Bethany Lutheran College
Former name
Bethany Ladies College (1911–1927)
Motto in English
One Thing Needful
TypePrivate liberal arts college
Established1927; 97 years ago (1927)
Religious affiliation
Evangelical Lutheran Synod
Endowment$41.6 million (2020)[1]
PresidentGene Pfeifer
Academic staff
75 (35 adjunct)
Students750 undergraduate
Location, ,
United States

44°09′59″N 93°59′27″W / 44.16638°N 93.99087°W / 44.16638; -93.99087
CampusMedium city, 50 acres (20 ha)
ColorsRed and white (athletics also uses black)    

Bethany Lutheran College (BLC) is a private Christian liberal arts college in Mankato, Minnesota. Founded in 1927, BLC is operated by the Evangelical Lutheran Synod. The campus overlooks the Minnesota River valley in a community of 53,000.


Bethany Ladies College opened in 1911 with 44 students and a faculty of four. In 1927, the Norwegian Synod of the American Evangelical Lutheran Church (now known as the Evangelical Lutheran Synod) purchased the campus for dual use as both a high school (Bethany Lutheran High School; closed in 1969) and junior college (Bethany Lutheran College). In 1946, Bethany Lutheran Theological Seminary (BLTS) began as a department of the college, becoming a separate institution in 1975.[2]

In 2001, Bethany awarded its first baccalaureate degrees, completing a five-year transition from its 74-year history as a junior college.[2]




Bethany Lutheran College is governed by a 12-member Board of Regents. The college's president serves as an advisory member on that board.

Old Main, built in 1911
Trinity Chapel


As of 2024, the college will offer 30 majors, 22 minors, a paralegal certification, and 7 pre-professional programs. All of its undergraduate programs culminate in a Bachelor of Arts degree, except for the nursing program, which leads to a Bachelor of Science in Nursing.[3] In 2021, BLC begin offering a graduate program in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. According to the college, graduates of this 60 credit program "are eligible to become National Certified Counselors, Licensed Professional Counselors (LPC), and Licensed Professional Clinical Counselors (LPCC)".[4] While this program is based on the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs, it is not accredited.


Bethany Lutheran College has been accredited by the Higher Learning Commission since 1974.[5] Its nursing program has been accredited by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education since 2018.[6] BLC's education licensure programs are approved by the Minnesota Professional Educator Licensing and Standards Board (PELSB).[7]

While the Clinical Mental Health Counseling program is based on standards from the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Educational Programs,[8] it is not accredited.[9]


Bethany Lutheran College is made up of 15 buildings. Classes are held in five buildings: Meyer Hall, Honsey Hall, Tweit Hall, the Sports and Fitness Center, and the Ylvisaker Fine Arts Center. Many student services are housed in Old Main, including the cafeteria. There are four stand-alone residence halls, and the top three floors of Old Main house an additional residence hall (Anderson Hall). In addition, the campus houses a library, a chapel, the Bethany Activity Center and an advancement building.

Residential life

Residency requirement

Full-time students are required to live on-campus for their first academic year, unless they are living with parents nearby, are married or have children, or are over 20-years old.[10] Sixty-five percent of all students live on campus.[11]

Residence halls

Bethany Lutheran College's residence halls are separated by gender, with two halls for women and three for men. Visitors are only allowed to visit halls housing opposite-gender students during specific visitation hours.[10] All residence halls include student lounges (including kitchens in non-apartment halls) and free laundry facilities. All residence halls are staffed by residence hall coordinators who live in the residence halls, oversee student resident assistants, and provide student support.[10]

Women's residence halls

Anderson Hall houses freshman through seniors and consists of a variety of dorm room layouts housing one to four students.[12] Edgewood Place houses primarily upper-classmen women and consists of 16 two- and three-bedroom apartments, housing three to six students each. These apartments include full kitchens.[13]

Men's residence halls

Teigan Hall and Gullixson Hall house freshmen through senior men and consist primarily of single and double rooms.[14] Gullixson Hall also includes six one-bedroom apartments which house two upper-classmen students each.[15] Larson Hall consists of five three-bedroom apartments which house up to six upper-classmen men. Larson Hall apartments have full kitchens that include microwaves.[16]

Student life

Fine arts

BLC has three choirs, including a lyric-theatre performance group. In addition, the school has a chamber orchestra, two bands, a handbell group, and a student-led drumming group.[17] The Ylvisaker Fine Arts Center contains an art gallery that frequently features student art, and there are painting, drawing, ceramic, and photo-development studios on the campus.[18] The fine arts center is also the location of the college's theater, which holds four productions every year, including a recurring vaudeville-style show titled "Theatre Physics" and a musical.[19]


Bethany Lutheran College has a student newspaper titled The Scroll, a student-produced yearbook titled Fidelis, and a yearly literary magazine titled Inkwell. The Scroll and Inkwell are also published online.[20] Bethany also produces an alumni magazine titled Bethany Magazine which is published three times a year.[21]

Clubs and organizations

BLC has twenty-four student clubs and organizations, not including their fine-arts activities, athletics, or speech and debate team.[22] Bethany's speech and debate team is designated as part of the Communication Department, not a student-led organization.[23]

LGBT prohibition

Bethany prohibits same-sex relationships and "public promotion" of homosexuality in its standards of conduct for students.[24][25] This is consistent with the Evangelical Lutheran Synod's interpretation of Biblical teachings on the subject.[26]


The Vikings are members of the Upper Midwest Athletic Conference in the NCAA Division III. The school offers the following sports: baseball, men's and women's basketball, men and women's cross country, men and women's golf, men's and women's soccer, softball, men's and women's tennis, volleyball, and men's and women's track & field.[27]

