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Bethel earns Top 15 position in national ranking

August 27th, 2019

Ad Building, August

Bethel is ranked highest of any Kansas college or university in one of Washington Monthly’s annual lists of exemplary U.S. institutions of higher education.

Bethel is #12 among the “Top 200 Bachelor’s Colleges.”

Washington Monthly rankings measure institutions based on contribution to the public good in three broad categories: social mobility, research and service.

Schools in the “Top Bachelor’s Colleges” category “are, in many ways, the face of what successful 21st-century higher education needs to look like: academically rigorous, demographically diverse, rooted in scholarly and ethical value systems that promote learning and engagement with the world,” writes Kevin Carey, a guest editor for Washington Monthly’s yearly higher education issue.

“This ranking from Washington Monthly is awesome,” said Bethel President Jon Gering. “It affirms our effectiveness as a Mennonite liberal arts college because it is based, in part, on social mobility and public service.

“Social mobility is the ability of a college to increase the socioeconomic status of a graduate compared to their parents. In other words, it is the ability of a college to help a student achieve the American Dream.

“When we speak of our mission [of] preparing students for meaningful lives of work and service,” he continued, “we can look at this ranking as evidence that we are succeeding.

“I am proud that Bethel College solves intergenerational income inequality, produces researchers, and graduates students who increase human flourishing by serving others.”

The college’s annual Service Day is coming up in less than a month, when classes are cancelled for the day and all students (except those exempt for practicums and internships) sign up to participate in service projects on campus and in the wider community.

See the complete 2019 “Top 200 Bachelor’s Colleges” list at

In addition to this top ranking, Bethel is celebrating its largest class of incoming first-year freshmen in more than 30 years, as well as a fiscal year that ended June 30 with the college showing its highest-ever giving to the Bethel College Fund (unrestricted gifts), with almost $1.7 million.

Bethel College, a four-year liberal arts college founded in 1887, is the oldest Mennonite college in North America. Known for academic excellence, Bethel is the highest-listed Kansas private college listed in Washington Monthly’s “Top Bachelor’s Colleges” for 2019-20 and according to, is the highest ranked Kansas small college with the highest earning graduates. 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.