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Bethany Lutheran College , founded in 1927, is a Christian liberal arts college owned and operated by the Evangelical Lutheran Synod (ELS). Bethany and the ELS share common beliefs and practices with the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod and do not ascribe to modern liberal Lutheranism. The fifty-acre campus overlooks the Minnesota River Valley in Mankato, Minnesota, a community of approximately fifty thousand people.

We Believe the Truth of the Bible

At Bethany, we understand the Bible as the inspired and powerful Word of God. We regard the entire Bible as truth and without error. The Bible provides the foundation for Bethany to equip students in developing God-pleasing vocations in the family, church, community, and nation. Families from many Christian denominations (Catholic, Baptist, Presbyterian, Methodist, Evangelical, Orthodox, Home Church, and other Christocentric backgrounds) appreciate Bethany’s Bible-based approach to higher education.

Our Christian Community

For over half a century, Bethany has a history of valuing the souls of students from all nations and backgrounds and is rich in diversity. All students are welcome at Bethany, providing breadth of thought and discussion. Many students come to Bethany with a strong foundation in Christian instruction, and they discuss topics with their Christian professors alongside students who are perhaps hearing God’s plan of salvation for the first time. This provides students the opportunity to both share and defend their faith in a safe setting. Students enjoy many aspects of our Christian campus experience including gathering as a community for daily chapel services, as well as Bible study and service opportunities that encourage and facilitate students to put their faith into practice.

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Bethany's Core Beliefs and Guiding Principles

  • At Bethany, we believe that God’s Son, Jesus, paid for the sins of all on the Cross.
  • Because of God’s undeserved love for us, we seek to live according to His will including obedience to the ten commandments which provides a guide for Christian living.
  • We support the Christian Worldview that is at times in opposition to Critical Theory. Because of the work of Jesus as the world’s Savior from sin, we believe He is the true unifier of all people. 2 Corinthians 5:15-17 (ESV) – and he died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised. From now on, therefore, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we once regarded Christ according to the flesh, we regard him thus no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.
  • Christians have compassion for all people, especially those who experience historical or societal hardships and take extra empathetic steps to help, which includes enhanced support for achieving a college degree.
  • The ELS and Bethany value the service of men and women in our nation’s armed forces and strive to make every effort to accommodate them in the enrollment process and while attending. The ELS and Bethany host a Veterans Memorial on the BLC campus.
  • The College believes in the Biblical view of God’s gift of gender and family built on life-long marriage between a man and woman.
  • We believe and teach the Genesis account of Creation, as described by Answers in Genesis, to be the correct understanding of the world’s origin. This equips students to also examine the theory of evolution so they may be prepared to encounter professional discussions in fields such as in STEM, medical, and other career paths where an understanding of this secular viewpoint may be needed. 

The Greater Mankato Community

As Mankato’s Christian college, Bethany students also have opportunities to take in community life in Mankato, North Mankato, and Greater Mankato enjoying live music, late-night coffee, or dining at one of 100-plus restaurants in the area.

Bethany Athletics is part of NCAA Division III and includes 17 varsity programs. Excellent athletic facilities include two gymnasiums, three athletic fields, tennis and racquetball courts, fitness rooms and an indoor track.

Bethany loves to get creative! Browse our programs in art, music, theatre, and speech. Check out the Ylvisaker Fine Arts Center and our other arts facilities.

On our beautiful 50-acre campus, there are 11 buildings, including many great places for the arts, athletics, academics, worship, and more! Bethany's residential students occupy four residential buildings.

In 1911, Bethany Ladies College opened with 44 students and four faculty members. In 1927, the Norwegian Synod (later known as the Evangelical Lutheran Synod) purchased the college and operated it as a two-year co-educational junior college until 2001. Since 2001, Bethany has been a baccalaureate-granting institution.

BLC is a Christian liberal arts college owned and operated by the Evangelical Lutheran Synod and committed to the teachings of the Bible as expressed in the statements of faith known as the Lutheran Confessions.

Bethany is located in the heart of Mankato, Minnesota, a welcoming, friendly, and safe community of just over 50,000 residents. Mankato includes a variety of shopping spots including a large mall. Coffee shops, gift stores, and antique shops add a unique flavor to the downtown area. The Verizon Center, just one mile from Bethany, hosts concerts, entertainment acts, and sporting events. Mankato also has numerous lakes, rivers, trails, parks, golf courses, and ski areas. Additionally, all of the exciting cultural and entertainment opportunities of Minneapolis-St. Paul are just 80 miles away. Learn more about our Mankato Community.

Gene Pfeifer is the current President of Bethany Lutheran College.

Read more about Bethany's President, Board of Regents, and other leadership.

Support BLC

Bethany depends on alumni and friends to continue its important mission.

Thank you for your prayer and support.

Next Steps

Interested in studying at Bethany? Scheduling a campus visit is a great way to see what we have to offer. You can meet professors or sit in on a class too! Contact our admissions office to learn more.