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Seek. Serve. Grow.

The culture of Bethel is one that encourages students to try new things and to think critically.
Sarah Unruh ’12

Life Enrichment

The Life Enrichment series is planned especially for adults age 60 and over and is made possible by funding from Bethel College and the generosity of speakers who share their talent and expertise without compensation. The series is held in conjunction with Bethel’s academic year.

Cost: $20 per semester or $2 per week; first-time attendees get a free day
Time: 9:30 a.m.–12:15 p.m. (lunch following)
Location: Krehbiel Auditorium in the Luyken Fine Arts Center on the Bethel campus, unless otherwise noted

Coffee break time is usually 10:15–10:35 a.m. (donations needed to help cover cost). Lunch is served in the Schultz Student Center dining hall. Tickets for lunch should be purchased by 10:35 a.m. Cost: $6 for full meal; $4 for soup/salad/dessert.

Current Schedule

February 1
9:30 a.m. Wild Weather in Kansas
Eldon Clark, photographer, Minneapolis
10:15 a.m. Coffee break
10:35 a.m. A Year with Mennonite Central Committee in Honduras
Ben Kreider, director of prison ministries, Offender/Victim Ministries, Newton
11:30 a.m. My Journey to Bethel College: From the Hills of Wisconsin to the Plains of Kansas
Robert Milliman, Bethel vice president for academic affairs
February 8
9:30 a.m. How Can We Keep from Singing?
Chelsea Vaught, director of music, First Presbyterian Church, Ft. Wayne, Indiana
10:15 a.m. Coffee break
10:35 a.m. Full Court Press: Thoughts on 32 Years as a Judge
the Hon. Richard Walker (retired), Newton
11:30 a.m. Disaster Management Studies: A Unique Partnership between Hesston College and Mennonite Disaster Service
Cleo Koop, director of HC Disaster Management Studies, Newton
February 15
9:30 a.m. The Cost of Poverty
Richard Reimer, retired professor of economics at The College of Wooster (Ohio), North Newton
10:15 a.m. Coffee break
10:35 a.m. The Legacy of Walter Jost
Renae Schmidt Peters, director of Newton Chorale, Hesston
11:30 a.m. Diversity a Key to Success
Doug Scheible, general manager, Full Vision, Newton
February 22
9:30 a.m. The School-to-Prison Pipeline
Gary Flory, director, Kansas Institute for Peace and Conflict Resolution at Bethel College
10:15 a.m. Coffee break
10:35 a.m. Are College Students the Same in China? A Chemistry Teacher’s Experience 2014-16
Gary Histand, professor of chemistry, Bethel College
11:30 a.m. One Pastor’s Perspective: Making Life Connections
Harold Thieszen, North Newton
March 1
9:30 a.m. Stories from a Tropical Forest: Landscape Transformations Since Maya Times to the Present
Sergio Lopez, professor, Universidad de Ciencias y Artes de Chiapas (Mexico)
10:15 a.m. Coffee break
10:35 a.m. Talking about Turning
John Buckner, wood craftsman, North Newton
11:30 a.m. Mennonite Central Committee Mexico: Aftershock (46 Years Later)
Margaret and Larry Goering, volunteers, Newton
March 8
9:30 a.m. Journey Home to Rome
Mark Frazier, Edward Jones financial adviser, Newton
10:15 a.m. Coffee break
10:35 a.m. Teachers of Historical Characters: Entertainment or Good Education
Wes Schmidt-Tieszen, retired educator, Newton
11:30 a.m. Innocent but Convicted
Floyd Bledsoe, Burrton
March 15
9:30 a.m. You have given me the heritage of those who fear your name
Ron Moyo, pastor (fomerly of Zimbabwe), North Newton
10:15 a.m. Coffee break
10:35 a.m. Children of the Promise
Angela Bates, Kansas Humanities Council speaker, Bogue
11:30 a.m. Children of the Promise continues; stories from Nicodemus, Kansas
March 22 - Spring Break
No Life Enrichment
March 29
9:30 a.m. The Beauty of Peru
Jim Griggs, photographer, McPherson
10:15 a.m. Coffee break
10:35 a.m. Syrian Christians Today
Eldon Wagler, former country representative for Mennonite Central Committee, Partridge
11:30 a.m. Aviation: Challenge and Response
Dan Miller, director of aviation program, Hesston
April 5
9:30 a.m. Postal History: Fun and Facts
Robin Gay, postmaster, Newton
10:15 a.m. Coffee break
10:35 a.m. A Message in a Bottle: The Journey of Voyager II
Tom Holcomb, director of visitor experience, Kansas Cosmosphere, Hutchinson
11:30 a.m. Cambas, Collas and a Family of Gringos in Bolivia
Hanna Neufeld and Willmar Harder, pastor, Buhler Mennonite Church
April 12
9:30 a.m. Summer in the Blue Sky Country: Mongolia
Jim Goering, economist, North Newton
10:15 a.m. Coffee break
10:35 a.m. Pioneer Trails of Kansas
Brian Stucky, Goessel
11:30 a.m. Education in Kansas: A Penny for Your Thoughts
Allen Jantz, professor of education, Bethel College
April 19
9:30 a.m. The Hospital Without Walls
Vallerie Gleason, chief executive officer, Newton Medical Center
10:15 a.m. Coffee break
10:35 a.m. Reflections on our 2016 Poland Trip
Doug Penner, retired president, Kansas Independent College Association, and Raylene Hinz-Penner, writer, lecturer emeritus, Washburn University, Topeka
11:30 a.m. C. Henry Smith Peace Orations contest
sponsored by Kansas Institute for Peace and Conflict Resolution at Bethel College
April 26
9:30 a.m. Understanding Chinese Medicine: The Benefits of Acupuncture
Constance Gehring, CWA, Newton
10:15 a.m. Coffee break
10:35 a.m. The Rural Kansas Most Folks Never See
James Wimmer, "the Back Roads Traveler," Newton
11:30 a.m. Bethel student a capella groups Woven (women) and Open Road (men)

April 26 is our final session. Tentatively, we begin our fall 2017 Life Enrichment schedule on Aug. 23, 2017.