In 2020, the men's and woman's basketball teams both won the UMAC Conference Championships. In the 2020 NCAA Division III men's basketball tournament, the men's team was knocked out by Washington University in St. Louis, 102-68.[28] The woman's team entered the first round against Bethel University, a university five times the size of Bethany Lutheran. At that point, no UMAC basketball team had defeated a larger MIAC school in the playoffs, but the Vikings beat Bethel 62-58. They continued on to play University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh, losing 67-60.[29]


The Bethany Vikings Esports Team was founded in 2019 with support by BLC alumnus and esports broadcaster Erik "Doa" Lonnquist, who also serves as the college's Director of Esports Broadcasting.[30] Players compete in League of Legends, Overwatch, and Rocket League.[30] In 2021, the Vikings held the number one spot on the Collegiate Star League (CSL) League of Legends Power Rankings in the Midwest 3 Division with a 9-0 record.[31][32]


In 2022, BLC was ranked 10th nationally (1st in Minnesota) for graduates' social mobility by U.S. News College Rankings in the National Liberal Arts Category.[33]

Notable graduates

See also


  1. ^ As of June 30, 2020. U.S. and Canadian Institutions Listed by Fiscal Year 2020 Endowment Market Value and Change in Endowment Market Value from FY19 to FY20 (Report). National Association of College and University Business Officers and TIAA. February 19, 2021. Retrieved February 21, 2021.
  2. ^ a b "History of BLC". Bethany Lutheran College. Bethany Lutheran College. Retrieved February 19, 2021.
  3. ^ "Majors and Minors". Bethany Lutheran College. Bethany Lutheran College. Retrieved February 19, 2021.
  4. ^ "Clinical Mental Health Counseling Program". Bethany Lutheran College. Bethany Lutheran College. Retrieved February 19, 2021.
  5. ^ "Statement of Accreditation Status: Bethany Lutheran College". Higher Learning Commission. Retrieved February 19, 2021.
  6. ^ "CCNE-Accredited Baccalaureate Nursing Degree Programs". Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education. American Association of Colleges of Nursing. Retrieved February 19, 2021.
  7. ^ "Approved Preparation Programs in Minnesota". Minnesota Professional Educator Licensing and Standards Board. Professional Educator Licensing and Standards Board. Retrieved February 19, 2021.
  8. ^ "Clinical Mental Health Counseling". Bethany Lutheran College. Retrieved November 21, 2022.
  9. ^ "Directory". CACREP. Retrieved November 21, 2022.
  10. ^ a b c "Student Guide - Residential Life Policies". Bethany Lutheran College. Retrieved August 17, 2022.
  11. ^ "Consumer Right To Know". Bethany Lutheran College. Retrieved August 17, 2022.
  12. ^ "Anderson Hall". Bethany Lutheran College. Retrieved February 24, 2021.
  13. ^ "Edgewood Place". Bethany Lutheran College. Retrieved February 24, 2021.
  14. ^ "Teigen Hall". Bethany Lutheran College. Retrieved February 24, 2021.
  15. ^ "Gullixson Hall". Bethany Lutheran College. Retrieved February 24, 2021.
  16. ^ "Larson Hall". Bethany Lutheran College. Retrieved February 24, 2021.
  17. ^ "Music". Bethany Lutheran College. Retrieved February 24, 2021.
  18. ^ "Art". Bethany Lutheran College. Retrieved February 24, 2021.
  19. ^ "Theatre". Bethany Lutheran College. Retrieved February 24, 2021.
  20. ^ "Student Publications". Bethany Lutheran College. Retrieved February 24, 2021.
  21. ^ "Bethany Magazine". Bethany Lutheran College. Retrieved October 8, 2022.
  22. ^ "Clubs and Organizations". Bethany Lutheran College. Retrieved February 24, 2021.
  23. ^ "Speech". Bethany Lutheran College. Retrieved February 24, 2021.
  24. ^ Birkey, Andy (July 15, 2015). "Eight Minnesota colleges discriminate against LGBT students, staff, and faculty". The Column.
  25. ^ "Student Guide - Standards of Conduct". Bethany Lutheran College. Retrieved March 1, 2022.
  26. ^ "Homosexuality". Evangelical Lutheran Synod. Retrieved March 15, 2023.
  27. ^ "The Official Athletics Site of the Bethany Lutheran College Vikings". Bethany Lutheran College. Retrieved November 11, 2017.
  28. ^ "Bethany Lutheran men and women's basketball claim UMAC Championship title". KEYC News Now. February 29, 2020. Retrieved March 11, 2020.
  29. ^ Courrier, Chad (March 7, 2020). "Bethany gives up late run at NCAA". Mankato Free Press. Retrieved March 11, 2020.
  30. ^ a b "Esports". Bethany Lutheran College. Retrieved February 24, 2021.
  31. ^ "CSL Esports". Retrieved February 24, 2021.
  32. ^ "Bethany Vikings Esports Earns Number One Ranking". Bethany Lutheran College. November 25, 2020. Retrieved February 24, 2021.
  33. ^ "Bethany ranks number ten in the nation in latest U.S. News poll". Bethany Lutheran College. September 12, 2022. Retrieved November 21, 2022.
  34. ^ Lambert, Bruce (May 12, 1993). "Marvin M. Schwan, 64, Builder Of a Billion-Dollar Food Empire". The New York Times. Retrieved November 11, 2017.
  35. ^ Schwartz, Lance (July 2019). "Vikings esports team set to compete in fall". Bethany Magazine. Mankato, MN: Bethany Lutheran College. Retrieved April 12, 2022.