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.
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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.
Bethel has strongly prepared me to be an ambassador for Christ in my career as a nurse. The foundation of solid nursing skills and knowledge has prepared me well in caring for my patients and their families.Daniel Luthi '13
Current job: RN, BSN - Registered Nurse
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
The biology department was integral in getting me where I am today. It provided research opportunities, unique experiences such as interim in the Galapagos Islands/Amazon Rainforest/Ecuador, personal relationships with professors, and the academic foundation to smoothly transition to medical school.Nate Paulson '10
Currently: University of Virginia Anesthesiology Resident; received M.D. from University of South Dakota, Sanford School of Medicine
Bethel's graduate degree in gerontology broadened my academic foundation and prepared me to better serve the aging community in the Twin Cities area.Nancy Schwartz '11
Current job: Financial Advisor
Bethel provided me with a fantastic education and prepared me for teaching in a school setting. They were understanding, flexible, and creative in scheduling my classes so that I was able to teach full-time while still attending classes 3 hours away.Derek Bauer '15
Current job: Special Education Teacher in Grand Rapids, MN
My grad school experience at Bethel was excellent. I really enjoyed the online classes in this program because they provided me with a quality educational experience and still fit in with my busy career and schedule.Jill Larson '15
Current job: Program Administrator at Heritage Academy of Science and Technology
I am astonished and whole-heartedly humbled by the love, support, and friendships I made in the Athletic Training Education Program! I not only received an outstanding education by top professors, but I was able to become their friends, and now, colleagues!Megan Roschen '13
Grad school: Mayo School of Health Sciences Doctorate of Physical Therapy Program
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 D.Min program was an introspective journey of self-discovery and transformation that awakened a new reality about the social fields in which I live, and my role within them. It prepared me to identify and remove different socio-cultural structural barriers.Ramon Pastrano '13
Current job: CEO of ImpactLives Inc.
My Bethel master's degree has prepared me to be the best nursing leader I can be. The research projects taught me how to tackle issues on my unit with an evidence-based approach. I loved the cohort aspect of the program.Jill Branovsky '12
Current job: HealthEast Woodwinds Maternity Care
My time in Bethel's Biblical and Theological Studies Department was intellectually stimulating and spiritually formative. It ignited me to pursue a career in Biblical Studies. On account of Bethel's incredible professors and in depth course offerings, I entered graduate school with a major advantage. I also learned by example how to be a Christian scholar and use my mind in service of the Church.Tucker Ferda '07
Grad school: University of Pittsburgh Divinity School
The Ed.D program expands students' minds and readies them to be public, intellectual, and ethical leaders who have the courage to educationally equip learners for their future world of work and life.Michelle Hiteman '14
Current job: Principal of Taipei American School
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
Bethel really prepared me...having a liberal arts education was beneficial because it made me well rounded. [Businesses] look for people with all sorts of different backgrounds and leadership experience. Bethel encourages people to get involved.Nicole (Nettleton) Willenbring '12
Current job: Business Analyst, Target Corporation
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
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