The Department of History prepares students who are imaginatively comfortable in a historic past and actively engaged with the present. Based on the conviction that all of God’s creation – including all human beings, who bear the image of God—is worthy of study, the department’s curriculum is constructed broadly; students encounter the histories of peoples from the Americas, Europe, the Middle East, and other regions. The resulting broad knowledge of human history is deepened by the integration of Christian faith and learning, the recurrence of marginalization, empathy, and interconnectedness as historical themes, and the development of passionate curiosity about the past.

In addition to historical knowledge, students will cultivate wisdom, learning to live skillfully in the present day, so that they can serve others and glorify God wherever they are called. In particular, coursework in the Department of History develops skills essential to lifelong learning (research, reading, critical thinking, analysis, synthesis) and communication (listening, writing, speaking, use of multiple media) that prepare graduates for continuing study, good citizenship, service to church and community, and employment in a wide variety of fields—including business, education, law, government, pastoral ministry, journalism, and libraries and museums.

Majors in History

Minor in History

HIS200L • American Civilization. 3 Credits.

An exploration ofAmerican history from early Native American communities to the present. Examination of major social, cultural, economic, political, and religious change over time in the American experience.
Prerequisites: GES130 or GES244 (may be taken concurrently). Offered: Fall, spring

HIS204U • African Civilizations. 3 Credits.

The peoples and cultures of Africa. African social structures, religions, government, warfare, technology, and the arts. Traditional African societies, the impact of Western colonialism, the rise of nationalism, and contemporary issues.
Prerequisites: GES130 (may be taken concurrently) or GES244 (may be taken concurrently). Offered: Occasionally

HIS205U • History of China, Japan, and Korea. 3 Credits.

History and cultures of East Asia. Religion; economic development and trade; and family, social, and political organization. Primary focus on China, Korea, and Japan.
Prerequisites: GES130 (may be taken concurrently) or GES244 (may be taken concurrently). Offered: Spring

HIS206U • History of India and Its Neighbors. 3 Credits.

History of cultures and societies of South Asia. Religion; economic development and trade; and family, social, and political organization of India and its neighbors.
Prerequisites: GES130 (may be taken concurrently) or GES244 (may be taken concurrently). Offered: Occasionally

HIS207U • Latin American Civilizations. 3 Credits.

History of cultures and societies of Latin America. Social, religious, geographic, economic, and political history. The Americas before European contact (with emphasis on Mexico and Central and South America), impact of European conquest and colonization, struggles for independence and national and regional identity, relations with the United States, and Latin America’s place in the global economy.
Prerequisites: GES130 (may be taken concurrently) or GES244 (may be taken concurrently). Offered: Spring

HIS209L • Christianity in America. 3 Credits.

Christianity as a vital factor in North American history and life. Develops an understanding of the European Reformations, the Enlightenment, and other modern developments as factors interacting with Christianity in various aspects of North American culture from colonial times to the present. Exploration of Christian responses to issues such as democracy, imperialism, slavery, secularism, industrialization, materialism, communism, civil rights, pluralism, war, globalization, and technology.
Prerequisites: GES130 or GES244 (may be taken concurrently). Offered: Occasionally

HIS210U • Minorities in America. 3 Credits.

History of multicultural America from the colonial period to the present through a case approach. Focuses on one of the following cultures: Native American, African American, Asian, Hispanic, Jewish American, or Muslim. Examination of themes such as family, society, arts, education, work, slavery, discrimination, immigration-assimilation, democracy, social justice, the role of religion, and women’s concerns as they are experienced by various minority groups.
Prerequisites: GES130 (may be taken concurrently) or GES244 (may be taken concurrently). Offered: Fall, odd # years

HIS212U • History of Islam. 3 Credits.

Introduces the religion of Islam from its inception and development to Islam as it is practiced worldwide today. Students interact with members of the Islamic community in Minnesota in an attempt to understand Islam from the personal experiences of Muslims. Contemporary issues and controversies are examined through the lens of the Muslim experience throughout history.
Prerequisites: GES130 (may be taken concurrently) or GES244 (may be taken concurrently). Offered: Spring. Special Notes: Carries cross-credit in religious studies.

