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To be a Thresher is to be something greater than yourself.
Brian Skinner ’12

Fast Facts

Mission: Bethel College is an independent institution of higher education. The mission of the college is to prepare students, through active learning and rigorous instruction imbued with the spirit of liberal arts, to become critical thinkers and engaged global citizens.

Downloadable version

The Basics

Founded:
1887
Type:
4-year liberal arts
Church affiliation:
Mennonite Church USA (Independent Corporation and Board)
Location:
North Newton, Kansas (adjacent to Newton, Kansas, pop. 19,000)
Campus:
90 acres
Miles to Wichita:
28
Miles to major cities:
  • Kansas City: 180
  • Oklahoma City: 184
  • Denver: 490
  • Omaha: 303
Newest campus additions:
  • Renovated Luyken Fine Arts Center (2014)
  • $5 million renovated Will Family Academic Center (2012)
  • $5.5 million sports complex (2005)
  • $5 million Krehbiel Science Center and Mabee Observatory (2002)

Honors

Overall ranking:
Graduation rate:
Postsecondary Education Opportunity ranks Bethel in the top 12 nationally of liberal arts colleges whose actual graduation rates surpass predictions.
Forensics:
One of six colleges or universities that have sent students to the American Forensics Association’s National Individual Events Tournament every year since its beginning in 1978.
Character:
A Templeton Character Building College and one of only eight colleges to be listed in Mother Jones as a college that combines great values with good value
Service:
One of only four Private Kansas colleges to be recognized as part of the most recent President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll
Biomedical science:
In 1996, 2003, 2007, and 2011, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) recognized Bethel College for the high number of its science majors who go on to earn M.D. degrees and/or Ph.D. degrees in the sciences.

After Bethel

Teacher education graduates who passed the Principles of Learning and Teaching (PLT) for teacher licensure in 2010–13:
100%
Biology and natural science graduates who successfully pursued Ph.D. and/or M.D. degrees (since 1987):
approximately 50%
Social work graduates who passed licensing exam on first attempt:
more than 97%
Graduate school:
  • 1 out of every 17 graduates earns a doctoral degree, ranking Bethel first in the state and 92nd in the nation in percentage of bachelor degree students who go on to earn a Ph.D.
  • ranked No. 2 in the nation for bachelor’s to Ph.D. criterion in Washington Monthly’s annual college guide for 2015
Return on investment:
  • Ahead of Wichita’s public university
  • only Kansas private college ranked in Forbes.com for 2015.

Academic Excellence

Degrees:
  • Bachelor of Arts
  • Bachelor of Science
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing
  • Bachelor of Science in Social Work
Areas of study:

Bethel offers teacher licensure in secondary education for 10 majors.

  • Accounting
  • Art
  • Athletic Training
  • Bible and Religion, Biology
  • Business Administration
  • Chemistry
  • Clinical and Counseling Studies
  • Coaching
  • Communication Arts
  • Computer Science
  • Conflict Resolution
  • Elementary Education
  • Graphic Design
  • German
  • Health and Physical Education
  • History
  • Human Services
  • Interprofessional Health Studies
  • Literary Studies
  • Mathematical Sciences
  • Music
  • Natural Sciences
  • Neuroscience
  • Nursing
  • Peace, Justice and Conflict Studies
  • Philosophy
  • Physics
  • Psychology
  • Pre-Engineering
  • Pre-Law
  • Pre-Medical Studies
  • Social Work
  • Spanish
  • Sport Management
  • Youth Ministry
Study and travel abroad:

Study abroad programs at 19 colleges and universities in 17 countries, including:

  • Australia
  • Austria
  • China
  • Costa Rica
  • Ecuador
  • England
  • France
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • India
  • Japan
  • Mexico
  • Northern Ireland
  • Spain
Calendar:
  • two 16-week terms (fall and spring)
  • 4-week January interterm
  • summer term
Average class size:
21
Graduation requirements include:
an undergraduate research project, a public performance and/or an internship

Intentional Caring Community

Faculty profile

Full-time:
36
Part-time:
24
Student-faculty ratio:
10:1

Student body profile

Enrollment:
483
States represented:
30
Other countries represented:
8
Residential:
76.9% of traditional-age students live on campus in one of three residence halls
Freshman class (2014–15):
  • average ACT score 22.24
  • 16.66% in top 10% of high school class
  • 37.5% in top 25% of high school class

Opportunities for Participation

15 varsity sports under the auspices of the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference and the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics-Division II, including:
  • football
  • men’s and women’s basketball
  • women’s volleyball
  • men’s and women’s track and field
  • men’s golf
  • men’s and women’s soccer
  • men’s and women’s tennis
  • cheerleading
  • women’s softball
  • men’s and women’s cross country
Facilities:
  • Thresher Stadium, Joe W. Goering Field and Herbert Schmidt Track
  • Thresher Gymnasium
  • Memorial Hall gym
  • Ward Tennis Center
  • practice fields
  • biking/walking/running paths
  • cardio equipment and weight rooms
Mascot:
Thresher (What is a Thresher?)
Colors:
Maroon and gray
Intramural sports:
More than a dozen options
Clubs and organizations:
Nearly 50 options
Forensics:
Award-winning forensics and debate team
Theater:
4 or more opportunities each school year to perform on stage or behind the scenes in plays and musicals
Music:

Since 2010, one or more Bethel music groups have been selected to perform at the annual conference of the Kansas Music Educators Association. In 2014, the Concert Choir performed at the Southwestern Conference of the American Choral Directors Association. Read more about opportunities for involvement.

  • Choral ensembles
  • jazz ensembles
  • chamber groups
  • orchestra
  • private lessons
  • community music groups
  • coffeehouse performance opportunities

Spiritual Life

Affiliation:
Mennonite Church USA
Other backgrounds:
Though Mennonites represent the largest single denomination at Bethel, more than half of our students come from backgrounds other than Mennonite.
Available activities:
Bible study groups, praise and worship services, hymn sings, weekly chapel services and regular service opportunities