Personal Development Theme

Facilitates a broad understanding of the richness inherent in humans and their relationships. Orients students to higher education, builds communication skills, enhances creative thought and expression, promotes physical well-being, and increases understanding of human nature. The integration of these facets yields whole and healthy persons.

Introduction to Wellbeing (GES140)

Explores the following dimensions that influence Wellbeing:  Spiritual, Cognitive, Emotional, Physical, Relational, and Meaning.  Examines the dynamic interconnection between the dimensions Students integrate foundational knowledge, experiences, and strategies to become successful whole and holy individuals not only in college, but also throughout adult life.

TRANSFER INFORMATION:

Must be taken at Bethel.  May not be transferred to Bethel.

Inquiry Seminar (GES160)

While exploring a specific topic of interest, students develop and understand the meaning and value of a liberal arts education in the Christian tradition. The seminar promotes the establishment of community among students and with faculty, and broader connections in the university. The seminar provides students with instruction and practice in writing as well as in preparing and delivering oral presentations. Supplemental assignments and activities outside the traditional classroom are required.

TRANSFER INFORMATION:

Common Necessary Features

  • Academic research and writing
  • Practice of the writing process (i.e. planning, drafting, revision, editing)
  • Research paper, including correct documentation, of 7 or more pages of text
  • Planning and delivery of at least two oral presentations

Students may fulfill this requirement by certain transfer courses or exams, such as (AP, CLEP, or IB) focused on college composition.

Introduction to the Creative Arts (GES125)

Introduces the creative arts and highlights their crucial role in human experience. Art forms included each semester are chosen from music, visual arts, theatre, dance, literature, or film. Creative works spanning stylistic, social, and historical contexts are examined in light of such issues as relationships, religion, death/despair, and humor. Students experience and critically interact with creative works and reflect on them from a Christian worldview, with the goal of developing literacy in artistic language as a tool for exploration and aesthetic interpretation and evaluation.

TRANSFER INFORMATION:

Common Necessary Features:  (minimum content & skills required for transfer courses)

  • Study of one or more art form(s)
  • Skills in evaluating art work
  • Vocabulary to communicate about art

Transfer Course Level: 100 or higher

Transfer Course Credits: 3 or more

Leisure and Lifetime Sport - Category of Courses (Q)

Requires participation in a lifetime/leisure sport intended to expand students’ exposure to movement, enjoyment of physical activity, and stewardship of the body through physical activity. Concentrated time participating in lifetime/leisure sport is required, along with selected readings and exam(s). Topics include understanding of movement and sport rules and strategies.

TRANSFER INFORMATION:

May not be fulfilled by taking a lesson or participating in an activity that does not take place at an accredited college or university. Taking ski lessons at a resort, taking aerobics at the YMCA, etc. do not meet this requirement. 

Common Necessary Features:  (minimum content & skills required for transfer courses)

  • Concentrated participation in sport or leisure activity that includes movement and physical activity
  • Includes readings and exams
  • Study of movement, sports rules, and statistics

Transfer Course Level: 100 or higher

Transfer Course Credits: ½ credit or more

Artistic Experience - Category of Courses (A)

Students gain hands-on experience with creating/performing (engaging with materials, instruments, creative writing, etc.) that is planned, supervised, and evaluated by a faculty member. An in-studio experience/performance (individual or group) is critiqued in some form. The Artistic Experience may be taken before, during, or after Introduction to the Creative Arts or Western Humanity in Christian Perspective I-II.

TRANSFER INFORMATION:

Students have the option of fulfilling the requirement by participating in an artistic experience that is not at a college or university. This can only be done with prior approval of the General Education point person for the “A” category.

Common Necessary Features:  (minimum content & skills required for transfer courses)

  • Hands on artistic experience (dance, theatre, art, music)
  • Planned, supervised, and evaluated by a faculty member
  • Critique of art form

Transfer Course Level: 100 or higher.

Transfer Course Credits: 1 or more.

Biblical Foundations Theme

Biblical and theological competence consists of attaining scriptural knowledge, understanding theology based on Scripture, and responding to new situations in an authentically Christian manner. Such competence requires a foundational grasp of the Bible and theology, together with the skills for understanding and interpreting the Bible and Christian faith for new situations.

