|Office of Admissions
3900 Bethel Drive
St. Paul, Minnesota 55112
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St. Paul, MN 55112
Bethel University began its Christian liberal arts program in 1945 but traces its roots to Bethel Seminary, founded in 1871. Bethel is a ministry of the churches of Converge Worldwide (Baptist General Conference). The university encourages growth and learning in a distinctly Christian environment, continually striving to help students discover and develop the skills God has given them. Campus lifestyle expectations have been designed to build unity within diversity. All Bethel students, faculty members, and staff members are expected to follow those expectations during their time as members of the Bethel community. Bethel's more than 2,840 students represent a range of national and international cultures. Most of these students are between 18 and 22 years of age, but older and younger students bring a welcome diversity to campus life.
The Bethel campus borders Lake Valentine in Arden Hills, Minn., and comprises 245 acres of beauty and tranquility, conducive to study and leisure. Just 15 minutes from downtown St. Paul or Minneapolis, Bethel enjoys the benefits of both cities, noted nationally for their high quality of life. The Twin Cities are home for the headquarters of most of Minnesota's large corporations, offering job-generating internship opportunities for Bethel students. Culture thrives here with an international array of music, theater, and art. At the all-weather Metrodome, the Target Center, and the new Xcel Energy Center, sports fans cheer their favorite pro teamsthe Minnesota Vikings, Twins, Timberwolves, and Wild. Abundant recreation exists year-round in this busy metropolis, which has more than 900 lakes and 500 parks.
In addition to traditional undergraduate degree programs in 68 majors and 86 fields of study, Bethel offers adult programs at locations throughout the Twin Cities, including an associate of arts degree; bachelor's degrees in business management, Christian ministries, communication studies, healthcare leadership, human resource management, human services, nursing, and organizational leadership; an MBA; master of arts degrees in communication, counseling psychology, education K-12, gerontology, literacy education, nursing, organizational leadership, special education, and teaching; and a doctoral degree in educational administration. Classes meet one evening a week for 4 hours, and course work is integrated with students' professional responsibilities. With locations in Arden Hills, San Diego, and the East Coast, Bethel Seminary offers master's degrees in children's and family ministry, Christian thought, Christian education, community ministry leadership, global and contextual studies, marriage and family therapy, theological studies, and transformational leadership; a master of divinity degree; and a doctor of ministry degree in church leadership and congregation and family care.
Bethel was named among the top Midwestern universities by U.S. News & World Report in 2010 and ranked high nationally on the 2011 Forbes Best Colleges List, which takes into account affordability and outcomes. Bethel's general education curriculum has become a model for many other institutions nationwide. Students are required to take classes that will give them a broad view of the world and their role as Christians. General education classes are grouped around the following themes: Bible and theology; Western culture; world citizenship; self-understanding; math, science, and technology; and health and wholeness. In addition, in order to graduate, all Bethel students must demonstrate competence in mathematics, writing, speaking, and computing.
Bethel University follows an early semester calendar consisting of two 15-week semesters and a three-week interim in January. A full-time academic load for each semester is 12 to 18 credits. To graduate, a student must complete a minimum of 122 credits with a cumulative grade point average of at least 2.0 and a minimum 2.25 grade point average in his or her major. Also required are 51 credits of general education. Bethel awards advanced placement credit in recognition of learning that has been achieved apart from a college or university classroom situation. A maximum of 30 advanced placement credits can be applied toward a degree program. Students may also individualize their academic program through directed studies with faculty members and through academic internships with off-campus institutions.
Nothing determines the quality of a university more than the people who teach there. Bethel professors combine strong academic credentials with a commitment to Jesus Christ. Bethel faculty members are known for their warmth and caring. It's not hard to receive personal attention, since there are only 12 students to every faculty member. Professors are very accessible to students during regular office hours as well as at other times. Of Bethel's 184 full-time faculty members, the majority have earned doctorates. The Bethel faculty is complemented by 106 part-time instructors.
Bethel students may study in almost any country and across the United States as part of their education. All students are required to have at least one extended cross-cultural experience to broaden their perspective on the world. About 63% of students study abroad during their time at Bethel, placing the university 15th in the nation for the strength of its international programs. Tuition covers most of 30+ options, including semesters in India, China, Australia, Kenya, Lithuania, England, Egypt, Spain, and many moreeven exotic Dubai! Many graduates begin their careers with service in another country.
The bachelor of arts (B.A.) degree is offered with majors in art, athletic training, biblical and theological studies, biology, business, business and political science, chemistry, communication studies, computer science, economics, economics and finance, education, engineering science, English literature, English literature and writing, environmental studies, history, international relations, journalism, linguistics, mathematics, media communication, music, music/sacred music, philosophy, physics, political science, psychology, reconciliation studies, social work, sociocultural studies, Spanish, teaching English as a foreign language, teaching English as a second language, theatre arts, third world studies, and youth ministry.