HIS216L • American Constitutional History. 3 Credits.

Examination of the origins and development of American constitutional ideas and institutions from the colonial period to the present. Particular attention paid to the historical connections between major constitutional cases and broader social, political, economic, and cultural trends.
Prerequisites: GES130 or GES244 (may be taken concurrently). Offered: Spring. Special Notes: Carries cross-credit in political science.

HIS217UZ • Hispanic Christianity. 3 Credits.

Hispanic Christianity in Latin America and the United States with focus from the 19th century to date. Colonialism to modernity and new nations; Protestantism from mainlines to grassroots movements; responses to issues such as civil rights, liberation, race, gender, immigration, poverty, and education; diversity of Hispanic theologies, missions, and ministries. Includes significant personal intercultural engagement and service learning with an assigned local Hispanic church or faith-based community service organization.
Prerequisites: GES130 (may be taken concurrently) or GES244 (may be taken concurrently). Offered: Fall, even # years. Special Notes: Spanish language not a requirement.

HIS221L • Making of Minnesota. 3 Credits.

Examination of the historical development of Minnesota up to the present with a social and economic focus: immigration, use and abuse of natural resources, populist politics, intergroup relations, and Minnesota’s impact on the nation.
Prerequisites: GES130 or GES244 (may be taken concurrently). Offered: Occasionally

HIS223L • History of the American West. 3 Credits.

An examination of the history of the American West from 1492 to the present. Particular attention to the interaction and competition of different cultures; the construction of political, economic, and religious institutions; and the physical environment, its representations, and its symbolic importance in the broader context of American history.
Prerequisites: GES130 or GES244 (may be taken concurrently). Offered: Interim, odd # years

HIS230L • World War I. 3 Credits.

An experiential study of the history of the First World War built around travel in England, Belgium, France, and Germany, including visits to battlefield sites, cemeteries, memorials, and museums. Students will learn what it was like to experience and remember total war and to appreciate this particular conflict’s larger significance for American and European culture.
Prerequisites: GES130 or GES244 (may be taken concurrently). Offered: Interim, odd # years

HIS231L • World War II. 3 Credits.

The causes, course, conclusion, and legacy of World War II, particularly as experienced by the people of China, France, Germany, Great Britain, Japan, Russia, and the United States. Key topics include collaboration and resistance, genocide, the war in film, remembrance and forgetting, and the social and economic impacts of the war.
Prerequisites: GES130 or GES244 (may be taken concurrently). Offered: Interim, even # years

HIS241L • Revolution and Political Development. 3 Credits.

Theory and process of modernization, with special emphasis on the Anglo-American historical experience; examinations of U.S. efforts to promote democracy internationally in Europe, Asia, and the Middle East since World War II.
Prerequisites: GES130 or GES244 (may be taken concurrently). Offered: Interim. Special Notes: Carries cross-credit in political science.

HIS245L • History of Women in America. 3 Credits.

Discussion of “What does it mean to be an American woman?” Historical experiences of American women cutting across race, class, and ethnicity are used to examine gender, citizenship, and the meaning of political, social, and cultural history for women and men.
Prerequisites: GES130 or GES244 (may be taken concurrently). Offered: Fall

HIS290 • Introduction to History. 3 Credits.

An introduction to the methodology and philosophy of history, with particular emphases on preparing students for historical research and writing, on the public uses of history, and on the discipline as a Christian vocation.
Offered: Spring.

HIS300 • American Beginnings. 4 Credits.

An exploration of early American history from Native-American communities through the American Revolution. Investigation of the origins and character of American beginnings through the interactions of Native Americans, African Americans, and Euro-Americans. Topics covered include: Native-American responses to European invasion, colonial expansion, slavery, family structure, early industrialism, and the formation of the Constitution.
Prerequisites: HIS200L or sophomore standing. Offered: Fall, odd # years

HIS301 • A New Nation. 4 Credits.