Introduction to the Bible (BIB101)

Traces the journey of God’s people from Abraham and Sarah through the New Testament church, highlighting the unifying self-disclosure of God in the various cultures and types of writing of the Old and New Testaments. A holistic approach is used to introduce students to both historical and thematic content as well as broad, but basic, exegetical principles.

TRANSFER INFORMATION:

Common Necessary Features:  (minimum content & skills required for transfer courses)

  • God’s people from Abraham and Sarah through the New Testament church.
  • God as seen in and communicated through various cultures and types of writing in the Old and New Testament.
  • Introduction to historical context of the Bible.
  • Introduction to theoretical context of the Bible.

Transfer Course Level: 100 or higher.

Transfer Course Credits: 2 or more.

Residency Requirement: At least one course in the Biblical Foundations Theme must be taken at Bethel.

Christian Theology (THE201)

Investigates central themes of the Christian faith from a primarily systematic perspective. These themes are discussed both individually and in terms of the role each plays in worldview formation. Topics include Scripture (inspiration and inerrancy), God (Trinity), the person and work of Jesus Christ (incarnation and atonement), salvation (justification and sanctification), and last things (heaven and hell). Emphasis is placed on the unity and diversity of theological beliefs within Christianity, both past and present, and on the interrelationships between theological understanding, culture, and discipleship.

TRANSFER  INFORMATION:

Common Necessary Features:  (minimum content & skills required for transfer courses)

  • Study the essentials of Christian Theology.
  • Theology is taught primarily from a systematic perspective.
  • Unity and diversity of theological beliefs.

Transfer Course Level:  100 or higher.

Transfer Course Credits: 2 or more.

Residency Requirement: At least one course in the Biblical Foundations Theme must be taken at Bethel.

Interpreting Biblical Themes - Category of Courses (J)

Investigates a significant biblical theme in a manner that emphasizes the development of exegetical skills, the use of interpretive tools, and the hermeneutical task of moving from the situation(s) and worldview(s) in which the writings are expressed to those in which the reader makes application. The chosen theme must have contemporary relevance, span both the Old and New Testaments, and be found in at least two literary genres in each testament. Students gain “hands-on” experience in research, interpretation, application, and written communication through the writing of a major exegesis paper.

TRANSFER INFORMATION:

Common Necessary Features:  (minimum content & skills required for transfer courses)

  • Study of a biblical theme.
  • Development of hermeneutical task of moving from situation of world views of writer and reader, Hands-on experience writing a major exegesis paper which must 1) explain original meaning(s), 2) include a transition or “bridging” section in which the student reflects on the challenges of moving from the ancient culture to the contemporary (for example, does the text offer nothing, one-to-one relations, or abstract principles, etc.?), which 3) leads to responsible contemporary application(s) of the passage.

Transfer Course Level: 200 or higher.

Transfer Course Credits: 2 or more.

Residency Requirement: At least one course in the Biblical Foundations Theme must be taken at Bethel.

Math, Science, and Technology Theme

Introduces students to the basic concepts, processes, ways of thinking, and applications in math and natural science, and promotes an understanding of central issues related to the impacts of science and technology on society.

Mathematics - Category of Courses (M)

Introduces foundational mathematical concepts; reviews and reinforces quantitative skills. Demonstrates pure mathematics as the foundation for the models in use. Students apply appropriate mathematical models and techniques to real-life quantitative problems in order to develop problem-solving skills. Topics addressed include: (a) proportional thinking with ratios, percentages, and decimals; (b) graphs and tables that illustrate trends, rates of change, slopes, and continuous and discrete data; (c) single variable problems, simple algebraic expressions with one unknown; and (d) elementary data analysis, such as unit and unit conversion, data reliability and meaning, significant figures, and basic probability.

TRANSFER INFORMATION:

Common Necessary Features:  (minimum content & skills required for transfer courses)

  • Proportional thinking (ratios, percentages, decimals graphs and tables) that illustrate single variable problems and data analysis.
  • Application of math knowledge and concepts to real world problems from more than one discipline.
  • Development of problem solving skills.

