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Bethel Announces Two New Graduate Programs in Athletic Training

Bethel Announces Two New Graduate Programs in Athletic Training

Athletic training students have opportunities to work with athletes in Bethel’s clinical and training facilities.

In anticipation of heightened national requirements for athletic trainers, Bethel is proud to announce new Master of Science (M.S.) in Athletic Training and Master of Arts (M.A.) in Athletic Training Leadership programs. The expansion means Bethel offers the only faith-based, master’s-level athletic training program in the Twin Cities, one of only two in the state of Minnesota and a handful in the country. The M.A. will provide additional credentials to certified athletic trainers who wish to hone their faith-centered approach to healthcare, advance in the workplace, and compete with new athletic trainers entering the workforce with advanced degrees.

Besides the obvious benefit of preparing students well for a career in a rapidly growing field, Bethel is uniquely poised to equip students to impact lives by approaching clinical experiences with a Christ-centered worldview. “The biggest thing is that we’re able to provide a much broader and holistic approach to our education—which translates to a more holistic approach to the care that we provide,” says Associate Dean of Health, Medical, and Social Sciences Chad Osgood, a professor and director of the new programs. “We’re not just teaching ethical healthcare, but exploring how faith impacts the treatment of patients. How does our Christian worldview—and following Christ’s example of treating physical needs before spiritual needs—create a broader ministry opportunity?”

Neal Dutton, professor and chair of Bethel’s undergraduate health and physical education department, has long helped coordinate clinical placements for Bethel students. His students have completed practicums at some of the top orthopedic centers and physical therapy clinics in the metro, with the Minnesota Vikings and the University of Minnesota, and countless local high schools and universities.

“Because we are in the Twin Cities, we interact with some of the top health care professionals in the country, and our students have access to clinical education with those professionals,” Dutton says. With an existing program since 1993, Bethel already has a strong reputation for excellence and integrity. Bethel’s growth in this area comes at a time when the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ projections anticipate rapid growth in the field over the next decade, with athletic trainers being used in an increasing number of settings. “We also see athletic training not just as a career, but also as a ministry,” Dutton adds. “Our program has been intentionally geared toward helping students see that they can help not only with the physical and emotional needs that may arise from injury or illness, but spiritual needs as well.”

Bethel students will be able to take several pathways toward careers in athletic training:

  • Current B.A. in Athletic Training students will be able to complete their undergraduate degree and take the BOC exam before requirements change.
  • New and current undergraduate students will be able to continue straight into the master’s program, pending university approval. A 3-2 program is being developed to allow students to finish a bachelor’s degree and an M.S. in Athletic Training in as few as five years.
  • Students who have completed an undergraduate degree elsewhere will be able to complete a standalone M.S. in Athletic Training and then take the BOC exam. The program will incorporate a significant amount of research, advanced clinical techniques, and 1,000 hours of hands-on clinical experience.
  • Students who are already certified may enroll in the M.A. in Athletic Training Leadership, giving them a well-rounded yet clinically focused leadership training experience that will set them apart in their current places of employment and help them compete against newly credentialed athletic trainers.

Find out more about Bethel’s M.S. in Athletic Training, M.A. in Athletic Training Leadership, or additional healthcare programs.