An exploration of 19th century American history from 1790 to 1890. Examination of major social, economic, cultural, political, and religious change in 19th century America, with an emphasis on the intersections of race, class, and gender.
Prerequisites: HIS200L or sophomore standing. Offered: Fall, even # years

HIS302 • History of Sexuality in the United States. 4 Credits.

An examination of the history of sexuality from the colonial period to the present. Particular attention to the impact of religion, culture, government, science, and economics on the formation of sexual mores and identities, and the relationship between sexuality and gender, race, ethnicity, age, and class.
Prerequisites: Sophomore standing. Offered: Spring, even # years

HIS305G • The Cold War. 3 Credits.

The Cold War as an event in international history, studied from the perspective of the United States, the Soviet Union, China, Europe, and the Third World. Introduces students to ongoing historical debates and to the sources historians use in those debates (including declassified documents available online).
Prerequisites: [GES130; Contemporary Western Life and Thought (L) course; World Cultures (U) course] or [GES246; World Cultures (U) course]. Offered: Spring, odd # years. Special Notes: Carries cross-credit in political science.

HIS307 • The American Civil War. 4 Credits.

A history of the American Civil War: causes, course of the war, and short- and long-term consequences. Includes, but is not limited to: examining political, military, social, cultural, economic, religious, and environmental events of the American Civil War.
Prerequisites: HIS200L or sophomore standing. Offered: Spring, odd # years

HIS310 • Near Eastern and Greek Civilizations. 4 Credits.

Roots of Western civilization in the Near East and Greece. World of the Mesopotamian Empire; Egypt of the pharaohs; and Greece of Homer, Socrates, and Alexander. Cultural and historical context for understanding biblical literature.
Prerequisites: GES130 or GES145; sophomore standing. Offered: Occasionally

HIS311 • Roman Civilization. 4 Credits.

Development of the Romans from their origins through their achievement of a world empire to the conversion of the Emperor Constantine. Politics, government, literature, art, philosophy, and religion as well as the emergence and growth of the Christian church. Continuing heritage of Rome in our contemporary world.
Prerequisites: GES130 or GES145; sophomore standing. Offered: Spring

HIS312 • Medieval Europe. 4 Credits.

Historical developments in Western Europe from the reign of Constantine to the era of Petrarch (A.D. 325-1350). Broad cultural, economic, political, social, and religious patterns, with emphasis on the development of the church in its social context.
Prerequisites: GES130 or GES145; sophomore standing. Offered: Occasionally

HIS320K • History and the Human Environment. 3 Credits.

Environmental and geographical background of human history. Agriculture, climate, energy resources, transportation, and diseases, especially as they have influenced the historical development of Western Europe and North America. Implications for current and future environmental concerns.
Prerequisites: Laboratory Science (D) course; Mathematics (M) course. Offered: Fall, spring. Special Notes: Carries cross-credit in geography.

HIS324G • Human Rights in International History. 3 Credits.

International and comparative exploration of how human rights have been defined, violated, and protected. Discussion of historical topics (e.g., the abolition of the slave trade, social reform and Christian missions, the genocides of the 20th century), as well as contemporary issues. May include a service-learning project completed at Bethel or with a local organization.
Prerequisites: [GES130; Contemporary Western Life and Thought (L) course; World Cultures (U) course] or [GES246; World Cultures (U) course]. Offered: Spring, even # years. Special Notes: Carries cross-credit in political science.

HIS328G • Muslim Women in History. 3 Credits.

Global survey of the lives of Muslim women from the 7th century to the present. Examination of how Muslim women’s lives have historically been shaped by their social context, with particular attention to religious interpretation and expression, culture, ethnicity, and geographic location.
Prerequisites: [GES130; Contemporary Western Life and Thought (L) course; World Cultures (U) course] or [GES246; World Cultures (U) course]. Offered: Interim. Special Notes: Carries cross-credit in religious studies.

