Bethel College (Indiana)
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|Motto||Forward, With Christ at the Helm|
|Religious affiliation||Missionary Church|
|President||Dr. Steven R. Cramer|
|Location||Mishawaka, IN, USA
|Campus||suburban: 75 acres (0.30 km²)|
|Athletics||18 NAIA teams,
Bethel College is a Liberal institution located in Mishawaka, Indiana, United States. It was established in 1947 by a Mennonite group which was one of the founding members of the Missionary Church. Bethel College continues to be affiliated with the Missionary Church and is a part of the evangelical tradition.
Mennonite Brethren in Christ (MBC) founder Daniel Brenneman first called for a training institute in 1893. Then, for many years, J. A. Huffman pressed the case for a Christian liberal arts college, even suggesting the name Bethel, meaning “house of God.” Formal church approval finally came in 1944, and land was purchased in Mishawaka, Indiana during 1946 under the leadership of Q. J. Everest, Seth Rohrer, and Warren Manges. Twenty-seven-year-old Woodrow I. Goodman (1947–1959) was appointed the first president, at that time the youngest in the United States.
Bethel College opened in the fall of 1947 with ninety-four students. During that same year, the MBC became the United Missionary Church. The Administration Building was completed in 1951, the first of many projects dependent upon sacrificial giving and volunteer labor.
Bethel established some 11 academic programs during its first decade, capped by the Teacher Education Program in 1955. Intercollegiate athletic programs were approved in 1958, with the first intercollegiate basketball game played in 1959.
On March 31, 1971, President Ray P. Pannabecker (1959–1974) and Dean Wayne J. Gerber welcomed North Central Association accreditation. Bethel College grew steadily until it reached an enrollment of about 500. The college flourished because of what President Steven R. Cramer has called its “human endowment” - an extremely loyal, faithful, and hard-working faculty, staff, administration, and Board of Trustees.
Bethel College continued moving forward under the presidencies of Albert J. Beutler (1974–1981), James A. Bennett (1982–1988), and Walter L. Weldy (interim 1988-1989). Among the more notable additions and innovations were the adult programs, the division of nursing, and the Otis Bowen Library, which anchored a new architectural style. In 1986, the baseball team won the first of what are now some 25 team national championships.
Bethel experienced a renaissance under the presidency of Norman V. Bridges (1989–2004). A dynamic team of administrators, repeated record enrollments, greatly expanded curricular offerings, the hiring of nationally known scholars, an aggressive, aesthetically attractive plan of campus development, and notable periods of spiritual renewal have helped make Bethel College a school of choice for many from the region.
In addition to a burgeoning traditional student body, adult and graduate degree programs have helped fuel the growth of the college. With notable new majors in Sign Language Interpreting, Environmental Biology, Criminal Justice, Philosophy, and Spanish complementing traditional strengths in Music, Theatre, Religion, Business, and the service professions, Bethel College increasingly reflects a national and international student body. The college also participates in a broad range of study abroad programs and annually sends out dozens of Task Force ministry teams around the world.
Dr. Steven R. Cramer was inaugurated in 2004 as the sixth president of Bethel College, and his tenure has extended the pattern of strong, progressive leadership. Dr. Dennis D. Engbrecht continues as Senior Vice President.
In 2006, Bethel College was reorganized on a university model, divided into seven schools: Arts & Sciences, Business & Social Sciences, Education, Nursing, Religion & Philosophy, Adult Studies, and Graduate Studies. In 2010, these schools were reorganized and consolidated into three divisions: Arts & Humanities, Professional & Graduate Studies, and Sciences, while the school of Nursing was retained.
A $6.9 million addition to the Middleton Hall of Science is just one in a long string of major construction and landscaping projects since the early 1990s, including Founders Village Apartments, the Middleton wing for Nursing, an enlarged Dining Commons, the Everest-Rohrer Chapel/Fine Arts Center, Wiekamp Athletic Center, Shiloh Prayer Chapel, the campus ponds and waterfall, Morey Soccer Field, Taylor Memorial Chapel, Jenkins Stadium, Sailor Residential Center, Miller/Moore Academic Center, Bethel College Bookstore, and Sufficient Grounds Coffee House. Several more projects are on the horizon, and a series of purchases have extended the main campus. The Elkhart campus and the nursing program at Grace College are two of several emerging extension centers for Bethel.
Organization and administration 
Bethel is a part of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities and the Council of Independent Colleges. Bethel is regionally accredited by The Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. The institution also has specialized accreditation by The National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE), the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC), the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM), the International Assembly for Collegiate Business Education (IACBE).
Currently, Bethel is organized into six schools: Arts & Sciences, Business & Social Sciences, Education, Nursing, Religion & Philosophy, and Adult Studies. Additionally, there are four graduate programs administered in conjunction with the schools through the Office of Graduate Studies.
There are approximately 2100 students distributed across these programs. About 1300 are traditional students pursuing bachelors degrees right after high school. 650 are non-traditional adult students who take classes on evenings and weekends which lead to bachelors or associate degrees. 250 are enrolled in graduate programs. The Bethel College faculty is composed of about 115 full-time members.
Academic profile 
Bethel College offers undergraduate, graduate and adult degree programs across the spectrum of disciplines that characterizes American higher education at small colleges. The traditional academic majors include a substantial general education component which is typical of most liberal arts institutions. With some variation by major program, these students take courses in history, literature, philosophy, fine arts, communication (oral and written), psychology, sociology, science, mathematics, physical education, and foreign language. Furthermore, because of the college's identification with Christianity, all students take courses in Bible (Old and New Testament) and an introductory theology course. These general education courses provide a broad background across the disciplines upon which more depth is pursued in a major (or majors).
Student life 
Bethel College teams are known the Pilots. The college is a member of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) (NAIA Division II for basketball), the college competes in the Crossroads League, formerly known as the Mid-Central College Conference (MCCC). The Pilots also compete as a member of the National Christian College Athletic Association (NCCAA). Men's sports include baseball, basketball, cheerleading, cross country, golf, soccer, tennis and track & field; while women's sports include basketball, cheerleading, cross country, golf, soccer, softball, tennis, track & field and volleyball.
Bethel College's philosophy concerning sports is as follows: "We celebrate the true spirit of sport. The true spirit that binds Bethel athletes is their devotion to sport and learning, faith in God, and commitment to serving the larger world around them."
The Pilots' athletic accomplishments:
- 2 NCCAA National Sports Ministries awards
- 125 Academic All-Americans
- 200 All-Americans
- 31 national team championships
- 25 national Coach of the Year awards
In addition to athletic competition, Bethel College encourages athletes to undertake short-term missionary work. To date, 30 missions trips have been taken by athletic groups.
Notable people 
- Jacob Bawa, former Nigerian ambassador to Spain, the Vatican and Chad
- William Hossler, current President of the Missionary Church
- John Moran, former President of the Missionary Church
- Eric Stults, pitcher for the San Diego Padres
- Justin Masterson, pitcher with the Cleveland Indians organization
- Eric Carpenter, MF for the Cleveland City Stars