It has been suggested that Bethel Theological Seminary be merged into this article. (Discuss) Proposed since December 2023.
Bethel University
Former names
Baptist Union Theological Seminary (1871–1931)[1]
Bethel Junior College (1931–1947)
Bethel College and Seminary (1947–2004)
TypePrivate university
Established1871; 153 years ago (1871)
Religious affiliation
Academic affiliations
Endowment$39.5 million (2021)[2]
Budget$145.3 million (2016)[3]
PresidentRoss Allen
Academic staff
Location, ,
United States
ColorsNavy blue and Vegas Gold
Sporting affiliations
NCAA Division III
MascotRoy the Lion

Bethel University is a private Christian university and seminary in Arden Hills, Minnesota, United States. It was founded in 1871 as a seminary and is affiliated with Converge. The university enrolls 5,600 students in undergraduate, graduate, and seminary programs.[5][6] Its main campus is situated on about 290 acres on the east side of Lake Valentine just south of Interstate 694.[5]


Bethel University has its origins in the Baptist Theological Union's Swedish Seminary (Baptist Union Theological Seminary), which was founded by Swedish Baptist pastor John Alexis Edgren in Chicago, Illinois in 1871.[7] In 1914, the Baptist General Conference has become the school's main partner.[8] The seminary merged with Bethel Academy and relocated its campus to Saint Paul, Minnesota. In 1931, the Academy became Bethel Junior College. The addition of a four-year liberal arts college program created Bethel College and Seminary in 1947.[8] The school relocated from St. Paul to Arden Hills, Minnesota in 1972. In 2004, the institution changed its name to Bethel University.[9]


The university offers degree programs through four different schools. The College of Arts and Sciences is its traditional undergraduate program, Bethel offers bachelor's degrees in 106 majors and emphases of study, 43 minors, and 11 pre-professional programs. The College of Adults & Professional Studies offers associate degrees, bachelor's degrees, and a number of certificate programs. Through its graduate school, Bethel offers ten master's degrees, including a physician assistant program, as well as a doctorate in educational leadership. Bethel also offers a number of graduate certificate programs and licenses.[6]

The school's seminary, called Bethel Theological Seminary, is located primarily on the Arden Hills campus. It also has a location in San Diego and offers a number of fully online programs.[10] It offers Master of Divinity (M.Div.) and Doctor of Ministry (D.Min.) degrees, along with several Master of Arts (MA) and certificate programs.[11]


Bethel has been accredited by the Higher Learning Commission since 1959.[12] Its nursing program is approved by the Minnesota Board of Nursing.[13] Bethel's business program is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs.[14][15]

Arden Hills campus

The main entrance to Bethel University, located off Old Snelling Avenue in Arden Hills.

Academic buildings

There are six main academic buildings located at the center of Bethel University's main campus in Arden Hills, Minnesota. They run from southwest to northeast and are connected on the first three floors by weather-protected skyways and tunnels.

Starting from the Southwest and running to the Northeast, the buildings are as follows (with abbreviations in parentheses): Benson Great Hall and Lundquist Community Life Center (CLC), Barnes Academic Center (BAC), Brushaber Commons (BC), Clauson Fine Arts Center (CC), Hagstrom Student Services Center (HC), and Robertson Physical Education Center (RC).

On-campus housing

Freshman residences

There are four freshman residence halls on campus. Three—Bodien Hall, Getsch Hall, and Edgren Hall—encircle a cul-de-sac just south of the academic buildings, informally known as Freshman Hill.[16] The fourth, Nelson Hall, is the largest of the freshman residences, and located nearby on the north side of the academic buildings. It is the oldest building on Bethel University's current campus in Arden Hills.[17]

Residences for returning students

Two residence halls, Arden Village and Lissner Hall, mostly house returning students. North Village, a collection of five buildings formerly used as housing for seminary students, houses returning students and offers a full kitchen in every suite. It is located at the far north end of the campus. Heritage Hall, opened in 1999, is a suite-style residence hall, housing juniors and seniors. Students enrolling after Fall 2019 must be 21 years of age prior to September 1 to live off-campus with the exception of those who commute from their parents' home.[16]

Brushaber Commons

Commons Building in 2010

The Brushaber Commons, a $30 million, 106,000-square foot student commons area, opened in 2009.[18] The Brushaber Commons is named after retired Bethel President George K. Brushaber.[19] In addition to serving as a gathering point for students, the commons includes a dining center, coffee shop, restaurant, campus store, office space, public meeting areas, and an admissions center.