Transfer Course Level: 100 or higher.

Transfer Course Credits: 2 or more.

Lab Science - Category of Courses (D)

Introduces the process and concepts of modern science by focusing on one specific discipline. Provides a broad perspective on scientifically acquired knowledge, inductive methods, and experimental procedures. Laboratory forms a central experiential component of each course, and the analytical procedures used there build and reinforce the student’s mathematical competence. Provides a basis for considering implications for Christian stewardship of the natural world.

TRANSFER INFORMATION:

Common Necessary Features:  (minimum content & skills required for transfer courses)

  • Proportional thinking (ratios, percentages, decimals graphs and tables) that illustrate single variable problems and data analysis.
  • Application of math knowledge and concepts to real world problems from more than one discipline.
  • Development of problem solving skills.

Transfer Course Level: 100 or higher.

Transfer Course Credits: 2 or more.

Science, Technology, and Society - Category of Courses (K)

Addresses the linkage of science and technology with other aspects of contemporary society and the natural environment. Focuses on a technological issue that poses current and emerging choices and rests on a body of scientific understanding. At least one-third of the course addresses the scientific and technological content, and at least one-third integrates it with contemporary issues. Addresses the means and criteria by which society decides how to use and regulate the technology. Gives attention to historical perspectives, the relevant ethical and theological principles, and the mandates for Christian stewardship in response to future challenges. Applies and reinforces at least one of the topics of the mathematics category description.

TRANSFER INFORMATION:

Common Necessary Features:  (minimum content & skills required for transfer courses)

  • Links science and technology with contemporary society.
  • Focuses on technological issues.
  • At least 1/3 of course addresses scientific and technological context.
  • At least 1/3 of integrates science with contemporary issues.
  • Applies and reinforces at least one mathematical concept/skill.
  • Gives attention to historical perspective.

Transfer Course Level: 200 or higher.

Transfer Course Credits: 2 or more.

Global Perspectives Theme

Students first explore Western traditions and their Christian influences, and build the skills to communicate in a foreign language. They move on to a deeper understanding of modern American and European cultures. This background provides a context for the study of other cultures, and the analysis of selected systems that are based upon these diverse cultures.

Christianity and Western Culture (GES130)

Seeks to help students understand the key movements that have influenced the lives of people in Europe and North America up through the Enlightenment. Students read with insight and empathy the writings and lives of those who have influenced the course of world societies. Prepares students to appreciate and evaluate the diverse ways in which Christians have interacted with Western culture by shaping, absorbing, and criticizing the culture of the West.

TRANSFER INFORMATION:

Must be taken at Bethel.  May not be transferred to Bethel.

Second Language - Category of Courses (S)

Equips students to understand and communicate with people of other cultures at the Novice-High level on the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) proficiency scale. In the case of ancient languages (Classical Greek, Latin, Hebrew), students are able to use the language to engage the ideas of those cultures. Documented proficiency in languages not offered at Bethel also serves to meet the requirement of this category. Learning experiences are focused on the use of the language for communication purposes within a broader cultural context. Provides opportunities for students to compare, contrast, and analyze their culture with other cultures.

TRANSFER INFORMATION:

Common Necessary Features:  (minimum content & skills required for transfer courses)

  • Students use language for communication.
  • Learn aspects of culture(s).
  • Understand grammatical structures at basic level (grammar is not the only focus).
  • Equivalent of 2nd semester of first language at the college level (e.g. Elementary, Introductory, Beginning …II/2) or a language course at a higher level.

Transfer Course Level: 100 or higher.

Transfer Course Credits: 3 or more.

Students may fulfill Bethel’s language requirement by:

  1. Completing the second semester of the first year of a (beginning or introductory) college-level language class or higher with a passing grade at Bethel University (e.g., FRE 102S Introductory French II).
  2. Completing the second semester of a first-year (introductory or beginning) college-level language class or higher with grade of C or higher at another college/university (any language other than English).
  3. Earning a score of 3 or better on an Advanced Placement language exam or a score of 50 or better on a language CLEP test.

