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Connect To Purpose

Experiential Learning - Bible and Religion

The campus has an active spiritual life. Students are largely responsible for planning and leading a weekly (voluntary) chapel service for the whole campus community. You can be involved in religious organizations such as a Catholic Students group or the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, or help plan and carry out informal worship services or Bible study groups with other students.


If you’re interested in Christian ministry, consider taking part in the Ministry Inquiry Program one summer. MIP is open to students of any denomination. You’ll be placed in a Mennonite congregation where the pastor and people are willing to mentor you as you learn what it’s like to preach, lead worship, plan youth activities and visit members.

Seniors in the department are required to complete a year-long research project on a topic of their choice. Some recent senior seminars topics have included:

  • Principle and Process: The Call of a Church Document
  • The Lord’s Resistance Army and Religious Rhetoric in Uganda, 1980 to 2000
  • Fragile Bonds and Global Fellowship: The Ninth Mennonite World Conference in Curitiba, Brazil, 1972
  • Emplaced: A Personal and Scholarly Exploration of Sacred Space
  • A Church Divided: Fundamentalism and Bethesda Mennonite Church, Henderson, Neb., 1934-1950

Study Abroad

For more than two decades, Bethel College has offered a 3-week travel course to Israel/Palestine every other January called the Jerusalem Seminar. The seminar involves visits to archaeological and historical sites, meetings with Jewish, Arab Christian and Muslim spokespersons, and field visits to various organizations and projects.

The objectives of the seminar are:

  • to explore the biblical text in the context of the history and geography of Palestine;
  • to learn about the religions of the Middle East – Judaism, Islam and Eastern Christianity;
  • to develop an understanding of the conflict in Israel/Palestine by meeting with spokespersons from different perspectives;
  • to focus on personal spiritual renewal by experiencing the land and setting out of which our Judeo-Christian faith has come.

For more information about the next scheduled trip, contact Patty Shelly.

Vocation Seminar

The seminar is an informal gathering around a common meal of persons who want to explore the meaning of Christian vocation or calling. Who are we called to be—in relationship to God, ourselves, other persons, and the cosmos?

Students with all kinds of interests are welcome to join the seminar. The seminar is particularly designed for students:

  • With interests in religious studies
  • Committed to nurturing their Christian faith
  • Wanting to dialogue with persons with similar interests
  • Interested in serving in the life of the church as a lay person
  • Considering full time professional work in a church vocation
  • Bible and Religion majors or minors, or those considering a major or minor

Meeting time

Every other Monday evening during the supper hour (5:30–7 p.m.) in one of the seminar rooms in the Schulz Student Center.


Students receive 1/2 hour credit per semester. Auditors are welcome.

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.