History is about more than studying the past. It's about preparing for the future.

Do you think that studying history only prepares you to talk about wars and presidents? Think again. In the Department of History at Bethel, students cultivate versatile life skills like research, analysis, communication, and critical thinking that help them to succeed in a variety of careers.

Majors, Minors, and Programs

History Major Minor
Social Studies Education 5-12 Major
Classics Minor Minor

Upcoming Events


Past and Presence: Rethinking the Intro Course

10:20 a.m. | University Library, Fireside Lounge

Primetime at BU Library presents Chris Gehrz and Sam Mulberry


Act Six: A Community Information Session

10:20 a.m. | University Library Fireside Lounge

Learn about Bethel's newest scholarship program.

Understanding Our Interconnected World

In Bethel’s Department of History, you’ll study everything from ancient Rome to modern America, exploring significant social, cultural, religious, and political developments from the past. Professors provide personal attention as you make original contributions to scholarship. Plus, you’ll be in close proximity to excellent local archives such as the Minnesota History Center. Our campus archives also provide a way to get hands-on experience cataloguing documents and artifacts relevant to our university and the denomination with which we’re affiliated. And if you want to study farther afield, our study abroad opportunities provide a way to analyze the interconnectedness of our larger world. You’ll leave prepared for global citizenship, influenced by an intelligent, Christ-centered faith. It’s about taking our faith in Christ and integrating it into everything we learn, into everything we do, so we can accomplish incredible things—in our careers, in our communities, and in our world.

full-time faculty in the department

students in the department

Program Highlights

Relationships with faculty

Our friendly department and class sizes make it easy to get to know professors who are committed to advising, mentoring, and discipleship.

Creativity in teaching

Our professors are passionate, innovative teachers and campus leaders in team-teaching and the use of classroom technology and new media.

Original research

Personal attention and excellent local archives allow our students to make original contributions to scholarship.

Student employment

Student teaching assistants work closely with faculty and gain valuable experience in teaching, research, or administration. Or you can apply for internships in local archives and libraries like the Minnesota Historical Society, the Minnesota History Center, and Archives of the BGC and Bethel University directed by our own Professor Diana Magnuson.

What can I do with a history or social studies education 5-12 major?

History or social studies education 5-12 majors are critical thinkers, interested in how the past shapes and informs the present. Their broad range of skills—including research, communication, and critical thinking—have prepared them for careers in law, education, ministry, and more.


Our history majors work as:

  • Educators (especially as social studies teachers in middle and high schools)
  • Business people and non-profit employees
  • Pastoral ministers
  • Lawyers, civil servants, and politicians
  • Journalists and writers
  • Librarians, archivists, and museum curators

Graduate Schools

Our alumni attend:

  • Columbia University
  • University of Michigan
  • University of Edinburgh
  • Rice University
  • University of Virginia
  • University of Wisconsin
  • George Washington University
  • University of North Carolina
  • University of Iowa
  • Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary
  • Regent College
  • Bethel Seminary

Graduate Fields

Our alumni study:

  • History
  • International relations
  • Classics
  • Education
  • Library science
  • Law
  • Theology