The bachelor of science (B.S.) degree is offered with majors in accounting and finance, applied physics, biochemistry/molecular biology, biology, chemistry, computer science, environmental science, exercise science, nursing, and physics. The bachelor of music (B.Mus.) degree is offered in applied performance. The bachelor of music education (B.Mus.Ed.) degree is offered with an emphasis in instrumental K12 or vocal K12.
Academic minors are available in most of the major disciplines listed above and in the following areas: Asian studies, athletic coaching, biblical languages (Hebrew and Greek), classics, community health, creative writing, cross-cultural mission, film studies, French, leadership studies, management information systems, modern world languages, religious studies, and social welfare studies.
The campus, built in the 1970s, is the newest among Minnesota colleges and universities. Versatile buildings are centers for the sciences, humanities, physical education, learning resources, and fine arts. A series of skyways and breezeways connect the facilities and make getting to and from class a pleasureeven in the heart of winter. Residence life at Bethel takes many forms. Traditional college dorm rooms, spacious suites, town houseswhatever their preference, Bethel students find a warm, community atmosphere in their living areas. All freshman and sophomore students, except those who are married or living with their parents while in attendance, are required to live in university housing.
Bethel students are involved in a wealth of cocurricular activities, from music to ministry, Bible study to broadcasting, theater to tennis, and art to athletics.
Facilities and Resources
Bethel's Community Life Center offers a beautiful auditorium with outstanding acoustical design that makes it one of the best performance halls in the upper Midwest. The Bethel University Library website serves as a portal to more than 156,900 books located in the library; access to 21,352 ebooks; 12,569 audiovisual materials including music CDs, DVDs, and audiobooks; interlibrary loan access to more than 2 million volumes within the consortium; 85,900 full-text online journals, comprising 94% of our journal holdings; 141 databases; RefWorks, a web-based bibliographic manager; and an extensive series of online research guides and tutorials. Services of the library include wireless access to the internet; 80+ public workstations; check-out equipment such as laptops, Kindles, iPads, digital voice recorders, and cameras; multimedia production rooms; group and individual study areas; instruction; an Information Commons with reference, teaching, and learning technology consultants, and technical support; help via chat, phone, email, and text; and a vibrant series of public forums. The Bethel science labs and music practice rooms are modern and well equipped. Approximately four plays are performed each year in the Bethel Theatre and Benson Great Hall. And we’re excited to announce plans for a new 22,000 square foot fitness center, which will be situated in the heart of campus. The three-level center will feature cardio, weight, and workout areas in addition to classrooms.
Bethel sports teams competitively compete in NCAA Division III and the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. During the 2010-11 season, for example, the Bethel Royals football team achieved a 12-2 overall record, landing them among the top four Division III teams in the country. The Royals finished the regular season with a 9-1 record and advanced to the NCAA National Playoffswinning three games in three different states and advancing to the national semifinals for the second time in four years.
Bethel University strives to make it financially possible for every qualified student to attend. Each year, about 94% of students receive some kind of financial aid, including scholarships, grants, loans, and assistance in the form of on-campus employment. The vast majority of families who finish the financial aid application process at Bethel go on to enroll their student. The average financial aid award at Bethel is several times larger than the average at a state school. In addition, a Bethel student finishes, on average, two years earlier and has two more years of earning power than a student at Minnesota’s primary state school. That easily makes up for the difference in total costs. Students who wish to be considered for financial aid must first be admitted to the university and then submit both the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and a Bethel University Financial Aid Application. Bethel's priority deadline is April 15 of each year. Students who have completed and mailed all necessary forms by this date receive first consideration.
Bethel University seeks students who desire an education based on strong academics in a Christian environment. To be considered for admission, the student must graduate from an accredited high school, rank in the top 50% of his or her high school class, and meet minimum test score requirements (92 on the PSAT, 920 on the SAT I, or 21 on the ACT). Transcripts, two references, and commitment to Bethel's covenant are also required. Bethel recommends that students take 4 years of English, 3 years of mathematics, 3 years of science, and 2 years of social studies while in high school. Transfer students are welcome. On-campus interviews are not required but are strongly recommended.
Students wishing to apply for admission to Bethel must submit the following: a completed Bethel application; test scores from the PSAT, SAT I, or ACT; transcripts of all course work completed at the high school and college levels; and names of references. Students considering Bethel should apply in the fall of their senior year. Early action decisions are made for students who complete applications by November 15.
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