Bethel University (Minnesota)

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Bethel University
Bethel University Logo Updated November.jpg
Religious affiliation
Endowment$35.2 million (2013)[1]
Budget$145.3 million (2016)[2]
PresidentRoss Allen
Academic staff
Location, ,
United States
ColorsNavy blue and Vegas Gold
AthleticsNCAA Division III
Sports18 varsity teams
MascotRoy the Lion

Bethel University is a private, evangelical Christian university in Arden Hills, Minnesota. It was founded in 1871 as a Baptist seminary and is now affiliated with Converge (formerly the Baptist General Conference). The university enrolls 5,600 students in undergraduate, graduate, and seminary programs.[4][5] Its main campus is situated on approximately 289 acres on the east side of Lake Valentine in Arden Hills, Minnesota.[4]


Bethel University began in Chicago, Illinois, as a seminary for Baptist immigrants from Sweden. In 1871, John Alexis Edgren opened a school for Swedish Baptist immigrants in the basement of First Swedish Baptist Church in Chicago.[6] In 1914, now under the support of Baptist General Conference, 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. The school relocated from St. Paul to Arden Hills, Minnesota in 1972. Beginning in 2004, the institution changed its name to Bethel University.[7]



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.[5]

The school's seminary, called Bethel 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.[8] It offers Master of Divinity and Doctor of Ministry degrees, along with several Master of Arts and certificate programs.[9]


Bethel has been accredited by the Higher Learning Commission since 1959.[10] Its nursing program is approved by the Minnesota Board of Nursing.[11] Bethel's business program is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs.[12][13]

Arden Hills campus[edit]

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

Academic buildings[edit]

There are six main academic buildings located at the center of Bethel University's main campus in Arden Hills, Minnesota. They run Southwest/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[edit]

Freshman residences[edit]

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.[14] 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.[15]

Residences for returning students[edit]

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.[14]

Brushaber Commons[edit]

Commons Building in 2010

The Brushaber Commons, a $30 million, 106,000-square foot student commons area, opened in 2009.[16] The Brushaber Commons is named after retired Bethel President George K. Brushaber.[17] 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[edit]

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.[18] Benson Hall has hosted a variety of events in the past, providing a venue for Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra,[19] a location for high school graduations, and the 2018 Super Bowl Gospel Celebration.[20] Benson Great Hall offers a green room, backstage dressing rooms and bathrooms, custom sound dampening, lighting, and set design for special events.[20]

Student life[edit]

Covenant for Life Together[edit]

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.[21]

Under the Covenant for Life Together, students in the College of Arts and Sciences were initially prohibited from 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.[22]


Bethel University has a student news publication, The Clarion, which is printed during the school year and distributed on campus as well as online.[23]


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).[24]


  • Bethel University Arena is located at the National Sports Center in Blaine, Minnesota and has been the home of men's and women's hockey teams since 2007.[25]
  • Hargis Park, the home field of the Bethel University baseball team, opened in the spring of 2000. It features an entirely turf field, an outdoor turf batting cage, two clay bullpen mounds, major league length dugouts, press box, and inning-by-inning scoreboard in left field and capacity to over 500 spectators.[26]
  • Ona Orth Athletic Complex opened for play in the fall of 2003 and is home to Bethel's tennis, softball, and soccer teams. The facility includes a fast-pitch softball park, six tennis courts, and a soccer practice/game field with branded team building.[26]
  • Robertson Center Gymnasium has been the home of Bethel basketball and volleyball since 1972.[27]
  • Royal Stadium, the home of Bethel's football team, was built in 1995 and renovated in 2001.[28]

Notable alumni[edit]



