Humanities

Build a unique course of study to match your interests.

Individualized Program

Add value to your undergraduate education by honing your reading, writing and thinking skills, by studying the great books, great ideas and entering the great conversation in our deeply committed Christian community.

The Humanities major is a 30-hour program where you choose electives from literature, philosophy, history, languages and fine arts. It can be part of a double major, not a stand-alone major.

Time to complete: To date, all students graduating with the Humanities major have completed a double major in four years.

Common second majors have been Psychology, Biology, History, English & Writing, Philosophy and Liberal Studies.

Requirements: There are no specifically required courses, so Humanities majors tend to pick course topics that interest them. There are 27 credit hours of study in literature, philosophy and other electives in the humanities (history, language and fine arts) and a 3-hour capstone project (HUM 499).

Humanities Project: Students attempt to synthesize their learning during the year-long Humanities Project by producing a portfolio and final project. Recent projects have included novel-length fiction, book length memoir, research essay and even film. This project becomes part of the student's e-portfolio.

Alumni careers: Recent graduates teach in America and abroad, attend medical and graduate school, serve as missionaries, work in the publishing industry, and work as editors.

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Staff & Faculty

Robby Prenkert, chair of the Department of Literature & Language Studies and The Committee on the Humanities, teaches composition, Gateway to English, and various literature and creative writing genre courses. He completed his M.A. in intercultural studies from Wheaton College (1994) and his doctorate in arts and letters from Drew University 2007. 

Prenkert was Bethel’s 2007 “Professor of the Year” and was co-chair of the Multi-Ethnic Resource Team (MERT) from 2010-2014. He is an associate editor of Reflections, the journal of the Missionary Church Historical Society, and he regularly presents conference papers on topics related to teaching writing and literature as a Christian practice. 

David Schmidt received his B.A. from George Fox College in Newburg, Ore., and a master of divinity from the Associated Mennonite Biblical Seminary in Elkhart, Ind. He was awarded a Ph.D. in history and religious studies from the University of California at Santa Barbara in 1998, after completing his dissertation entitled, “ “Till Christ Jesus Be Exalted: Quaker Political Pamphlets During the Restoration of the Rump Parliament.”

Prior to teaching at Bethel College, Schmidt worked and taught at UCSB, Whitworth College in Spokane, Wash., and Westmount College in California.

Timothy Paul Erdel (Brother Tim) spent his formative years in Ecuador, where three generations of his family have lived. He holds degrees from Fort Wayne Bible College, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, The University of Chicago, and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

He is a licensed minister and the denominational archivist for the Missionary Church, Inc. He was formerly a missionary with World Partners to Jamaica and an inner city pastor in Chicago. He has also held academic appointments at some two dozen schools, from a rural seminary in Cuba to Columbia University.