"Know also that wisdom is sweet to your soul; if you find it, there is a future hope for you, and your hope will not be cut off."
Proverbs 24:14


President Dan Bruss "The Lord has richly blessed this institution and I believe Bethany has an important role to play in today's world. Since its founding, the College has offered a values-based Christian education that aims to produce well-educated and spiritually grounded students. Our graduates are well prepared to be leaders in their chosen vocations and in their communities and churches."
— Dan Bruss, Ph.D.
President, Bethany Lutheran College

Mission Statement

Bethany Lutheran College, owned and operated by the Evangelical Lutheran Synod, is a private, residential, liberal arts college committed to the teachings of the Bible as set forth in the Lutheran Confessions. Bethany provides studies culminating in a Bachelor of Arts degree. The college serves Lutherans and others by offering a challenging, student-centered approach to education that fosters spiritual development, intellectual and creative growth, self-understanding, and responsible citizenship. In keeping with its heritage, Bethany aspires to produce students with a clear understanding of Christian vocation, which encourages students to make the most of their God-given talents.

A Proud Past

In 1911, Bethany Ladies College opened with forty-four students and four faculty members, and a mission to educate young women. In 1927 the Norwegian Synod, later known as the Evangelical Lutheran Synod (ELS), purchased the College. Bethany opened its doors as a coeducational, liberal arts junior college of the ELS in 1927. Bethany Lutheran Theological Seminary began in 1946 as a department of the College and in 1975 it became a separate institution. In the fall of 1999, Bethany enrolled its first junior class and graduated its first senior class in May 2001. Bethany Lutheran College is now a four-year, baccalaureate–granting institution.

The ELS, which operates Bethany, traces its roots to the Norwegian immigrant movement of the mid-nineteenth century. Throughout its history the Synod has consistently maintained its stance as a confessional Lutheran church body. The ELS is in church fellowship with the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod (WELS) and several European confessional Lutheran churches.

Bethany Lutheran College Today

Bethany Lutheran College is a church-related Christian college of the liberal arts. From its founders, Bethany inherited its tradition of maintaining a consistent commitment to producing consecrated and intelligent citizens who demonstrate intellectual accomplishment, good judgment, and cultural awareness in a community of faith and learning.

Bethany's fifty-acre campus overlooks the Minnesota River Valley in Mankato, Minnesota, a community of fifty thousand people. Today the College enrolls 586 students from twenty-three states and eleven foreign countries.

Forty-four percent of the Bethany faculty holds a Ph.D. or terminal degree in their field of expertise. The student to faculty ratio is 12 to 1. Small class size enables interaction with the instructor, creating a close relationship that often is not found at larger institutions. The College does not use teaching assistants (TAs) in the classrooms. While some classes are taught in the traditional lecture format, the faculty at Bethany is also committed to teaching in a variety of learning formats and readily integrates the use of technology into the classroom. This allows students to form small groups in which they research topics and projects and present the material to other students—all under the guidance of their instructors. This approach requires the students to learn the material, not just memorize facts for tests.

Bethany Lutheran College is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association and is a member of the National Collegiate Athletic Association.