Celebrating the
Class of 2020

Congratulations to the Bethel class of 2020. The Bethel community will come together in May for online celebrations to recognize the graduating students and their many accomplishments!

Jay Barnes commencement

“Like the thousands of Royals who have gone before you, I am confident that you will go on to accomplish incredible things—for God’s glory and your neighbors’ good.”

—Jay Barnes
Bethel President

What to Expect

Commencement celebration

Online commencement celebrations will run about 30 minutes and will air through Bethel’s accounts on Facebook Live and YouTube. The celebration will include a message from President Jay Barnes, a student and faculty reflection, the conferral of degrees, and your name will be read.

Follow these links to find the dates and times of your celebration:

Celebrate with your peers following the online commencement celebration. Your department or program will host a special gathering with your peers and your faculty over Google Meet. You'll receive a Google Calendar invitation with the Google Meet link for your gathering.

Engage with the Class of 2020

Whether you’re a graduate, a relative, or a bethel alumnus, we encourage you to engage with the class over 2020 over social media. 

Graduates are encouraged to tune in 15 minutes early to the commencement feeds to see messages from their classmates. On the day of the celebration, share photos and insights on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter—and don't forget to tag Bethel! 

Parents, relatives, and alumni are encouraged to share messages of encouragement for graduating seniors—make sure to tag Bethel and use the hashtag #bethelgrad—on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter on commencement day!


Diploma display

The Class of 2020

Hat throw

This spring, 446 students are graduating from the College of Arts & Sciences, along with 108 from Bethel Graduate School, 59 from the College of Adult & Professional Studies, 34 from Bethel Seminary San Diego, and 84 from Bethel Seminary St. Paul. Counting both spring and winter commencement, about 1,000 students graduated this fiscal year from all Bethel's schools.

The top majors or programs per school in 2020 are:

  • College of Arts & Sciences: 1. Nursing, 2. Business, 3. Elementary Education, 4. Communication Studies, 5. Psychology
  • College of Adult & Professional Studies: 1. Nursing, 2. Organizational Leadership, 3. Human Services
  • Graduate School: 1. Counseling, 2. Nurse-Midwifery, 3. Teaching
  • St. Paul Bethel Seminary: 1. Master of Divinity, 2. Christian Thought, 3. (tie) Theological Studies/Transformational Leadership
  • San Diego Seminary: 1. Marital and Family Therapy, 2. Master of Divinity, 3. Theological Studies


Q: Can I participate in both May and August?

A: Yes!

Q: Can I do one and not the other?

A: Yes, but we would love to celebrate with you both online in May and in person in August.

Q: Does Bethel need to know if I’m participating in either?

A: We hope you will watch your online celebration in May. You do not need to register for this. We hope you will come back to campus in August to participate in your face-to-face ceremony. We will need to know your decision on that, and we’ll let you know at a later date how to register your attendance for August.

Q: Can I share the link for the online May celebration with my family and friends?

A: Absolutely. In fact, we encourage it! We want your family and friends to hear your name read and see it on the screen. This is the big moment you’ve been working toward!

Q: Is the online May celebration interactive?

A: The celebration is not dual streamed nor is it a video conference. However, the virtual gathering after the ceremony is an interactive video conference.

Q: What’s the virtual gathering after the online celebration?

A: This is an opportunity for you to visit with peers and faculty from your department or program. It will be hosted by a faculty member from your area.

Q: When will I receive my actual diploma?

A: When you have met all academic requirements and other obligations to the university, the registrar will post your degree to your transcript and mail your diploma to your permanent address. Allow four weeks for mailing after your degree is posted.

Q: Will I receive my gown? What if I earned honor cords?

A: Graduates who are unable to attend their August ceremony will receive their diploma cover—and honor cords if earned—in the mail. We are not mailing gowns or cords for the May online celebrations.

Q: What about other commencement-related events?

A: We still want to honor you at special events like Royal Reception and Senior Celebration for our College of Arts & Sciences graduates, the Nurses Pinning ceremony for our College of Arts & Sciences nursing graduates, and the Seminary Community and Family Reception and Communion Service for our Bethel Seminary St. Paul graduates. These events have been rescheduled for August.

Q: What if it’s not safe for large groups to gather in August?

A: We will follow the recommended safety guidelines. On July 6, you’ll receive an email about whether August commencement will take place.

About Us

Bethel University has been a leader in Christ-centered higher education since 1871. For generations, our combination of evangelical faith with top-ranked academics has prepared women and men for excellence in leadership, scholarship, and service.

With more than 100 academic programs serving undergraduate, graduate, and seminary students, we’re one of the most comprehensive interdenominational Christian universities in the nation. Our committed faculty are passionate about integrating faith and learning—equipping students to tackle the world’s most challenging problems, for God’s glory and our neighbors’ good.

Brushaber Commons Lawn