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|
There are no upcoming events.
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 undergraduates receive need-based financial aid
0th Minneapolis' ranking for new college grads- Livability.com
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 University has allowed me to go back to school while working at a pace that is comfortable for me. I have enjoyed being a part of the online program and furthering my education.Rachael Cappola '16
Current Job: 8th grade Math Teacher
After graduation I interned at the Minnesota Center for Book Arts, which turned into a job. I also had the opportunity to show in Vienna, Austria, because of an invitation from a professor.Sarah Lee '12
Current job: Artist, Coordinator at Minnesota Center for Book Arts
Getting my master's at Bethel was convenient. All the classes were offered online, and I could choose a concentration. Also, I enjoyed the classes. They were a great study of best practices in education.Patty Boettcher '15
Current job: 4th Grade Teacher at International School in Genoa, Italy
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
This has been an intense and challenging program, but I'm learning to never underestimate how following God's path for you can bring such peace.Rebecca Smith '16
Bethel's Leadership in Higher Education doctoral program equipped me to navigate the complex and changing landscape of higher education. The program content, the instructors, and my colleagues were all instrumental in expanding my professional capabilities.Bill Paxton '14
Current job: Director of MBA program at Bethel University
Bethel's Doctor of Ministry program led me to do the kind of research that expanded my understanding, aided my leadership and benefited my ministry context.Matthew Clausen '14
Current job: Pastor - First Baptist of Minneapolis
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
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 honors program was rewarding and beneficial. Participating in the community stretched my understanding and experiences and produced close friendships. The program provided amazing opportunities to work closely with Bethel faculty and others on projects uniquely suited to my interests.Tim Larson '13
Current job: Employee Relations Specialists for Securian Financial Group
The classes were informative and practical. I often find myself using concepts I learned in acting classes to help with presentations even outside of theatre.Erin Lorentz '13
Current job: Student Alumni Programming Coordinator
The faculty in the Nurse-Midwifery program were unbelievably supportive and encouraging. Even though this is a distance learning program there was never any doubt in my mind that they were beside me every step of the way.Nicole Hunter-Severson '16
Current job: RN
Literature changed who I was, allowed me to look at the world in a new way, to become a more curious person. Faith-learning integration at Bethel helped prepare me to link my faith with my work.Amy Williams '07
Current job: Major Gifts Officer at Ecumen
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
Grad School: Ed. D. Bethel University
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
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