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Bethel stays in national top 5 for Best Baccalaureate Colleges

September 11th, 2017

NORTH NEWTON, KAN. – Bethel College remains one of the top five “baccalaureate colleges” as ranked by Washington Monthly for 2015'16.

Washington Monthly considers institutions within four areas as defined by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. Baccalaureate colleges, according to Carnegie, comprise “schools that focus on undergraduate education but offer fewer than half of their degrees in the liberal arts.”

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

“We rank four-year colleges in America on three measures that would make the whole system better, if only schools would compete on them,” write the editors of Washington Monthly in the latest college guide.

“The first is upward mobility: Are schools enrolling and graduating students of modest means and charging them a reasonable price? The second is research: Are they preparing undergraduates to earn PhDs, and creating the new technologies and ideas that will drive economic growth and advance human knowledge? The third is service: Are schools encouraging their students to give back to the country by joining the military or the Peace Corps, or at least letting them use their work-study money to do community service rather than making them on-campus office slaves?”

“We are honored to see the continued recognition for the kind of quality educational experience Bethel provides for our students,” said Bethel President Perry D. White, “and pleased with work our people have done to make such an experience affordable for more kids.”

In the 2015 rankings, Bethel is at No. 4, following the historically black institutions Elizabeth City (North Carolina) State University and Tuskegee (Alabama) University, and Cooper Union, out of a total of 344 baccalaureate colleges rated.

Among the Kansas independent colleges, the next closest on the “Best Baccalaureate Colleges” list are Ottawa University, No. 76, and Sterling College, No. 123.

The only other Mennonite Church USA college in “Best Baccalaureate Colleges” is Bluffton (Ohio) University, No. 147. Goshen (Indiana) College and Eastern Mennonite University, Harrisonburg, Virginia, appear in the “Best Liberal Arts Colleges” rankings, at No. 148 and No. 229, respectively.

See the complete “2015 Baccalaureate Colleges”

Bethel College is the only private, liberal arts college in Kansas listed in the 2015'16 analysis of top colleges and universities in the United States. The four-year liberal arts college is affiliated with Mennonite Church USA. For more information, see

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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.