of Bethel?
I am struck by the quality of music that springs from Bethel and its students. I have been blown away by sheer technical brilliance, had deep emotions stirred and a huge grins cross my face, all from music at Bethel.
How would you like to see Bethel change or improve in the next five years?
I’d like to see Bethel bolster the Spanish language program, with an emphasis on local and practical application.
What has been your favorite course so far, and why?
Mennonite Life, History, and Thought with Mark Jantzen. We had a wonderful mix of engaging lectures, discussions among classmates that each brought different perspectives to Mennonite topics and visits to local churches where we were warmly welcomed. It was a lively and insightful class.
Tell a quick story about a memorable moment from your Bethel days.
Over spring break this past year, I went on a Bethel-led service and learning trip to New Mexico/Arizona and the Navajo reservation. It was an epic trip that included lots of group bonding in a cramped van, delicious food, gracious hospitality, glimpses into the world of social services in the Navajo reservation, sleeping in a traditional Navajo hogan and hiking and stargazing in some stunningly beautiful scenery.
What does it mean to be a Thresher?
To be Thresher is to be an individual, who, although perhaps being brilliant in one or many areas, doesn’t take himself/herself too seriously, reaches out across divisions to build relationships and quietly does many things well.