History is about more than studying the past. It's about preparing for the future.
In the Department of History at Bethel, you'll follow your passion for studying the past while honing skills valued by employers, including research, critical thinking, and communication. And you'll cultivate empathy, humility, comfort with complexity, and other traits that Christians need in order to live in the world without being fully of it.
Majors, Minors, and Programs
|History Classics Minor||Minor|
|Social Studies Education 5-12||Major|
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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.
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Relationships with faculty
Our friendly department, manageable class sizes, and opportunities for mentoring make it easy to get to know professors, who are committed to forming whole and holy persons.
Creativity in teaching
Our professors are passionate, innovative teachers and campus leaders in team-teaching and the use of classroom technology and new media.
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 and the History Center, Archives of Bethel University and Converge Worldwide (BGC) directed by our own Professor Diana Magnuson.
Practicing history in a digital age
Bethel History faculty and students are on the cutting edge of their discipline as it enters the digital age. Students can fuse original research with media production, producing documentary films and digital history exhibits. Others get to learn about coding, cataloguing, and digital preservation as they digitize archival records for the Bethel University Digital Library. And faculty are leaders in using blogs, podcasts, and social media to connect with other scholars and the wider public.
Personal attention and excellent local archives allow our students to make original contributions to scholarship.
At Bethel the History major is designed to make it easy for students to double-major, study abroad, or finish in three years. And with only two required courses, students have a great deal of choice in exploring topics and time periods within Global, American, and European history.
Being able to focus on the big picture, while still knowing how the small details relate to that big picture, is a huge advantage in business, and something that studies in history can train one to do.Brandon Raatikka '03
Current job: Vice President of Risk Assessment, FactRight, LLC
History majors are perhaps more prevalent in the corporate world than you think. The habits of research, writing and critical thinking built from a history degree are vital in any field. The ability to critically evaluate sources is particularly valuable.Tim Goddard '04
Current job: Vice President of Marketing, Corum Group Ltd
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
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
- Washington University in St. Louis
- University College London
- Claremont Graduate School
- Princeton Theological Seminary
- Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary
- Bethel Seminary
Our alumni study:
- Public policy
- International relations
- Library science
- Records management