Bethany Lutheran College (also known as BLC) was founded in 1927 as a coeducation Christian college in Mankato, Minnesota. It is operated by the Evangelical Lutheran Synod. It began as Bethany Ladies College in 1911, but the Norwegian Synod of the American Evangelical Lutheran Church (now known as the Evangelical Lutheran Synod) obtained the campus for both a high school and junior college. The Bethany Lutheran Theological Seminary (BTLS) started a separate institution in 1975. Finally, in 2001, Bethany Lutheran College began awarding baccalaureate and moved up from just being a junior college. Notable graduates have included the founder of Schwan Food Company, Marvin Schwan.
Overlooking the Minnesota River valley, the Bethany Lutheran College campus is fifty acres and the surrounding municipality of Mankato consists of 32,427 according to the 2000 U.S. census. Interesting places in Mankato include the Land of Memories Park which straddles the Blue Earth and Minnesota Rives. The park offers bicycling, camping, disc golf, and soccer. The original Happy Chef restaurant is also located in Mankato including the last 40-foot Happy Chef statue that was formerly a feature of all of the Happy Chef restaurants around the Upper Midwest. Notable individuals who hail from Mankato or call Mankato home include the CEO of General Motors, Daniel Akerson.
Student life at Bethany Lutheran College is very fitness and athletics oriented. Students can get in shape with the two gymnasiums or the baseball, soccer, softball, tennis, and racquetball facilities. Multiple workout rooms and an indoor jogging track are also available. Exceptional dining, lounges, and places of worship are also in abundance. The residence halls are very spacious and comfortable. Virtual tours are available on Bethany Lutheran College’s website for prospective students and their parents to evaluate. Additionally, live webcams of Valley View, Chapel Circle, and Honsey Hall are also available on the school’s website.
BLC does not currently offer a distance learning program, but such options will be likely available in the future. Regardless, Bethany has a strong selection of majors, minors, licensures, and certifications to choose from. Majors include Biology, Broad Field Social Studies, Business Administration, and Elementary Education. Minors include Communication Disorders, Health Communication, Information Systems, and Western Philosophy. Licensures and certifications include Secondary Education, Communication Arts and Literature for Grades 5-12, Social Studies for Grades 5-12, and a Coaching Certificate. Early Childhood Education Specialty is currently being considered as a future licensure option.
Finally, students in need of financial assistance can participate in the Bethany Lutheran College work-study program. This program is a federal option that allows students to work on campus in a variety of positions. In the 2010-2011 academic year, Bethany offered many merit-based scholarships. Some of these included the Meyer Scholarship valued at over $75,000, the Ylvisaker Scholarship valued at $40,000, and the Presidential Scholarship valued at $26,000. Bethany also offers scholarships for students focusing on journalism, music, speech, theatre, or the visual arts.