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 valedictorians or salutatorians in the incoming 2013 class
One of the "Top colleges for top students"-Peterson's Competitive Colleges
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.
This was an incredible, global educational experience. I was thrilled with the opportunity to collaborate online with peers across the world and I wouldn't trade this experience for any traditional learning program.Evan Howard '15
Current job: Teaching Fellow - Athens College
Bethel University and the instructors in the graduate school program are very supportive and give real world examples. I have been able to change my career and transition into a new industry because of the Masters in Teaching program.Lawton Burgstahler '15
Current job: Buffalo Lake Hector Stewart High School Business Teacher
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
The theatre professors offer an individualized, supportive, and safe environment to explore what makes producing and performing theater so unique. They care about their students, their students' faith, and their students' craft. The intimate size of the department creates a close-knit community where students are led to grow and are challenged to become the best versions of themselves.Wes Mouri '12
Current job: Actor with the Guthrie Theater and Chanhassen Dinner Theatres
Bethel's Doctor of Ministry in Servant Leadership was the perfect fit for me as someone who is an ordained clergy serving in a large non-profit organization. I loved integrating my studies with my work, and the cohort model encouraged building lasting relationships.Julie Berndt '12
Current job: Director of The Good Samaritan Society Way, The Evangelical Lutheran Good Samaritan Society
The flexibility of the Doctor of Ministry program allowed me to tailor a unique course of study that met my needs. The courses added to my professional growth and my spiritual depth. God is at work in and through this program.Randall Young '11
Current job: retired
The Bethel DMin program in Servant Leadership not only helped me to be a more effective leader, it helped me to be a better thinker. And the cohort model served as a wonderful community for the journey.Mike McNeff '12
Current job: Lead Pastor
My graduate school experience has positioned me with a consulting career that is both strategic and futuristic. Every day I help senior care organizations navigate through health care reform. It's challenging but incredibly rewarding work.Kristine Betz '12
Current job: Consultant
I'm continually grateful for the education I received from the Athletic Training Program! I feel completely prepared for my job and know that I will always have close friends and mentors among the professors!Megan Roschen '13
Grad school: Mayo School of Health Sciences Doctorate of Physical Therapy Program
Bethel's Athletic Training Education Program was an incredibly rewarding experience and has prepared me so well for my graduate studies in Physical Therapy. The classroom knowledge and immense amount of hands-on experience was more than I could have asked for.Megan Roschen '13
Grad School: Mayo School of Health Sciences Doctorate of Physical Therapy Program
The philosophy department at Bethel exposed me not only to challenging intellectual ideas, but also to new ways of thinking and learning. The experience helped to prepare me for the rigorous academic requirements of both law school and legal practice.Eva Rodelius '10
Current job: Associate Attorney at Carson, Clelland & Schreder
Before coming to Bethel I was already driven to pursue certain ultimate questions about human existence. For instance, questions about the meaning of life, the nature of the human person, the nature and objectivity of ethics, the existence of God, the problem of evil and suffering, and so on. When I came to Bethel as a philosophy major I felt like I had found a home. I found a supportive and caring community of people, among both fellow students and the faculty, with whom I could engage in shared philosophical enquiry into questions that are of great significance for human life.David McPherson, Ph.D. '05
Current job: Assistant Professor of Philosophy, Creighton University
My communication professors were truly invested in my education and cared about helping me find my passion. I use the knowledge, skills, and experience I gained in classes like Corporate Communication and Organizational Communication in my job every day.Kelsey Jass '11
Current job: Product Marketing Specialist at Deluxe Corporation
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.Megan Johnson '13
Storyteller at Minnesota Renaissance Festival
Considering entering the field of special education, I felt that it was extremely important to be prepared for the task that lay ahead of me. Bethel challenged me both intellectually and spiritually and I am truly grateful for the opportunity.Mary Fleetwood '15
Current job: Special Education Teacher
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