Bethel College


Becoming a Social Worker at Bethel

Bethel College appears in our ranking of the 35 Best Value Christian Colleges with CSWE-accredited Programs.

Reaccredited in February 2011, the Bachelor of Science in Social Work is Bethel College's only option for students called to assist marginalized people with Kansas LBSW licensure. Chaired by Dr. Ada Schmidt-Tieszen in Wills Family Academic Center, the 62-credit, upper-division major helps "Connect to Purpose" by building the bio-psychosocial foundation to generalist practice. Juniors begin highly engaged courses like Social Welfare Institutions, Human Systems Assessment, and Justice Interventions with a 10:1 student-faculty ratio. At least 400 field instruction hours at Valley Hope, Good Shepherd Hospice, Wichita Children's Home, Asbury Park, St. Francis Community Services, Offender Victim Ministries, and others are required before the senior thesis. Bethel undergrads might also take the QUEST Mexico trip, add the Conflict Resolution Certificate, join Students for Social Change, serve with the Mennonite Disaster Network, contribute to Project 88, minor in Spanish, and attend the KIPCOR Restorative Justice Conference.

About Bethel College

Bethel College was chartered on May 11, 1887, after Russian Mennonite immigrants led by pastor David Goerz settled the Kansas prairieland. Six years later, the Administration Building was opened to an inaugural coed class of 98. As North America's first Mennonite university, Bethel taught Bible bilingually in English and German until 1918. Dedicated to 1 Corinthians 3:11, Bethel College received accreditation in 1938 and reached all-time high enrollment in 1980. Endowed for $17.1 million, Bethel College now immerses 460 Treshers, including Social Work majors, from 27 states in nonprofit liberal arts education. Its 120-acre, Romanesque campus on the National Register of Historic Places ideally stands just 28 miles from Wichita in North Newton. Linked to 1,806 LinkedIn alumni, Bethel College has graduated Jacob Ewert, Ted Kessinger, Susan Loepp, Polingaysi Qoyawayma, and more.

The U.S. News & World Report featured Bethel in the top 229 national liberal arts colleges with the 184th highest high school counselor rank. On Niche, Bethel boasts America's 69th best standout academics, 89th safest campus, 273rd top dorms, and 275th best small learning community. College Factual named Bethel the 341st most diverse school with the 543rd best social work department. Forbes placed Bethel College 566th overall with the 191st top liberal arts education. The "College of Distinction" made the country's top 12 graduation rates in Postsecondary Education Opportunity. According to Mother Jones, Bethel is one of eight institutions with great values at good prices. In 2014, Bethel reached the #3 spot among Washington Monthly's top baccalaureate schools. Christian Universities Online listed Bethel College 49th for lowest debt burden too.

Bethel College Accreditation Details

In August 2012, Bethel College hosted an interim focused visit from the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association (HLC-NCA) to continue the Level II accreditation through 2019 under its 15th president, Dr. Jonathan Gering. Headquartered 10.5 hours northeast via Interstate 55 in Chicago, this mega 19-state Midwest authority is recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education for evaluating the academic quality of Bethel's 22 bachelor's and seven certificate offerings in North Newton. Bethel College also has one of the United States' 521 BSW majors accredited by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE).

Bethel College Application Requirements

Admission to Bethel College is labeled "moderately difficult" by Peterson's because just 431 of the 770 Fall 2016 applicants were successful for 56 percent acceptance. First-year Threshers preparing for the Bachelor of Science in Social Work need to finish a diploma or GED. Holding a 2.5 GPA and 19 ACT or better qualifies for automatic approval. Same goes for undergrad transfers with 24+ credits and minimum 2.25 GPAs. However, the BSSW major has its own criteria for second-term sophomores. Students must pass all lower-level prerequisites, such as General Psychology, Introduction to Economics, Statistics, and Life-Span Development. Academic grades above "C-" should result in a cumulative 2.5 GPA or higher. Evidence of service commitment and emotional maturity with 40+ volunteer hours is preferred. English language learners also need a 540 TOEFL pBT or 900 SAT Math/Critical Reading score.

Bethel College has rolling admission with an April 1st priority deadline for financial aid consideration. Applying directly to the Department of Social Work must be done before the SWK360 course. Interested BSSW students should complete the 30-minute online application. Have official documents mailed to 300 East 27th St. in North Newton, KS 67117. Acceptance decisions come in three weeks and require a $200 enrollment deposit if chosen. Contact (316) 294-5239 or [email protected] any time for admission guidance. The free application needs these:

  • Official high school and college course records
  • Test scores (code 1390 for ACT or 6037 for SAT)
  • Signed Student Life Contract of community standards
  • Three reference forms from faculty and supervisors
  • One-page, autobiographical essay of practice goals
  • I-20 form, English exams, and proof of income (foreign only)

Tuition and Financial Aid

For 2018-19, Bethel College is charging full-time Bachelor of Science in Social Work majors $14,150 per 16-week semester or $28,300 annually. Undergrads pay the $200 deposit, $240 activity fee, and $750 campus life fee. Health insurance premiums cost $1,700 per year if opted. Living at the North Newton campus' dorms like Haury Hall adds $8,850 for room and board. Bethel suggests budgeting $1,200 for personal expenses, $1,500 for travel, $1,000 for books, and $600 for athletic insurance fees. Annual bachelor's attendance equals $42,040 on-site and $33,850 with family. Note that the Bethel Four-Year Graduation Guarantee is estimated to save BSSW students $26,141 over state schools though.

According to the NCES College Navigator, the Financial Aid Office connects 97 percent of full-time Bethel Threshers to mean assistance packages worth $17,674 each for $7.84 million total. Collegiate funds include the Academic Grant, Dean's Scholarship, Merit Scholarship, Robert W. Schmidt Scholarship, Mennonite Racial/Ethnic Grant, Millennium II Scholarship, AmeriCorps Matching Grant, 125th Anniversary Scholarship, and AVID/Upward Bound Scholarship. The Mennonite Heritage Program gifts $50,000 over four years to active Church members. First-time freshmen committing to five hours of volunteer per week earn $5,500 renewable awards. As of 2018, the Yellow Ribbon Program covers $23,671 of private tuition for veterans with GI Bill benefits. Federal Pell and FSEOG Grants are awarded based on income reported on FAFSA forms coded 001905. The Kansas Board of Regents offers the Comprehensive Grant, State Scholarship, James B. Pearson Fellowship, and others in-state. Bethel College also pays undergrad campus workers on the 26th monthly.

Learn more about Bethel College at the Department of Social Work website.