Benson Great Hall

Benson Great Hall, Bethel's performing arts center, is a 1,700-seat concert hall with a 4,000-pipe Blackinton organ located in the center of the Lundquist Community Life Center. This hall houses worship services, theatre productions, and can be rented by outside performers.[20] Benson Hall has hosted a variety of events in the past, providing a venue for Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra,[21] a location for high school graduations, and the 2018 Super Bowl Gospel Celebration.[22] Benson Great Hall offers a green room, backstage dressing rooms and bathrooms, custom sound dampening, lighting, and set design for special events.[22]

Student life

The university hymn is O God of Bethel, by Whose Hand by Philip Doddridge. A morning prayer chapel service is offered each class day, as well as vespers on Sunday evenings, but attendance is no longer mandatory.[23]

Covenant for Life Together

All full-time students in the College of Arts and Sciences are expected to abide by the Covenant for Life Together. The Covenant is a lifestyle agreement that focuses on living a life of faith and personal morality. The Covenant emphasizes a respect for all persons and ethnic traditions and requires students to refrain from any sort of extramarital sex, homosexuality, pornography, gambling, illegal drugs, and tobacco in any form.[24]

Under the Covenant for Life Together, students in the College of Arts and Sciences were initially prohibited from dancing or consuming alcohol year-round, but the rules were eventually relaxed to allow alcohol consumption when classes are not in session. Alcohol consumption by full-time students in the College of Arts and Sciences is still prohibited during the academic year.[25]


Bethel University has a student news publication, The Clarion, which is printed during the school year and distributed on campus as well as online.[26]


It is affiliated with Converge.[27]


The Bethel University athletic teams are known as the Royals. The university competes at the NCAA Division III level in 18 intercollegiate sports and is a member of the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (MIAC).[28]


