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History Department

Bethany’s History Department oversees the History Major and related History coursework.

Top of the U.S. Constitution document
Constitution Day

Each year, on or about September 17, the History Department and Legal Studies Department of Bethany Lutheran College jointly sponsor an educational event concerning the U.S. Constitution. The entire campus community plus the general public

Dr. Ryan MacPherson, History Department professor
History Courses

This is a listing of History (HIST) classes available at Bethany. These courses are included in the requirements for the Broad Field Social Studies Major, History Major, Liberal Arts Major, and other programs. Not all

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History Major

Bethany’s history major explores the people, ideas, and events that have shaped America and the world. You will have the opportunity to study everything from ancient Egypt to the rise and fall of Napoleon to

History Department Events

Evidence for Easter (March 25, 2018)

Explore the historical records of the resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth. Christian apologist Allen Quist, author of The Reason I Believe, gave a presentation followed by live Q and A on March 25, 2018. Video Archive, Invitational Video

ELS Homeschool Symposium (April 22, 2018)

The History Department is delighted to co-sponsor the 2nd Annual Evangelical Lutheran Synod Homeschool Symposium, now rescheduled after a snow storm to this new date: Sunday, April 22, 2018, 2 p.m.—7 p.m. Featured speakers include our department chair, Dr. Ryan MacPherson (“Faith and Family: A Classical Lutheran Approach”) and the Rev. Johann Caauwe (“Hymns in the Life of the Church, School, and Home”). Complete Details and Registration Form.

A Reliable and Defensible Christianity for Today’s World: Equipping Christians to Defend and Share the Gospel (June 21, 2018)

Sponsored jointly by the ELS Committee on Apologetics and the Bethany History Department, featuring: Dr. John Eidsmoe, “How a False Worldview Has Eroded Biblical Inerrancy within Churches”; Dr. Ryan MacPherson, “What’s Apologetics Got to Do with Everything?”; and Prof. Allen Quist, “A Lutheran Approach to Apologetics”.

Constitution Day (September 17, 2018)

Each September, the history department sponsors a Constitution Day event commemorating the drafting of the U.S. Constitution, which was finalized on September 17, 1787. Some years, a guest lecturer with expertise in constitutional history visits the campus. Other years, students from the department present their research from classes such as HIST470 The Supreme Court and the American People. Recent student presentations include:

  • The Burning of the Stars and Stripes: An Act of Protected Freedom or Punishable Defiance?
  • The First Amendment v. Promotion of Violence
  • The ACLU: From Civil Liberties to Liberal Causes
  • Sociological Jurisprudence: The Supreme Court during the Progressive Era
  • John Marshall and the Supreme Court
  • The Judicial Philosophy of Antonin Scalia
Northern Great Plains History Conference

Juniors and seniors in the history department have the opportunity to attend the Northern Great Plains Historical Conference with the faculty. This conference meets annually, rotating among several cities in the Midwest. Students who attend gain a first-hand understanding of how academic conferences are conducted. This is particularly helpful for students who are considering applying for graduate study in the historical discipline.

Minnesota Undergraduate History Symposium

Bethany Lutheran College is a charter member of the Minnesota Undergraduate History Symposium, established in 2014. Through a partnership of other Christian colleges and universities in the region, the symposium fosters opportunities for college students in the Upper Midwest to share their research in the field of history, dialogue concerning the significance of the Christian faith in the historian’s vocation, and network for graduate school and career opportunities. Each spring, a cohort of Bethany students give presentations at the annual symposium, whether drawn from a research paper for one of the prior courses or from the a preliminary draft of their senior thesis.

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