Notable current and former faculty[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ As of April, 2012. "Bethel Foundation, Bethel University Minnesota". Investment Results. Bethel University. Retrieved November 1, 2013.
  2. ^ Kennedy, Patrick. "Minnesota Nonprofit 100". StarTribune News. Minneapolis StarTribune. Retrieved 16 December 2017.
  3. ^ "Annual Report". Annual Report. Office of the President, Bethel University. Retrieved November 1, 2013.
  4. ^ a b "US News | Bethel University". November 27, 2018.
  5. ^ a b "Bethel at a Glance". Retrieved December 11, 2017.
  6. ^ John Alexis Edgren 1871–1887, retrieved 19 November 2012
  7. ^ "History of Bethel University". Retrieved December 11, 2017.
  8. ^ "Locations". Retrieved 27 April 2012.
  9. ^ "St. Paul Programs". Retrieved 27 April 2012.
  10. ^ "Higher Learning Commission - Accreditations - Bethel University". Higher Learning Commission. November 23, 2018. Retrieved November 23, 2018.
  11. ^ "Approved Professional Nursing Programs". Minnesota Board of Nursing. Retrieved 2018-11-23.
  12. ^ "Undergraduate Business Department Receives International Accreditation | Bethel University". Retrieved 2020-01-08.
  13. ^ "Bethel University - Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs". Retrieved 2020-01-08.
  14. ^ a b "Residences Halls - Bethel University". Retrieved December 12, 2017.
  15. ^ "Nelson Hall - Bethel University". Retrieved December 12, 2017.
  16. ^ "Bethel University, George K. Brushaber Commons - WoodWorks". WoodWorks. Retrieved 2017-12-12.
  17. ^ Writer, Stephen HardingStaff. "Bethel honors North Oaks couple". Press Publications. Retrieved 2017-12-12.
  18. ^ "Benson Great Hall - Bethel University". Retrieved December 12, 2017.
  19. ^ "Venues -Concerts & Tickets - The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra". Retrieved 2018-11-27.
  20. ^ a b "Performances | Bethel University". Retrieved 2018-11-27.
  21. ^ "Covenant for Life Together - Bethel University". Retrieved December 12, 2017.
  22. ^ "Covenant Changes". Archived from the original on 15 April 2012. Retrieved 27 April 2012.
  23. ^ "About". The Clarion. 2015-10-14. Retrieved 2017-12-12.
  24. ^ "Bethel University Quick Facts". Retrieved 2017-12-12.
  25. ^ "Bethel University Arena". Retrieved 2017-12-12.
  26. ^ a b "Hargis Park". Retrieved 2017-12-12.
  27. ^ "Robertson Center Gym". Retrieved 2017-12-12.
  28. ^ "Royal Stadium". Retrieved 2017-12-12.
  29. ^ "Anderson, Chad - Legislator Record - Minnesota Legislators Past & Present". Retrieved 2017-12-12.
  30. ^ "Meet the Translators - NIV Bible". NIV Bible. Retrieved 2018-11-23.
  31. ^ "Hayden, Jeff - Legislator Record - Minnesota Legislators Past & Present". Retrieved 2017-12-12.
  32. ^ 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.
  33. ^ "Biography". Congressman Randy Hultgren. 2012-12-11. Archived from the original on 2018-03-20. Retrieved 2017-12-12.
  34. ^ "Jessup, Randy - Legislator Record - Minnesota Legislators Past & Present". Retrieved 2017-12-12.
  35. ^ "Johnson, Mark - Legislator Record - Minnesota Legislators Past & Present". Retrieved 2017-12-12.
  36. ^ "Johnson, Sheldon - Legislator Record - Minnesota Legislators Past & Present". Retrieved 2017-12-12.
  37. ^ News, Renee Gendreau New Castle. "Mega mission: Neshannock native leads Minnesota's largest church". New Castle News. Retrieved 2017-12-12.
  38. ^ "Bethel Alum Jeff Nelson Announced MLB All-Star Game Umpire -". Retrieved 2017-12-12.
  39. ^ Smith, Roberta (23 July 2010). "Doug Ohlson, Painter of Vivid Abstracts, Dies at 73 – Obituary". NY Times. Retrieved 27 April 2012.
  40. ^ Finsaas, Nicole (April 19, 2012). "Pawlentys Discuss Faith and Politics". Retrieved December 11, 2017.
  41. ^ "Linda Runbeck (R) 38A - Minnesota House of Representatives". Retrieved 2017-12-12.
  42. ^ "Wolf, Pam - Legislator Record - Minnesota Legislators Past & Present". Retrieved 2017-12-12.
  43. ^ "Leith Anderson". Retrieved December 18, 2017.
  44. ^ "Greg Boyd - Greg Boyd - ReKnew". Greg Boyd - ReKnew. Retrieved 2017-12-12.
  45. ^ "SBL Publications". Retrieved 2017-12-12.
  46. ^ Painter, Kristen Leigh (2016-07-20). "Obituary: Professor, nonprofit leader Alvera Mickelsen blended feminism and Christian teaching". Star Tribune. Retrieved 2016-08-06.
  47. ^ "John Piper, emeritus - Bethlehem College and Seminary". Bethlehem College and Seminary. Retrieved 2017-12-12.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 45°3′25.3″N 93°9′41.3″W / 45.057028°N 93.161472°W / 45.057028; -93.161472