Philosophy programs at many Christian institutions have become primarily degrees in apologetics or Christian ethics.This is not the case at Bethel; ours is a true philosophy degree. The philosophy faculty have earned PhDs in philosophy from reputable research universities. Courses that are taught cover the traditional systematic areas of philosophy and are informed by current scholarship in the field. Students leave the program with a broad base of philosophical knowledge and an understanding of the current problems with which philosophers are engaged.
But while we are pleased to offer a classical degree in philosophy, we make no apologies for the Christian perspective from which it is taught. Our philosophy department is situated within the School of Religion and Philosophy, so we constantly rub shoulders with those studying biblical literature or preparing for the ministry or other full-time Christian service. In the end, we will weigh the success of our philosophy program by the contributions it has made in advancing the Kingdom of God.
Philosophy Major Courses
The courses offered for the Philosophy major are grouped into three areas as follows:
- PHIL 310 Ancient and Medieval Philosophy
- PHIL 311 Modern Philosophy
- PHIL 312 19th and 20th Century Philosophy
- PHIL 313 Major Philosophers
- PHIL 301 Symbolic Logic
- PHIL 321 Ethics and Value Theory
- PHIL 330 Theory of Knowledge
- PHIL 341 Metaphysics
- PHIL 430 Philosophy of Science
- PHIL 440 Philosophy of Religion
- PHIL 441 Philosophy of Mind
- PHIL 461 Seminar in Philosophy
Requirements for a Double Major
The vast majority of our students who major in philosophy also have majors in other disciplines like History, Biblical Literature, Mathematics, English, Art, Business, or Liberal Studies. The philosophy major can be paired with any other major at Bethel that has sufficient room in its curriculum for electives. When this option is chosen, the requirements for the Philosophy major are satisfied by completing: any three of the History courses, any three of the Systematic courses, and any two of the Specialty courses-a total of 8 three-hour courses, for 24 hours.
Requirements for a Single Major
If a student desires to major in Philosophy alone, the degree requirements are satisfied by completing any ten of the twelve major courses for 30 hours in Philosophy, plus the following cognates courses:
- THEO 310 Systematic Theology I
- THEO 411 Systematic Theology II
- THEO 340 Christian Apologetics
- SOC 439 Western Social Thought
- 6 hours of any HIST courses at the 300-400 level
- 6 hour of any LIT courses at the 300-400 level
Bethel awards a minor in philosophy to students who complete the six hours of general studies philosophy courses (Logic & Critical Thinking, Introduction to Philosophy, and Senior Year Experience) plus 12 more hours in any PHIL courses.
Concentration in Philosophy
Bethel's Liberal Studies degree requires that concentrations of courses must be taken in three areas. Taking 16, 12, or 9 hours of philosophy courses (beyond the general studies philosophy courses) satisfies one of these areas of concentration for a B.A. in Liberal Studies.