Cares Act funding information-->

Apply now Alumni | Give to BC | Athletics | Fine Arts | Moodle | Thresher Connect | Search


Health & Physical Education (HPE)

You like

  • physical activity, from playing sports to working out
  • helping other people enjoy active lives, have fun and improve their health
  • working with children and youth

Your liberal arts education will equip you with skills in

  • critical and creative thinking
  • communication
  • collaboration

which, added to practical training and experience in health and p.e., results in a person ready to move into a career, or graduate school, plus a healthy, active life.

A degree in Health and Physical Education from Bethel College can prepare you for

  • coaching (National Strength and Conditioning Association Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist [NSCA-CSCS] certification available)
  • sport management: park districts, recreation centers, camps, fitness clubs, wellness centers, semi-professional and professional sports teams
  • teaching (education certification to teach K-12)
  • camping ministry (add a Youth Ministry certificate)

just for starters.

See what kind of professional success our HPE alumni have achieved.

Want to talk more with faculty and current students? Schedule a campus visit.



Students design their own internship experience under the supervision of a faculty member.

Recent internship placements have included the following:

  • Bethel College athletic department
  • Hartman Arena, Park City, Kan.
  • Hesston Wellness Center, Hesston, Kan.
  • Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference
  • Kidron Bethel (North Newton) and Schowalter Villa (Hesston) retirement communities
  • Moundridge Memorial Home/Village, Moundridge, Kan.
  • Mid-America Youth Basketball (MAYB), Newton
  • Local youth soccer leagues
  • National Baseball Congress, Wichita
  • Sand Creek Station Golf Course, Newton, and Hesston Municipal Golf Course
  • United Methodist Youthville, Newton/Wichita
  • Wichita Wingnuts (minor league baseball team)
  • Genesis Health Clubs, Wichita
  • Newton Recreation Center
  • Newton Public Schools
  • Anytime Fitness, Newton
  • Curves, Newton
  • Kansas Sports Hall of Fame, Newton

The rigorous courses prepared me for the educational classroom right away. I enjoyed my first two years at BC, but it wasn’t until [my junior year] that I realized howBethel was molding me to be a successful teacher and now coach.
—Tony Hoops ’05, Health Management (Health and Physical Education)
Masters in school leadership, Baker University
Athletic Director, Bethel College

You need only look as far as the professional success of Bethel’s health and physical education alumni to understand the strength of the program.

Our graduates have excelled in a number of different ways – as coaches, teachers, athletic trainers and sports managers. Bethel’s program is so highly regarded that many school districts specifically contact Bethel for names of potential job candidates.

A wide range of career opportunities exists for graduates in health and physical education. Graduates who pursue teaching certification are prepared to teach health and physical education at the elementary, middle and secondary levels. Bethel College enjoys a strong reputation for teacher preparation and boasts an excellent placement record. Many of our graduates pursue career opportunities in coaching and are certified by the American Sport Education Program (ASEP).

Graduates who pursue sport management find employment opportunities with professional and semi-professional sports organizations, park districts, youth groups, recreational centers, the YMCA, fitness centers and wellness clubs. Since the sport industry is so large and diverse, a wide range of career opportunities exist in a wide range of organizational settings.

Post-graduate careers include:

  • Management:
    • sport video
    • sports web page/internet site
    • food and beverage
    • tickets
    • accounting
    • corporate or group sales
    • events
    • events promotion
    • facilities
    • group sales
    • tournament operation
  • Director:
    • athletic
    • finance
    • special events
    • corporate sales
    • marketing
    • sports information
  • Media relations
  • Events coordinator
  • Customer relations
  • Guest services
  • Tournament planner
  • Travel / tour guide
  • Special events coordinator

There is a diversity of career options in the exercise physiology field. The HPE degree is well-suited to careers in corporate fitness, agency fitness (YMCA, YWCA, etc.), health clubs, fitness facility management, personal training and coaching in strength and conditioning.

Another career option is to attend graduate school. Many of our graduates have received assistantships from major universities around the region and country.

If you choose to major in health and physical education, career options include, but are not limited to:

  • Physical education
  • Sport management
  • Coaching
  • Recreation/leisure industry
  • Adapted physical education
  • Health education
  • Exercise science
  • Strength and conditioning
  • Wellness and fitness instruction

Notable Alumni

Jessica Muckenthaler – ’12

Jessica is an elementary PE teacher for Central Burden Unified School District (USD) 462, where she also serves as high school assistant volleyball coach and middle school assistant girls’ basketball coach.

Chad Hershberger – ’07
Chad stayed in the medical field after college, using his health and physical education degree to find a job as a technology consultant for a surgical company in Wichita.
Major requirements for Health and Physical Education:
46 hours
Minor requirements for Coaching:
16 hours
Minor requirements for Sport Management:
16 hours
Major requirements for Health Education teacher licensure:
39 hours plus completion of General Education requirements for teacher licensure and professional education requirements
Major requirements for Physical Education teacher licensure:
46 hours plus completion of General Education requirements for teacher licensure and professional education requirements.

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.