Bethany College
Bethany (Kansas) College seal.svg
TypePrivate college
Religious affiliation
Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA)
Academic affiliations
PresidentElizabeth Mauch
Location, ,
United States

38°34′48.2″N 97°40′22.7″W / 38.580056°N 97.672972°W / 38.580056; -97.672972Coordinates: 38°34′48.2″N 97°40′22.7″W / 38.580056°N 97.672972°W / 38.580056; -97.672972
CampusRural, 53 acres (21 ha)
ColorsBlue and gold[1]
Sporting affiliations
Bethany (Kansas) College logo.svg

Bethany College is a private Christian college in Lindsborg, Kansas. It was founded in 1881, making it one of the oldest colleges in Kansas.


Bethany College at the turn of the twentieth century
Bethany College at the turn of the twentieth century

Bethany College, established by Swedish Lutheran immigrants in 1881, is a college of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA). Swedish-Lutheran settlers worked with the Rev. Carl Aaron Swensson, pastor of Bethany Lutheran Church, to establish Bethany Academy on October 15, 1881, in the sacristy of the church in Lindsborg, Kansas, with ten students.[2] The first building erected contained classrooms and a dormitory for men. A separate dormitory for women was built next. J. A. Udden was the first teacher. In 1882, the Smoky Valley district of the Kansas conference of the Augustana Synod took responsibility for the college; a board of directors was appointed and a state charter was received.[3]

In 1883, a large dormitory for men was constructed, and in 1885, a main hall with classrooms, a chapel museum, and library and science departments opened. The Kansas conference itself took responsibility for the school in the spring of 1885 and the name was changed to Bethany College and Normal Institute. By 1889, its present name, Bethany College, had been assumed and it had been granted permission to award academic degrees.[3]

Notable Bethany presidents in the 20th century include Rev. Ernst Frederick Wilhelm Pihlblad (1873–1943), who was a professor from 1895 to 1904 and president from 1905 to 1941. Under Pihlblad, Bethany was accredited and became a member of the National Association of Schools of Music. Under the watch of Emory K. Lindquist (1908–1992), who took office of president in 1943, Bethany survived war troubles, grew in post-war America, and improved its reputation. He was the author of Bethany in Kansas: The History of a College (1975).[2]

The Bethany College Board of Directors announced the appointment of Elizabeth Mauch as Bethany College President in 2020.[4]


Bethany College has 14 academic departments. The school offers majors focused in education, humanities, fine arts, sciences, and social sciences; minors ranging from business and sacred music to theater and art; teaching endorsements for all majors in education; and six pre-professional studies including medicine, law and, physical therapy.


Main article: Bethany Swedes

The Bethany athletic teams are called the Swedes (or Terrible Swedes). The college is a member of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA), primarily competing in the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference (KCAC) since the 1902–03 academic year.

Bethany competes in 22 intercollegiate varsity sports: Men's sports include baseball, basketball, cross country, football, golf, soccer, tennis, track & field (indoor and outdoor) and wrestling; while women's sports include basketball, cross country, golf, soccer, softball, tennis, track & field (indoor and outdoor) and volleyball; and co-ed sports include cheerleading, dance and eSports.[a]

  1. ^ Gaming competitions such as Call of Duty, League of Legends, Overwatch, Rocket League and Valorant.


Bethany College in Lindsborg, Kansas
Bethany College in Lindsborg, Kansas

Notable alumni and faculty

An entrance to Bethany College
An entrance to Bethany College


  1. ^ "Bethany College Brand Manual 2022". July 1, 2022. Retrieved August 29, 2022.
  2. ^ a b Connelley, William E (1918). "Carl Aaron Swensson". A Standard History of Kansas and Kansans. Chicago: Lewis Publishing Company. Archived from the original on 26 June 2012. Retrieved 19 June 2014.
  3. ^ a b Blackmar, Frank W., ed. (1912). Kansas: a cyclopedia of state history, embracing events, institutions, industries, counties, cities, towns, prominent persons, etc. Vol. I. Chicago: Standard Publishing Company. Retrieved September 14, 2022.
  4. ^ "President's Office". Bethany College. Retrieved January 19, 2019.
  5. ^ Lindquist, Emory (1953). Smokey Valley People: A History of Lindsborg, Kansas. Kempton. pp. 108–110.
  6. ^ "Jacobson, Oscar Brousse (1882-1966)". Oklahoma Historical Society.