Founded in 1947 by the Mennonite Brethren in Christ (now part of the Missionary Church) Bethel College is a small Christian liberal arts college in Mishawaka, IN. The college’s first president, Woodrow Goodman, was the youngest college president in history at the time, at only 27 years old. Over the years, Bethel grew with the addition of adult education programs, a nursing school, and a large proportion of minority and international students. Today, Bethel College Indiana is ranked as one of the top 50 regional colleges in the Midwest, and has been acclaimed for its value by Washington Monthly.
Academic ProgramsAs an evangelical Christian institution, Bethel College is committed to holistic learning that incorporates the mind, body, and soul. That philosophy means that in addition to the traditional liberal arts education that is at Bethel’s heart – a broad foundation of the classical humanities, arts, and sciences that is the basis for specialized learning – Bethel incorporates Christian belief into all aspects of the curriculum. All students are required to take classes in the Bible, as well as introductory courses in Christian theology, and all programs are designed to equip students for lives as Christian missionaries and leaders, whether in their professional, personal, and civic lives.
As an urban institution, Bethel’s strongest and most popular programs tend to be in areas that are of the most use to contemporary city life. The Bethel School of Nursing is one of the strongest in Indiana, while Bethel’s business programs are designed around Christian ethics and leadership. New programs such as the Financial Services Professional sit alongside top-ranked programs like economics and Spanish-assisted business. Bethel also has a thorough slate of ministry-related programs such as music ministry, sports ministry, and children’s ministry.
Student LifeWith more than 1600 students, Bethel College has a strongly united, highly diverse community; a quarter of the student body comes from minority and disadvantaged backgrounds, while the college also maintains strong outreach to first-generation students. With its award-winning Sign Language Interpretation program, Bethel is also known for its outreach to the deaf community. Bethel’s GREATer Agenda is built around increasing enrollment and creating conditions for religious revival in Indiana and beyond, and much of Bethel’s student life revolves around the goals of the GREATer Agenda.
In addition to a busy and vibrant spiritual life, Bethel offers a number of campus events and activities for fun and socializing, as well as leadership opportunities, musical and theater groups, and service activities. The Bethel College Pilots (“with Christ at the helm”) compete in the NAIA and the National Christian College Athletic Association, including nearly twenty varsity teams, cheerleading, and drumline. The Pilots have won numerous NCCAA national championships in basketball, baseball, and track and field.