Bethel College

Common Ground

Unity in Learning

Discover your gateway to a lifetime of fulfillment and success, connecting the liberal arts to the real world through our Common Ground core academic program.

Embrace a nurturing, challenging, exhilarating opportunity to change your mind, yourself, and your world, for the better. Explore your soul alongside classmates and faculty from various backgrounds, viewpoints and perspectives. Join a community seeking together, serving together, growing together.

Become the leader you’d like to follow, reaching across disciplines and continents to hone your skills as a communicator, researcher, planner and thinker.

First-Year Seminar

Build relationships with your hallmates through small class discussions about individuality and community.


Connect as a campus community twice a week to hear renowned guest speakers, performing groups and presentations that expose you to issues in politics, society, religion and the arts and sciences.

Cross-Cultural Learning 

Engage a culture significantly different from your own, whether you’re hiking through a cloud forest in Costa Rica, singing with the choir in the great cathedrals of Europe, speaking to Israeli and Palestinian religious leaders and scholars in Jerusalem, asking questions of a playwright in Chicago or sharing a meal with members of a mosque in Wichita.

Peace, Justice and Conflict Studies 

Engage questions and develop practical skills on how to actively pursue peace and justice, seek understanding where others might demand vengeance, and find common ground in our global and local world that’s so often in conflict.

Integrating Faith and Life

Explore the relationship between your personal beliefs and chosen career through focused biblical study or classes investigating the world’s major religions. Before graduation, Basic Issues of Faith and Life (BIFL) brings together students and faculty for a common educational experience, studying issues of historical and contemporary significance.


As a senior, you will complete a URICA (Undergraduate Research, Internships and Creative Activity) project – a rigorous, independent study experience, the crowning achievement of your academic career. You’ll finish your studies at Bethel confident in planning and completing a major independent project.