Language is about more than speaking and teaching. It's about communicating across cultures in a Christ-like manner.
The Department of World Languages and Cultures prepares graduates to use their language skills to understand, interact with, and serve with people from other cultures. You'll become a globally aware graduate prepared to culturally engage with communities from a thoughtful, Christian perspective.
Majors, Minors, and Programs
|Spanish Education K-12||Major|
|Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL)||Major|
|Teaching English as a Second Language (TESL) K-12||Major|
|Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) Minor||Minor|
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Language and Linguistic Programs Focused on Compassionate Communication
The world languages and cultures program at Bethel gives students the global perspective they need to communicate with Christ-like compassion and be learners and explorers of God’s diverse world. By stepping out of your comfort zone through service learning projects, classroom interactions, and study abroad programs, you’ll be prepared to take your place in the global community of the 21st century. It’s about taking our faith in Christ and integrating it into everything we learn, into everything we do, and to everywhere we go, so that we can accomplish incredible things—in our careers, in our communities, and in our world.
0 full-time faculty in the department
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Live with a host family, serve, and take classes in Guatemala, Spain, or elsewhere; teach English in South Korea or Ecuador; or learn about Bible translation and community development with linguists from across the globe. Internships are built into our study abroad and other off-campus programs so you can gain real-world experience in your future professional field.
Focus on justice and reconciliation
Deepen your faith as you wrestle with topics pertaining to intercultural understanding, justice from a Christian perspective, and current issues in the U.S. and abroad. Gain a broad knowledge of the languages you’re learning so that you’re prepared to impact the communities you’ll serve after graduation.
Prepare for the global marketplace
Students who speak multiple languages and have extended immersion experiences are desired in any field, and many of our language education students find jobs in their field upon or before graduation.
You’ll learn from professors who bring real experience to the classroom and are experts in their field. They are highly competent linguists and culturally competent instructors who integrate Christian principles and cultural experiences into their courses. Classes are typically small, allowing for individual attention and mentorship.
Strong Christian commitment
Through each class, semester abroad, or service opportunity, you’ll learn what it means to understand others’ perspectives in order to communicate with people from other cultures in a Christ-like manner.
Bethel partners with the Summer Institute of Linguistics at the University of North Dakota (UND) to offer a complete linguistics degree during three academic years on the Bethel campus and two summer sessions at UND. We also partner with Students International and the Centro Lingüístico Maya in Antigua, Guatemala, as well as with the Centro de Estudios Hispánicos in Segovia, Spain to offer semester-length programs abroad.
Internships and service learning
Get involved in local multicultural communities and interact with native and heritage speakers of the languages you’re studying. You'll have transformative experiences that feed your love for people from other cultures and help you understand both the challenges faced by language learners and the strength of their communities.
The rich and diverse educational scene in the Twin Cities offers students valuable practicum and student teaching opportunities in bilingual and immersion schools and in community programs with immigrants. You can also get paid to serve as a teaching/research assistant and a language tutor at Bethel.
The people at Bethel helped me determine the kind of person I wanted to be, before I knew what kind of doctor I would be. Bethel’s influence is essential to my work as a future physician and follower of Jesus.Brett Einerson '06
Current Job: Resident Physician at Northwestern University, Feinberg School of Medicine
The Bethel University Theatre Department provides unique insight into the relationship between faith and art. It strives to examine and explore tough subjects through the theatre.Aaron Crosby '12
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My time at Bethel was invaluable and the Communication department was a major part of that. I felt empowered by the professors to be a leader and to create opportunities for myself both personally and professionally.Meghan Harmison '08
Current job: Director of Adult Ministries and Outreach, Salem Lutheran Church
I believe the education I received at Bethel prepared me for my role as a teacher, leader, and for my current role as principal. The education department's theme of servant leadership provided a framework and vision for me in all I do, regardless of my position. It helped create the understanding that education is not about me, but about the students and families we serve.Nathan Flansburg '97
Current job: Principal, Valentine Hills Elementary, Arden Hills, Minnesota
I learned many invaluable lessons at Bethel but what stands out was the accessibility of the faculty and their genuine desire to see students succeed. I was never a number in a classroom. Many of those professors remain mentors today.Allie Ryan '11
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Bethel has been intentional in helping me think about a dissertation from the beginning. The D.Min faculty are great, and Bethel does a fabulous job prepping students for success with their dissertation.Spencer Click '17
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The CAPS program has allowed me to pursue professional growth while continuing to work in my current position. I have enjoyed the cohort atmosphere, and find the professors to be knowledgeable and approachable.Pace Pfenning '15
This program is a great model for an educator who wants to pursue a career as an international administrator. It is challenging yet reachable, theory based yet practical in its application, and the professors are always willing to help.Shaun O'Rourke '18
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The Art Department at Bethel was an incredibly formative place for me. You'll find kind and genuinely caring experts who will propel you forward in your artistic, spiritual, and professional journey and provide a unique, personalized experience.Elise Valley '10
Current job: Pre-K Through Grade 12 Art Teacher, Legacy Christian Academy
Formative opportunities in research, clinical experience, career clarity, and preparedness to contribute to integration of psychology and Christianity movement, have all impacted my continuing education. Faculty taught me how to be a Christian scholar and fully engaged in my community.Ryan Horvis '09
Current job: Clinical Therapist at Stenzel Clinical Services, Ltd. and Outpatient Therapist at Streamwood Behavioral Health Systems
What can I do with a degree in world languages and cultures?
World languages and cultures students prepare for professional careers in a variety of industries and graduate programs in fields ranging from teaching to missions.
World languages and cultures graduates are:
- Business people
- College professors
- Educational leaders at the local and state level
- Healthcare workers (doctors, nurses, therapists, physician assistants)
- Legal assistants
- Nonprofit employees
- Social workers
- Spanish teachers
- Teachers of English to speakers of other languages in the U.S. and abroad
- Speech therapists
- Speech writers
Our alumni study:
Our alumni attend:
- Bethel University Graduate School or Seminary
- Hamline University
- Middlebury College (Vermont and Madrid, Spain)
- Mitchell School of Law
- New York University (New York and Madrid, Spain)
- University of Minnesota (Duluth and Twin Cities)
- University of Wisconsin-Madison
- University of California-San Diego
- University of Texas-Austin