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Bethel adds new major in growing field

July 23rd, 2021

Roll On sign on the Green

The Institutional Actions Council of the Higher Learning Commission (HLC), Bethel’s accrediting body, has approved the college’s application to begin a Bachelor of Science in software development, set to start in August 2022.

“The major is the natural outgrowth of a history of effective computer science education at Bethel,” said Robert Milliman, Ph.D., vice president for academic affairs and dean of faculty.

The program was developed by Bethel faculty, consulting with a group of alumni experts in computer-related fields.

“The new software development major will prepare students for careers in [an area] that is experiencing phenomenal growth in the region and throughout the nation,” Milliman continued.

“The Bethel degree will give students a competitive advantage that comes from a liberal arts education.”

“Our new program is the product of more than two years of planning and careful review of the needs and interests of students as well as of employment and educational opportunities that our program could provide,” said Dwight Krehbiel, Ph.D., Bethel professor emeritus of psychology and current director of the software development program.

“The program will offer a major designed to provide the skills needed for entry into a job market that is projected both in Kansas and nationally to grow by more than 20% over a 10-year period,” he added.

“During this period, salaries are also expected to grow so that software developers will be among the best-paid professionals in computer and information technology.”

The software development major will include courses in graphical user interfaces, web app development and programming languages, along with software design and development.

There will also be a minor for those students looking to acquire software skills applicable to their major, and a graduate school track to prepare those who want to pursue advanced study in computer science.

Bethel is a four-year liberal arts college founded in 1887 and is the oldest Mennonite college in North America. Known for academic excellence, Bethel ranks at #14 in the Washington Monthly list of “Best Bachelor’s Colleges” and #26 in U.S. News & World Report, Best Regional Colleges Midwest, and earned its third-straight NAIA Champions of Character Five-Star Gold Award, based on student service and academic achievement, all for 2020-21; is’s highest ranked Kansas small college with the highest earning graduates; has the #10 RN-to-BSN program in Kansas according to; and is #57 among 829 U.S. colleges and universities named by as “Best for Financial Aid,” as well as #23 “Safest College Towns in the U.S.,” ranked by for 2020-21. For more information, see

About Bethel

As the first Mennonite college founded in North America, Bethel College celebrates a tradition of progressive Christian liberal arts education, diversity within community, and lifelong learning.