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Are you interested in other peoples and cultures?

Would you enjoy living, working and/or studying abroad?

Would you like to expand your view of the world?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, you could be well-suited for the professional and personal possibilities available to German and Spanish minors.

To study a language at Bethel is to do more than memorize vocabulary words and sentence structures. It is to delve into the culture, to understand the people and their history, to truly become a member of a global community. To study German at Bethel is to learn an important part of this college’s history – its Mennonite founders in the late 19th century were German-speaking immigrants from Russia.

Since foreign languages are an integral part of the liberal arts, you will develop an increased awareness of other cultures, literatures, history, and social and political structures. You will be able to integrate your liberal arts learning with your newfound knowledge of another language and culture.

* In addition to German and Spanish, Bethel’s language department also offers classes – but no degree – in New Testament Greek and Mandarin Chinese.


Study Abroad

As a student studying German, you will spend a semester or longer in a foreign country, immersed in German culture, completing internships and studying in a university setting. Bethel students have participated in a number of exchange programs, including one unique to Bethel: For more than 60 years, students from Bethel and the Bergische Universität in Wuppertal, Germany, have spent exchange years at each other’s schools.

Since 1951, Bethel and the Bergische-Universität-Gesamthochschule-Wuppertal have maintained a student exchange program that permits two students from each of the institutions to spend an academic year at the other institution. It is one of the oldest such exchanges between an American college and a German university.


Locally, students can also become involved in Bethel’s German and Spanish clubs, work as departmental assistants and do translation work with area businesses, ministries and historical projects.

A degree in German or Spanish from Bethel prepares you for a wide variety of professional options. As the world grows ever smaller, proficiency in a foreign language is becoming increasingly valuable in many fields. For example, one graduate is deputy executive director of Amnesty Inter­national USA, while others have served around the world with mission and service organizations. Another alumnus, after earning degrees in law and international relations, is an attorney with the U.S. Department of Commerce.

Post-graduate careers include:

  • Theology
  • Anthropology
  • Business and finance
  • Mass communication
  • Chemistry
  • Literature

Notable Alumni

Karenza Kroeker – ’03
Karenza discovered her love for German during her time at Bethel, when she was fortunate enough to spend a summer in Germany.

To earn a minor in German, you’ll need intermediate language competency — i.e., pass a competency exam; transfer credit; or complete intermediate language courses as a part of an approved study abroad program. The central component of Bethel’s foreign language minor is your participation in a study abroad program for one or — preferably — two semesters in a German-speaking country.

Dan Quinlin

Professor of languages / Director of the Center for Academic Development (CAD)

Ricardo Sanchez

Adjunct instructor of spanish

Mission Statement

Bethel College prepares students for meaningful lives of work and service through faith formation, the liberal arts, and practical experience in career pathways.