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Bethel College Baccalaureate Service and 130th Commencement

Bethel College’s 2023 graduation ceremonies will take place Sunday, May 14, on campus (300 E. 27th St., North Newton, KS 67117).

(All times indicated are Central Daylight Time, CDT.)

2023 Commencement Program

Commencement rehearsal – Saturday, May 13

Commencement rehearsal for graduates will take place Saturday, May 13, from 10-11 a.m. in Memorial Hall. The registrar’s office will send more details through campus mail at a later date.

Baccalaureate service – Sunday, May 14

Baccalaureate begins at 10 a.m. in Memorial Hall, with worship, music and other content selected by a committee of seniors. Graduates do not need to wear their graduation robes, and are welcome to sit with their families.

Baccalaureate Recording

Class photo – Sunday, May 14

All graduates report to the Administration Building steps in cap and gown at 2:45 p.m. for a class photo. After the photo, graduates proceed to Luyken Fine Arts Center to assemble and prepare for the commencement procession. All senior graduates are required to attend. Graduates will receive inclement weather plans from the registrar’s office. 

Commencement – Sunday, May 14

The formal commencement ceremony will take place at 4 p.m. in Memorial Hall. The closest lot to Memorial Hall is the stadium parking lot. Other options include the Kauffman Museum and Luyken Fine Arts Center parking lots.

Graduation robes, caps and tassels can be ordered and paid for through Thresher Shop in Schultz Student Center. Order graduation announcements through CB Announcement online or by calling 800-433-0296. Order forms are also available in Thresher Shop.

Commencement Recording


Bethel College photographer Chase Dempsey will be taking photos of graduates at baccalaureate and commencement, including graduates receiving their diplomas. These photos will be available to graduates and family members at no cost. A link will be provided as soon as possible after May 15.

View graduation photos

Mark Jantzen, 2023 Commencement Speaker

2023 commencement speaker

Mark Jantzen, B.A., M.A., Ph.D. 
“This is a Historical Event”

Mark Jantzen is a native of Beatrice, Neb., and graduated from Bethel College in 1985 with a B.A. and majors in German and math with an emphasis in computer science.

Jantzen began teaching European and Mennonite history at Bethel in 2001 and was promoted to full professor in 2012.

While working on his doctorate at the University of Notre Dame, Jantzen was a graduate instructor in 20th-century German history at Notre Dame, as well as an adjunct instructor of history at Goshen (Ind.) College.

Jantzen earned his Ph.D. in history from Notre Dame in 2002. He has a master’s degree in church history from Associated (now Anabaptist) Mennonite Biblical Seminary in Elkhart, Ind.

Following graduation from Bethel in 1985, Jantzen worked for three years as a computer programmer before taking a volunteer assignment with Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) in what was then East Germany. His primary responsibility was to study Protestant history at Humboldt University in (then) East Berlin, while also being involved in the youth and visitation ministries of the Mennonite Church in East Germany. Jantzen lived in Germany from 1988-91, meaning he was there when the Berlin Wall came down on Nov. 9, 1989, resulting in a unified Germany for the first time since 1961.

From 1993-96, Jantzen and his wife, Alice (Hartman) Jantzen ’85, served with MCC in the former Yugoslavia. Mark Jantzen was MCC regional coordinator and a relief and development consultant and public relations officer for Bread of Life, a local relief agency.

Jantzen is the author of numerous articles and book chapters, and among his book-length publications are European Mennonites and the Holocaust, co-edited with John D. Thiesen and published by the University of Toronto Press in association with the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, 2020; Mennonite German Soldiers: Nation, Religion and Family in the Prussian East, 1772-1880 (University of Notre Dame Press, 2010); and The Wrong Side of the Wall: An American in East Berling during the Peaceful Revolution, 1993.

Mark and Alice Jantzen live in Newton, where they are active members of Faith Mennonite Church. They are the parents of three young adult children, Henry, Kristin and John.


Important dates for commencement 2023

Weekend of May 12
Saturday, May 13
10 a.m. Mandatory graduation rehearsal for all senior graduates, Memorial Hall.
11 a.m. Graduate Gathering, The Caf, Shultz Student Center. Graduates only. 
Special meal for all senior graduates, with presentation of senior gifts, sponsored by the Bethel College Alumni Association, Student Alumni Association, Student Life Office and President's Office.
2 p.m. Nurses Pinning Ceremony, Krehbiel Auditorium, Luyken Fine Arts Center
Sunday, May 14
10 a.m. Baccalaureate service, Memorial Hall
2:45 p.m. Senior class photo, Administration Building steps
All graduates are required to attend. In case of inclement weather, the photo will be taken in Krehbiel Auditorium. 
4 p.m. Commencement, Memorial Hall

Mission Statement

Bethel College prepares students for meaningful lives of work and service through faith formation, the liberal arts, and practical experience in career pathways.