Welcome to Bethel College’s online home for the humanities. We hope you will take a look around the site and seriously consider Bethel College and our program. The Committee on the Humanities offers both a stand-alone major (47 credit hours) and a double major (29 credit hours, plus a full second major).
If you love great books, great ideas and great conversation about the timeless questions about life and meaning, you are in the right place. Consider:
- A major in humanities is a true liberal arts education, an education aiming at both breadth and interdisciplinary inquiry. Humanities majors learn to see beyond narrow compartments and to make connections across more narrowly defined disciplines.
- A major in humanities offers you the chance to explore timeless human concerns in an interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary way. The study of humanitas (Cicero’s word for "good human," which required the study of classics) predates the study of many more specific subdisciplines within the humanities.
- A major in humanities is excellent preparation for graduate studies in an amazingly broad variety of fields.
- A student majoring in humanities learns well the arts of reading, writing, speaking and listening. These skills are enormously useful in a rapidly changing world and for an astounding variety of careers.
- Studying the humanities has a humanizing effect upon the student. A student of the humanities should be a more cultured, self-fulfilled, self-aware and literate person.
Above all, though, we aim to keep Christ at the center of all we do. The aim of a Bethel College humanities major is not simply be to produce humanists, but to encourage students on their journeys toward becoming "humanist Christians," building a bridge between Jerusalem and Athens. The substance of our being is Christ himself. Humanist merely describes us.
While we strongly believe that an education in humanities can enhance the quality of one’s life, sharpen one’s vision, cultivate one’s desire for and love of virtue, awaken one’s moral sensibility, fuel one’s righteous indignation, and even exercise one’s empathetic imagination, we also realize that studying the humanities cannot save our souls. Only Jesus Christ can save us from our sinful selves. We wish to avoid any idolatrous misconceptions about the ultimate efficacy of the humanities.
Nevertheless, under God the humanities are an essential dimension of what He intended for us — human beings bearing his image and redeemed to the mind of Christ — to know, to understand and to appreciate. As faculty in the humanities’ disciplines, our greatest passion is in mentoring students on their journeys as liberally educated humanists, full of the Holy Spirit, dedicated to becoming like Christ.