Lutheran Identity

Lutheran ChurchBethany College is a ministry of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), owned and operated by the Central States Synod and the Arkansas/Oklahoma Synod of the ELCA.

Bethany College takes its understanding of Lutheran identity from the life and witness of Martin Luther (1483-1546), whose protest against medieval Christianity set off the Protestant Reformation in the 16th century.

  1. Bethany College takes seriously the example of Luther who continued to courageously defend the Gospel of Christ throughout his life, no matter what powers were arrayed against him. For this reason integrity shapes our identity, and the college endeavors to foster Christian faith, witness and worship in the modern world. The core of Bethany College remains a community of Christians who seek to emphasize these values.
  2. Bethany College understands with the Gospel that we are saved by God’s grace, and not through human endeavor. All are equally sinners and all are called to holiness through God’s redemptive grace. In light of this Bethany College seeks to be a place of mutual hospitality to others, a place where grace constantly makes its presence felt by establishing a community of inclusiveness and diversity, free of all forms of discrimination, and supportive of the rights and dignity of all persons. Bethany College welcomes diversity of religious thought among its faculty and student body.
  3. Bethany College recognizes that God’s grace has sanctified all creation, and thus that there is, for the believer, no distinction between the natural and the supernatural. All academic studies are profitable for our study, and no questions are prohibited in the pursuit of knowledge. This is one sign of the freedom of the Christian, a sign seen especially in the spirit of Luther’s great partner Philip Melanchton (1497-1560), who revolutionized education in Germany in his day with the spirit of the study of liberal arts and the sciences.
  4. Bethany College recognizes that each person is called by God into service and love of others. Our calling or vocation involves both our roles and responsibilities in relationship with others, but also the need to exhibit leadership in the human community. Bethany College does not embrace a narrow understanding of vocation as a mere secular profession or a job. The collegiate life is a search for both truth and meaning, and meaning specifically in the work that each individual is called to do in her or his lifetime.
  5. Bethany College recognizes its responsibility to the church and to its own future by exercising stewardship over its own resources and by supporting the church through those resources. In all this, the college recognizes its own sustainability and that of the church in all its responsibilities, and does so because of its own vocation to be a light to the world.

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