HIS329 • African Politics. 3 Credits.

Consideration of political development in Africa from the pre-colonial era through the present, focusing on changes in political regimes through time, the nature of economic struggles, and sources of violent conflict. Specific case studies and shared African experiences and challenges will be examined.
Prerequisites: POS202U or POS205 recommended. Offered: Spring. Special Notes: Carries cross-credit in political science.

HIS335G • The Reformations. 3 Credits.

Christian worldviews in the 16th century, including the Protestant Reformation, Catholic Reformation, and Radical Reformation.
Prerequisites: [GES130; Contemporary Western Life and Thought (L) course; World Cultures (U) course] or [GES246; World Cultures (U) course]. Offered: Fall, even # years

HIS350 • Modern America. 4 Credits.

An exploration of 20th century American history from 1890 to the present. Examination of major social, economic, cultural, political, and religious change in modern America, with an emphasis on the intersections of race, class, and gender.
Prerequisites: HIS200L; sophomore standing. Offered: Spring

HIS354 • Modern Europe. 4 Credits.

The social, political, diplomatic, intellectual, and religious history of Europe since 1750. Key themes include political reforms and revolutions, gender roles, industrialization, migration, nationalism, imperialism, total war, totalitarianism, genocide, decolonization, and secularization.
Prerequisites: GES130 or GES246; sophomore standing. Offered: Fall

HIS356 • Modern Middle East. 4 Credits.

Political, social, religious, economic, and cultural history of the Middle East since 1800. Particular attention is paid to colonialism, globalization, war, gender roles revolution, and reform. Controversies such as the Arab/Israeli conflict, the Islamic Revolution in Iran, Saddam Hussein’s Iraq, and the U.S. war on terror are discussed.
Prerequisites: Sophomore standing. Offered: Fall. Special Notes: Carries cross-credit in political science.

HIS360 • Classics in Western Political Philosophy. 4 Credits.

Selected political theorists. Such writers as Plato, Aristotle, Machiavelli, Luther, Calvin, Locke, Marx, and Niebuhr. Concentrates on primary sources.
Prerequisites: One course in political science, philosophy, or European history. Offered: Spring, even # years. Special Notes: Carries cross-credit in philosophy and political science.

HIS370 • Topics in American History. 3-4 Credits.

Selected topics in American history. Specific topic to be announced in advance of registration.
Prerequisites: HIS200L or consent of instructor. Repeatable course: The course may be repeated when a different topic is emphasized. Offered: Occasionally

HIS371 • Topics in European History. 3-4 Credits.

Selected areas, themes, and periods of European history. Specific topic is announced in advance of registration.
Prerequisites: GES130 or GES246; Contemporary Western Life and Thought (L) course. Repeatable course: The course may be repeated when a different topic is emphasized. Offered: Occasionally

HIS372 • Topics in Global History. 3 Credits.

Selected themes, periods, and areas, focusing on Asia, Africa, or Latin America. Specific topic to be announced in advance of registration.
Prerequisites: GES130 or GES246; Contemporary Western Life and Thought (L) course or GES246; World Cultures (U) course. Repeatable course: May be repeated when a different topic is emphasized. Offered: Occasionally

HIS400 • Research in History. 3 Credits.

An opportunity to work with a member of the history faculty on a major research project.
Prerequisites: Major in history; coursework appropriate to the area of research; invitation of supervising faculty member; consent of department. Offered: Occasionally. Special Notes: No student may take more than six credits in HIS400 and/or directed study.

HIS481 • Internship in History. 1-4 Credits.

A practical experience in applying academic skills in an off-campus setting under the dual supervision of a history faculty member and a practicing historian or related professional. Designed by student in consultation with history department faculty.
Prerequisites: Major in history. Offered: Occasionally

HIS499 • Senior Seminar. 4 Credits.

Historiography, historical methodology, and the philosophy of history. Emphasis on synthesis, integration, and writing of a research paper.
Prerequisites: Senior standing and HIS290 (or consent of instructor). Offered: Spring