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Reconciliation Studies

Learn to co-partner with others by nurturing compassion and fostering empathy, love, and justice for the common good.

Rooted in love, Jesus, God, and the Holy Spirit, along with biblical stories and principles call us to be reconcilers, peacemakers, and advocates in a broken and divided world. The reconciliation studies major prepares students to follow this call.

Several principles shape the Reconciliation Studies program:

  • Apply biblical teachings and stories to our reconciliation practices
  • Strengthen relational skills that enrich our relationships with God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit, and one another
  • Observe the power of story
  • Acknowledge the human dignity of others
  • Confront and overhaul systemic inequities
  • Redress social disparities by engaging the strengths and skills of community members
  • Learn from diverse communities
  • Cultivate community honoring practices
  • Support multi-faith dialogue and partnerships
  • Co-collaborate with others by providing gateways of healing for the hurting
  • Reconcile relational tensions
  • Address historical trauma and promote racial reconciliation
  • Forge meaningful connections with others across regions and continents
  • Develop active listening in order to deepen understanding between peoples
  • Acknowledge injustice and advance justice-minded practices and efforts

Majors, Minors, and Programs

Reconciliation Studies Major Minor

Expanding Your Horizons

Bethel’s Reconciliation Studies Program is a rich, interactive community of students and faculty who are committed to advancing reconciliation and seeking social justice as we become aware of our global citizenship with world communities. We recognize the gifts of diversity. We equip majors with conflict and resolution mediation skills. We engage reconciliation and biblical principles and practices. We pursue social justice and encourage peace, kindness, and love in a divided world. These activities come to life when students participate in cross-relational experiences in real communities through off-campus programs and internships and learn from community educators.

Together, we can redress systemic inequities and mend relational fractures. Our engagement with multiple disciplines and contemplative practices deepens our abilities to converse with diverse communities.

Evidence-based research, the arts, practical and contextual theology, literature, history, and the social sciences provide insight into how we can tackle social disparities, confront justice issues, and repair broken relationships. These opportunities enable us to break down walls of divisions as we partner with community educators in acknowledging the precious humanity of others while recognizing the need to confront and heal historical trauma and abuses.

Adopting humane practices that affirm the human dignity of all stands at the center of Reconciliation Studies. Cultivating relational connections with those we meet in our places of work, communities, families, and our world through the love and wisdom of God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit underscore the Reconciliation Studies Program.

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Students from 42 majors studied abroad last year

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Program Highlights

You'll take classes like:

  • Introduction to Reconciliation Studies
  • Principles and Methods of Intercultural Leadership
  • Fannie Lou Hamer, Martin Luther King, Jr., Malcolm X, and Our Multicultural World
  • The Power of Story and Reconciliation
  • Hip-Hop, Spoken Word, & Reconciliation
  • Conflict Resolution and Mediation Skills
  • Justice and Reconciliation
  • European American Experiences, Whiteness, and Reconciliation

Diverse Faculty

Our professors bring practical and real experience to the classroom and are specialists in their field. Their experiences of partnering alongside community educators inform their methods and knowledge of the subjects they teach. The topics they teach draw from their collaborations with peoples from diverse social and socio-economic backgrounds and are inspired by their interactions with practitioners and individuals from all walks of life. Small classes allow for individual attention and mentorship.

Meaningful Experiences

Like many majors at Bethel, reconciliation studies majors take off for a semester to study abroad in Asia, Africa, Central America, Europe, and more. Living in other countries is a great way to understand the unique ways we can learn from and forge meaningful connections with diverse peoples and communities, and experience biblical reconciliation.

Faith-based Perspective

As experts and curious lifelong learners, our professors integrate into their courses Christian principles, evidence-based practices, and academic scholarship. Their contemplative practices and faith formation influence their understanding of and approach to reconciliation.

You'll be prepared to be a reconciler in the world.

Practical experiences enhance students’ ability to engage in mutual learning opportunities while breaking down walls of division, repairing conflicted relationships, improving relational interactions, deepening faith outlooks and practices, and addressing inequity in our world.

Skills

As a reconciliation studies major, you will:

  • Learn to engage with diverse communities and individuals
  • Understand and practice conflict mediation
  • Foster multi-faith partnerships and dialogue
  • Develop interpersonal relationship skills
  • See the world from the experiences of others
  • Learn to communicate cross-culturally
  • Understand the biblical and theological basis for reconciliation and justice
  • Complete a reconciliation practicum that will help you develop cross-cultural leadership skills
  • Learn how to advance social change and promote racial reconciliation
  • Explore how contemplative practices can shape our relationships with God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit and others
  • Create work environments that enable others to flourish as vital contributors

Careers

Our graduates have jobs in these various fields:

  • Ministry
  • Education
  • Business
  • Journalism
  • Publishing
  • Social work
  • The non-profit sector
  • Theatre