Note: Students who are native speakers of a language other than English, or who have studied languages other than French or Spanish, should contact the language testing coordinator in the world languages and cultures department.

Contemporary Western Life and Thought - Category of Courses (L)

The main focus of courses in this category is exploring contemporary American life, culture, and thought within the broad context of Western culture and thought. The courses build on the critical historical events, persons, movements, institutions, and worldviews of the enlightenment that have had phenomenal impact on the direction and evolution of Western life and culture. They address the question, “What does it mean to live in a Western culture in the 21st century, given the influences of the past 200 years?” Courses explore some of the key historical and contemporary persons, events, movements, institutions, and worldviews that have shaped Western culture, with significant emphasis on the United States. While they may be taught primarily from the perspective of one academic discipline, they use readings, materials, and insights from at least three disciplines. Although Contemporary Western Life and Thought courses might explore the European heritage, the core emphasis of the courses is the unique nature of the American experience.

TRANSFER INFORMATION:

Common Necessary Features:  (minimum content & skills required for transfer courses)

  • Contemporary American Life (last 200 years) (No more than 1/3 of course may be about historical periods prior to the 19th Century.)
  • Study of influence of last 200 years on American culture today.
  • Core emphasis of the course is the unique nature of the American experience.

Transfer Course Level: 100 or higher.

Transfer Course Credits: 2 or more.

World Cultures - Category of Courses (U)

Focuses primarily on one historical or contemporary cultural group whose ways of thinking and living are substantially different than the dominant cultures of Europe and North America. Generally this is an Asian, African, Latin American, Middle Eastern, or Native American culture. The culture’s religious/philosophical traditions, economic and political structures, and socio-cultural frameworks are examined, along with the various influences that have acted upon the culture’s history and development. Writings by and about the lives of those who have influenced the course of contemporary cultures and societies are included.

TRANSFER INFORMATION:

Common Necessary Features:  (minimum content & skills required for transfer courses)

  • Study of one cultural group.
  • Cultural group, such as Asian, African, Latin American, Middle Eastern, or Native American, different from the dominant culture in US or Europe.
  • Religious/philosophical, economic/political and sociocultural frameworks.
  • Writings by and about the lives of people of the culture.

Transfer Course Level: 100 or higher

Transfer Course Credits: 2 or more

Cross-cultural Experience - Category of Courses (Z)

Students experience an off-campus person-to-person intercultural engagement of at least 25 hours with a specific cultural group that supports the development of awareness of the student’s own culture and the culture with which the student is interacting. Students develop an increased understanding of the complexity and tension cultural difference has on interaction with others. The Z-tag experience places students in an experiential learning environment (domestic or abroad) that includes faculty guided pre-experience preparation and post-experience processing.

The Cross-cultural Experience requirement can be met by passing an approved cross-cultural course indicated by a Z in the course number, completing a semester abroad while a student at Bethel, or completing an approved non-credit experience when undertaken in conjunction with Bethel’s pre and post cross-cultural experience courses (GES 101 and GES 102Z). Registration in GES 101 is required the semester before the experience. Approval of the experience takes place in GES 101. Registration in GES 102Z is required the semester after the experience. These courses are described in the Academic Programs section of this catalog under General Studies. Courses with a Z in their number can be found in the course listings of many different academic departments.

TRANSFER INFORMATION:

Common Necessary Features:  (minimum content & skills required for transfer courses)

  • Must be part of a credit bearing course. Regular transfer policies apply (e.g. grade of C or better, cannot be S/U.)
  • Minimum 25 hours person to person (preferably one on one) with someone from another culture
  • Develops awareness of one’s own culture
  • Identification of values, beliefs, behaviors of a culture different from their own
  • Pre-experience preparation
  • Guided reflection
  • Method for understanding another culture
  • Post-experience processing

Addition transfer information:

  • Students may use a semester abroad program completed while attending Bethel or another accredited college or university.
  • Students who have completed the YWAM’s Discipleship Training School may use this experience to fulfill the Cross-cultural (Z) requirement.
  • Students may not use a previous experience, such as a missions trip, that was not taken for credit at another accredited college or university for the Z requirement.
  • Students may transfer in a college course they have taken that includes the elements above, passed with a grade of C or better, and for which they have received college credit.

