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Bethel earns Champions of Character gold with perfect score

September 16th, 2020

Student-athletes working on Service Day 2019

For the third straight year, Bethel has received the NAIA Champions of Character® Five-Star Gold Award.

This time, the Threshers had a perfect score of 100 points.

Bethel was one of 113 institutions across the NAIA to earn gold status, out of 181 that earned either gold, silver or bronze.

The NAIA announces the awards in the fall for the previous academic year (in this case, 2019-20).

NAIA institutions are asked annually to demonstrate their progress in pursuing “character-driven athletics.”

They are measured on a demonstrated commitment to Champions of Character®, earning points in character training, conduct in competition, academic focus, character recognition and character promotion, and based on exceptional student-athlete GPAs and minimal to no ejections during competition throughout the academic year.

The Champions of Character® Scorecard measures growth in training, promotion, conduct in competition and commitment in five key areas, with a possibility of earning 100 points.

Bethel was among the 68 Gold Award institutions that scored 100. Schools are recognized as Champions of Character® Five-Star Award Winners at three different levels: Gold (90-100 points), Silver (75-89 points) and Bronze (60-74 points).

“Our student-athletes and coaches had a tremendous year in all phases of sport this past year as reflected within our perfect 100-point department score,” said Tony Hoops, Bethel athletic director.

“The improvement we saw within results, combined with tremendous character exhibited once again all year, was inspiring to watch.”

He continued, “Exhibiting strong character starts with leadership at the top. Our coaches continue to teach and exhibit strong character within their leadership. I’m very thankful for their continued leadership and transformation of Bethel Athletics.”

Bethel was one of seven institutions from the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference (KCAC) named to the Gold division, one of four to earn a perfect score.

Twelve of the 13 full-time KCAC member institutions received Five-Star distinction, which also makes the KCAC a Champions of Character® Five-Star Conference (with 60% or more schools at Five-Star status).

See all the Champions of Character® Five-Star institutions at

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

In sports, Bethel competes in the 13-member KCAC and the NAIA. 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.