Hesston College located (surprisingly enough) in Hesston, Kansas, is a two year school sponsored by the Mennonite Church USA that offers a Christ-oriented education to students from over 30 state and 15 different countries. Though primarily a Christian college, the school teaches students from two dozen religious faiths, Hesston offers 50 majors over its various Associate’s programs, as well as various four year preparatory programs.
Established in 1909, the college now houses 12 buildings on a 50 acre campus that contains a student body of about 450 looking to get a solid educational foundation. Hesston offers two year programs that immediately give students the leadership and educational opportunities that “are usually reserved for juniors and seniors” at other colleges. Their focus is on giving you the education now that most schools don’t offer until further into your degree programs, giving you better preparation when you transfer to a four year institution.
Curricula at Hesston isn’t all about religion, as their variety of Associate’s degree programs runs from Pastoral Ministries to Nursing (as well as typically useful ones like Business and Computer Information Technologies). In addition, they also have a fantastic Aviation program that can get students their pilot’s license in the first couple months (again, giving freshman/sophomores more immediate access to education usually reserved for later years) and gets them degreed within two years for commercial flying. They also offer 30+ majors for students who will eventually be transferring to four year schools, giving them a leg up by more effectively bridging the gap between secondary and college educations. Transfer students enter the next step of their four year programs at larger universities, but have a better array of skills and background work than those who went directly from high school to four year college. They also offer several pre-professional programs, from Pre-Law to Pre-Med, but have no distance learning programs.
Religion is a major part of every program at Hesston, though it does not permeate to all aspects. All students are required to take two Hesston College Distinctives, the first being a Biblical Lit course and the second a choice from several Anabaptist themed courses. In addition, Mennonite tradition influences how classes are taught, using their faith commitment to help create a harmonious environment for learning. This method of teaching utilizes faith and love in all interactions, not just between students, but with students and faculty. Teachers care about student growth and work closely with them (there is a 12:1 faculty student ratio), using their own faith to encourage students to excel and become complete/integrated thinkers before even going to four year schools.
Shaping minds through a religion based on harmony and interactions, Hesston is a “little nugget of paradise” that prepares students with an educational philosophy of closeness and respect, giving them leadership skills that go beyond the campus and help at the next level.