Notable alumni



Notable current and former faculty

See also


  1. ^ "History". Bethel University. Retrieved 7 January 2023.
  2. ^ "Bethel University". College Confidential. Retrieved 2022-05-13.
  3. ^ Kennedy, Patrick. "Minnesota Nonprofit 100". StarTribune News. Minneapolis StarTribune. Retrieved 16 December 2017.
  4. ^ "Annual Report". Office of the President, Bethel University. Retrieved November 1, 2013.
  5. ^ a b "US News | Bethel University". November 27, 2018.
  6. ^ a b "Bethel at a Glance". Archived from the original on May 30, 2023. Retrieved December 11, 2017.
  7. ^ William H. Brackney, Historical Dictionary of the Baptists, Scarecrow Press, USA, 2009, p. 65
  8. ^ a b Randall Herbert Balmer, Encyclopedia of Evangelicalism: Revised and expanded edition, Baylor University Press, USA, 2004, p. 74
  9. ^ Erlandson, Henry (February 27, 2020). "Alumnus Ross Allen named Bethel University's president-elect". Star Tribune. Retrieved 2022-05-13.
  10. ^ "Locations". Retrieved 27 April 2012.
  11. ^ "St. Paul Programs". Retrieved 27 April 2012.
  12. ^ "Higher Learning Commission - Accreditations - Bethel University". Higher Learning Commission. November 23, 2018. Retrieved November 23, 2018.
  13. ^ "Approved Professional Nursing Programs". Minnesota Board of Nursing. Retrieved 2018-11-23.
  14. ^ "Undergraduate Business Department Receives International Accreditation | Bethel University". Retrieved 2020-01-08.
  15. ^ "Bethel University - Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs". Retrieved 2020-01-08.
  16. ^ a b "Residences Halls - Bethel University". Retrieved December 12, 2017.
  17. ^ "Nelson Hall - Bethel University". Retrieved December 12, 2017.
  18. ^ "Bethel University, George K. Brushaber Commons - WoodWorks". WoodWorks. Retrieved 2017-12-12.
  19. ^ Writer, Stephen HardingStaff. "Bethel honors North Oaks couple". Press Publications. Retrieved 2017-12-12.
  20. ^ "Benson Great Hall - Bethel University". Retrieved December 12, 2017.
  21. ^ "Venues -Concerts & Tickets - The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra". Retrieved 2018-11-27.
  22. ^ a b "Performances | Bethel University". Retrieved 2018-11-27.
  23. ^ "Worship Experience". Bethel University. Retrieved 30 May 2022.
  24. ^ "Covenant for Life Together - Bethel University". Retrieved December 12, 2017.
  25. ^ "Covenant Changes". Archived from the original on 15 April 2012. Retrieved 27 April 2012.
  26. ^ "About". The Clarion. 2015-10-14. Retrieved 2017-12-12.
  27. ^ Bethel University, Church Relations,, USA, accessed November 2, 2023
  28. ^ "Bethel University Quick Facts". Retrieved 2017-12-12.
  29. ^ "Bethel University Arena". Retrieved 2017-12-12.
  30. ^ a b "Hargis Park". Retrieved 2017-12-12.
  31. ^ "Robertson Center Gym". Retrieved 2017-12-12.
  32. ^ "Royal Stadium". Retrieved 2017-12-12.
  33. ^ "Anderson, Chad - Legislator Record - Minnesota Legislators Past & Present". Retrieved 2017-12-12.
  34. ^ "Meet the Translators - NIV Bible". NIV Bible. Retrieved 2018-11-23.
  35. ^ "Hayden, Jeff - Legislator Record - Minnesota Legislators Past & Present". Retrieved 2017-12-12.
  36. ^ Murray, Rheana (9 August 2012). "Abby and Brittany Hensel, conjoined 22-year-old twins, get their own reality TV series – Conjoined twins Abby and Brittany Hensel, 22, will be featured in their own new reality series, TLC's 'Abby and Brittany,' as they graduate college together and seek a first job". New York Daily News. Retrieved 10 August 2012.
  37. ^ "Biography". Congressman Randy Hultgren. 2012-12-11. Archived from the original on 2018-03-20. Retrieved 2017-12-12.
  38. ^ "Jessup, Randy - Legislator Record - Minnesota Legislators Past & Present". Retrieved 2017-12-12.
  39. ^ "Johnson, Mark - Legislator Record - Minnesota Legislators Past & Present". Retrieved 2017-12-12.
  40. ^ "Johnson, Sheldon - Legislator Record - Minnesota Legislators Past & Present". Retrieved 2017-12-12.
  41. ^ News, Renee Gendreau New Castle. "Mega mission: Neshannock native leads Minnesota's largest church". New Castle News. Retrieved 2017-12-12. ((cite news)): |last= has generic name (help)
  42. ^ "Bethel Alum Jeff Nelson Announced MLB All-Star Game Umpire -". 9 July 2014. Retrieved 2017-12-12.
  43. ^ Smith, Roberta (23 July 2010). "Doug Ohlson, Painter of Vivid Abstracts, Dies at 73 – Obituary". NY Times. Retrieved 27 April 2012.
  44. ^ Finsaas, Nicole (April 19, 2012). "Pawlentys Discuss Faith and Politics". Retrieved December 11, 2017.
  45. ^ "Linda Runbeck (R) 38A - Minnesota House of Representatives". Retrieved 2017-12-12.
  46. ^ "Wolf, Pam - Legislator Record - Minnesota Legislators Past & Present". Retrieved 2017-12-12.
  47. ^ "Leith Anderson". Retrieved December 18, 2017.
  48. ^ "Greg Boyd - Greg Boyd - ReKnew". Greg Boyd - ReKnew. Retrieved 2017-12-12.
  49. ^ "SBL Publications". Retrieved 2017-12-12.
  50. ^ Painter, Kristen Leigh (2016-07-20). "Obituary: Professor, nonprofit leader Alvera Mickelsen blended feminism and Christian teaching". Star Tribune. Retrieved 2016-08-06.
  51. ^ Grudem, Wayne (16 June 2017). "What's Systematic Theology and Why Bother?". The Gospel Coalition.
  52. ^ "John Piper, emeritus - Bethlehem College and Seminary". Bethlehem College and Seminary. Retrieved 2017-12-12.

45°3′30″N 93°9′45″W / 45.05833°N 93.16250°W / 45.05833; -93.16250