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Bethel ranks high for service in national ‘Best Colleges’ list

September 5th, 2022

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Bethel moved up one spot, to #14, in the Washington Monthly annual list of “Best Bachelor’s Colleges,” a number partially based on service, where Bethel placed at #6.  

Washington Monthly rates four-year colleges and universities based on their contribution to the public good in three broad categories: the degree to which they recruit and graduate students of modest means (social mobility); produce the scholarship and scholars that drive economic growth and human flourishing (research); and encourage students to be active citizens and serve their country (service).

“Bachelor’s Colleges” are those that award almost exclusively bachelor’s degrees. Bethel’s overall score placed it at #14 out of 250 schools ranked, the highest of any Kansas school listed.

In addition, Bethel placed 6th in the rankings for service.

Washington Monthly considers data sources that identify percentage of alumni in Peace Corps, AmeriCorps and all branches of the military, campus voting engagement, and several other areas.

A new consideration this year was the percentage of all degrees awarded in health, education and social work – what the magazine calls “socially valuable fields that are not always highly paid.”

“Service is one of the shared experiences at Bethel,” said President Jon C. Gering. “Our increased ranking reflects our dedication to helping and serving others in our community.

“Service is part of our ethos, and I am very proud that our actions are reflected in the Washington Monthly rankings.”

Bethel ranked 4th in the “research” category. For “Bachelor’s Colleges,” Washington Monthly places extra weight on the number of undergraduate alumni who go on to earn PhDs, an area in which Bethel has consistently and historically done well.

Bethel also made Washington Monthly’s list of “Best Bang for the Buck-Midwest” colleges. This category ranks schools according to how well they help non-wealthy students earn marketable degrees at affordable prices.

At #187 out of 387 in this grouping, Bethel is the highest among its peer schools and #5 out of all Kansas colleges and universities included in the Washington Monthly rankings.

“Best Bang for the Buck-Midwest” can be seen at, and the complete list 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 #24 in the U.S. News & World Report rankings of “Best Regional Colleges Midwest,” both for 2022-23. Bethel is the only Kansas college or university to be named a Truth, Racial Healing and Transformation (TRHT) Campus Center. 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.