Thresher Way

Be 100% ready for your personal and professional life.

The Thresher Way includes five shared, integrated experiences that define student life at Bethel College:

  • Academic Experiences
  • Employment Experiences
  • Community Experiences
  • Faith Formation Experiences
  • Service Experiences


  • Academic Excellence

    Academic excellence is at the heart of the Thresher Way. By engaging in critical thought, you’ll be discovering how to live a meaningful life.

    Three academic components you will share with your fellow students are the Common Ground curriculum, your capstone project and convocation.

    You will also spend four years alongside faculty who will be your mentors and advisers, some of whom will also be references and resources for a lifetime. Enter the professional world understanding the relationship between academics, service and faith. 

    43+ areas of study 

  • Employment experiences

    Employment experiences emphasize intentionality and specific skill development, rooted in an evaluation and assessment model that creates a coaching/mentoring relationship between student and supervisor. The employment experience is less about day-to-day tasks and more about developing an intuitive work mindset. 

    You’ll spend three years in an on-campus experience and then possibly transition to off-campus employment for your final year. 

    Similar to an academic transcript, you’ll have an employment transcript that details your employment experience throughout your college career. The transcript will delineate the level of the job, along with skill acquisition mastered in each work experience. Notations for distinction and/or credentials earned will also be included.

  • Faith Formation

    You’ll focus not on what but rather on how to believe. Faith formation is about creating a holistic balance, building relationships, and learning to work with people different from you — essential skills for success in college and beyond.  

    All students are required to take an introductory religion class (Intro to Biblical Studies and Religion and Human Identity) and in your senior year, Basic Issues of Faith and Life (BIFL). Yet, faith is formed in predictable and unpredictable ways, in the classroom and out. 

    Chapel is optional.

    Peace, social justice and service-learning opportunities are interconnected to build a solid faith formation you actively engage in, to create the whole “you” who can bring about human flourishing.

  • Service Opportunities

    Bethel endeavors to live out Anabaptist ideals by being nationally recognized as a college that promotes and provides service. As a result, all Threshers will be a reliable source of service to community partners. By demonstrating compassion for the powerless and taking part in selfless action, you’ll be able to articulate the importance of service for yourself and others.

    Currently, Bethel has an all-campus Service Day that takes place at the beginning of the school year. Athletic teams also participate in their own service opportunities throughout the year and submit what they do within the KCAC/NAIA.

    Program or major specific requirements will be offered.

    Our overall goal is to create an institutional culture of service that includes staff, faculty and students.

  • Community Experiences

    Storytelling is important to creating community. Reside on campus, tell your story, listen to your community. Let us all be one.

    Community: Required residential living, in-person courses Optional clubs organizations and Student Life activities.

    Vocation seminars


Frequently Asked Questions

  • When will the Thresher Way Begin?

    Many of these experiences are already a part of Bethel College life.  In 2023-2024, 50 employment experience slots are available for incoming new students. Students who enroll in the program during 2023-2024 will participate through their graduation. Beginning in Fall 2024, all incoming new students will participate in employment experiences in addition to the other aspects of The Thresher Way.

  • Do I have to participate in the Employment Experience Program?

    If you elect to participate in the program beginning in Fall 2023, you will be a participant until you graduate or otherwise leave Bethel College.

  • Are there financial incentives to being part of the Employment Experiences program?

    Yes! Employment Experience grants worth $2,500 per year ($1,250 per semester) will be offered to participating students. Students will be expected to work about 5 hours/week (80 hours per semester). Additional grants may be available based on employment and community needs.

  • How are new students placed in jobs?

    New students are invited to apply for Employment Experiences after the Bethel College admissions process. The Employment Experiences application for 2023-24 will open in October 2022. Students must be admitted before applying for an Employment Experience. The enrollment deposit will confirm participation in the program. Positions are available on a first-come, first-served basis.

  • What jobs are available to new students?

    Students who have little or no experience will typically be placed in an entry level position. As students start to gain experience, they may be placed in more advanced opportunities that align with their major (to the greatest extent possible). Select students may be invited to participate in the Community Employment Experiences program and are placed with one of our Community Partners in an off-campus employment experience.

  • Practicums and Internships: if they are a required part of a current program’s curriculum, will they be considered part of the Employment Experiences program?

    Students enrolled in an approved Professional Program (Teacher Education, Social Work or Nursing) placement or practicum may receive up to 160 Employment Experiences program hours based on the number of academic credits they will receive for the experience. Applicants in this option must have been enrolled at Bethel College full-time the prior semester and have worked at least two full semesters in the Employment Experiences program. Students must submit a petition to the Dean of Employment Experiences during the semester before their placement or practicum is to begin to be considered for this option.

    If for any reason a student does not complete their semester employment experience, work hours awarded will be calculated based upon the number of verified hours they did complete.

    The two semester prior requirement could be waived for transfer students on a case-by-case basis in professional programs.

  • How will Employment Experiences fit into my college student life?

    We want students to be “Bethel Balanced.” Students will learn how to develop a schedule that allows for a manageable and meaningful college experience.

  • How do 2nd/3rd jobs, gigs, side hustles work with Employment Experiences?

    It is expected that the Thresher Way and each of the shared experiences will be a priority to students. If performance in any of the shared experiences begins to wane, appropriate interventions may take place.

  • How will students demonstrate that they have mastered the skill set necessary to be successful in the workplace?

    Similar to a student’s academic transcript, Bethel will create an employment transcript for each student. This transcript will detail a student’s employment experience throughout the duration of their Bethel College career. Students will be able to request an employment transcript be sent in addition to their academic transcript to potential employers, graduate schools or others as desired.


Still Have Questions?

Please Contact:

Megan Kershner, Dean of Employment Experiences

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