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Student Life

The Rev. Billy Kirk Scholar Leadership Program

The Rev. Billy Kirk Scholar Leadership program honors a man who served as a pastor and leader in the South Bend community for almost 50 years. In addition to being a Bethel College student in the 1950s, Rev. Kirk received an honorary doctorate from Bethel in 2001 recognizing his commitment to the South Bend/Mishawaka community. He embodied the intellectual curiosity, desire for stronger community and spiritual commitment for which we all should strive. This award opens the door for students to freely pursue their life calling and leadership development. The purpose of this program is to assist minority culture students in their pursuit of a Christian education at Bethel College.

“From its beginning, the BKSL program has sought to recruit minority culture students that have displayed leadership potential as well as academic excellence,” explains Alex Gonzalez, Campus Coordinator for the Center for Intercultural Development.  “These students take part in leadership training and development, equipping them with the tools needed to be a positive influence during their time at Bethel.”

Billy Kirk Scholars attend a pre-college session upon acceptance into the program as well as participate in a summer retreat leading up to their freshman start. While students at Bethel, scholars will:

  • Hold weekly meetings 
  • Plan various campus events (including Martin Luther King Jr. chapel and Intercultural Festival)
  • Experience various leadership training opportunities
  • Have fellowships, outings, and retreats
  • Hold student leadership positions on campus

To apply or for more information, contact the admission office at 1.800.422.4101.