Comparative Systems - Category of Courses (G)

Compares and contrasts how societies in their large and small-scale manifestation develop mechanisms and strategies for dealing with numerous fundamental problems those individuals, groups, and institutions must resolve in order to progressively reproduce themselves. Engages students in the comparative examination of: ideas, themes, processes, structures, institutions, or contemporary social, political, economic, religious, national, or international issues. Focuses on at least two distinctly different units of analysis, regions, or historical epochs. Deliberate attention is paid to the impact on different groups of the subject matter under consideration in a particular social and historical context. Students interact with “voices” (readings, materials, and insights) from the societies, regions, or the historical epoch being studied.

TRANSFER INFORMATION:

Common Necessary Features:  (minimum content & skills required for transfer courses)

  • Compares and contrasts societies or compares culture and subculture
  • Writing demonstrating synthesis of perspectives

Transfer Course Level: 200 or higher

Transfer Course Credits: 2 or more

Modular and Integrated Options for First- and Second-Year Courses

Bethel offers two options for completing some of the first- and second-year General Education requirements in the Personal Development, Biblical Foundations, and Global Perspective themes.

Option 1: CWILT (Modular)

Courses offered in the CWILT (pronounced “quilt”) option are described in the Academic Programs section, under General Studies (GES 125GES 130, and GES 160), Biblical and Theological Studies (THE 201), and in the various departments offering Contemporary Western Life and Thought (L) courses. The first two courses, taught by an interdisciplinary team of faculty, introduce students to Western cultural heritage and the fine arts. Lectures are supplemented by small-group discussions in both classes. Understanding and appreciation of the arts are enhanced through visits to galleries and attendance at concerts and plays. Inquiry Seminar is designed to introduce students to researching and writing in the college setting. In the second year of courses, Christian Theology undertakes the investigation of central themes of the Christian faith. A course from the Contemporary Western Life and Thought category engages students with the history of the past two centuries of Western life and thought so that they have a more complete understanding of how Western culture is related to other global perspectives.

Option 2: The Humanities Program (Integrated)

This integrated, interdisciplinary program examines Western humanity’s attempt to answer the deepest questions in life regarding God, the self, and society. The Humanities courses, Western Humanities in Christian Perspective I-IV, emphasize direct experience with great works of literature, theology, philosophy, art, music, and drama. Lectures provide historical background and a model of expertise by faculty specialists. In addition, significant class time is devoted to small-group seminars, where textual analysis, writing instruction, and discussion can occur. Students examine texts in class and experience works of art in Twin Cities galleries, theatres, and concert halls. Because the courses in this option build on each other chronologically and thematically, the four courses in this program must be taken in sequence. Students who complete the Humanities Program replace the requirements of the five courses in Option 1. Courses in the Humanities Program are described in the Academic Programs section of this catalog under General Studies (GES 145GES 147GES 244GES 246).

TRANSFER INFORMATION:

Because of the integrated nature of the Humanities Program courses in the program it may not be transferred to Bethel without the permission of the Humanities Program Director.

General Education Capstone

Contemporary Christian Issues - Category of Courses (P)

This senior capstone course explores selected topics that challenge Christians to make personal and collective choices in light of their Christian values, education, and personal experience. Emphasizes deeper levels of self-understanding or a sharpened sense of some of the complex issues present in our contemporary society. The primary goals of this capstone course are to cultivate holistic and biblically based views of oneself and the world and to facilitate ethical decision-making when faced with these issues. Students explore alternative Christian worldviews that can define and guide decision-making and/or developing oneself. They examine a theme pertaining to one’s personhood and/or relationship to a facet of contemporary society in order to personalize and integrate varied approaches to that issue as part of the process of formulating a personal ethic. Contemporary Christian Issues (P) courses must be taken at Bethel. This requirement cannot be fulfilled through transfer courses.

TRANSFER INFORMATION:

Must be taken at Bethel.  May not be transferred to Bethel.