New interfaith studies minor


– Pryor


– Atkinson

Bethany College received a $10,000 grant awarded by the Interfaith Youth Core for establishing an Interfaith Studies Minor. The grant, funded through the Teagle Foundation, will provide scholarships for pilot students that will begin pursing the minor in the spring term of this academic year.

Religion Professors Adam Pryor and Tyler Atkinson developed the new minor by working with departments outside of Religion. The course sequence

introduces interfaith curricula within classes already offered in pre-professional programs such as business, education, pre-medicine, and pre-pharmacy.

“We are working with instructors and developing learning objectives that foster interfaith understanding,” Atkinson said. “As our country continues to ask what it means to be diverse, we think this type of training will be relevant as students begin their careers.”

According to the award letter, the Interfaith Youth Core received a higher than anticipated number of proposals for the grant, and was impressed by the overall quality and creativity of the Bethany program. Interfaith Youth Core is an organization that works globally and with more than 200 colleges and universities to build successful models of interfaith cooperation.

The new minor allows students in pre-professional programs an opportunity to obtain a religion minor without adding many extra classes to their class load. The Interfaith Studies Minor will require participation in Bethany’s Peer Ministry program as well as utilize several interdisciplinary classes that are already established.

“Some of the students in the pre-professional programs were interested in a religion minor, but it was difficult to obtain with all the classes they were required to take,” Atkinson said. “We looked at ways to use classes we already offered that could foster greater interfaith understanding. This awareness will be important as these students enter into an increasingly diverse society.”

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Auxiliary makes donation


Pictured from left are Kris Isaacson, Karen Stugelmeyer, Carol Gusenius, President Will Jones, and Elly Ostlind.

Members of the Bethany College Auxiliary presented a gift to fund scholarships to President Will Jones on Tuesday, July 26.

The Auxiliary is a organization of graduates and friends first established in the 1950’s to support the college and also to fund an endowed student scholarship. Fundraising efforts include sales of the popular “Measure For Pleasure” cookbook, now in it’s fourth edition, and members volunteering to bake cookie and cake orders for student’s special events from their parents.
The group meets four times during the school year with programs on a variety of topics related to Bethany College  and Lindsborg community interests. If you would like more information about Auxiliary membership, please call chairperson Carol Gusenius at 785-906-0285 or email  Other executive board members include Elly Ostlind, Karen Stugelmeyer, Kris Isaacson and Janet Monson.
Details for Care Packages can be found on the Parents & Family webpage.
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Jorsch leads collaboration



Dr. Thomas Jorsch, professor in the Bethany College Department of History and Political Science, will serve as director of a collaborative project between the McPherson County Old Mill Museum in Lindsborg and the College. The digital humanities project, “Lindsborg During World War I: Service, Sacrifice, and Dissent,” was recently awarded a grant of $3,223 from the Kansas Humanities Council.

“Once completed, this collaborative project will tell the story of how World War I affected people in Lindsborg,” Dr. Jorsch said. “The digital nature of the project will make it easily accessible to anybody as a tool to learn about the past and promote discussion about the varied ways people and a community respond to war.”

According to Julie Mulvihill, executive director of the Kansas Humanities Council, the Heritage grants encourage the preservation of local cultural resources. “This project is an innovative way to explore the impact the of war on Lindsborg residents through World War I artifacts, photographs, and other primary resources.”

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Lutheran college vocation

Candles2-(3)Members from the Bethany College faculty, staff, and students attended the Vocation of a Lutheran College Conference at Augsburg College in Minneapolis on June 8-10. The annual conference, supported by the ELCA, brings together members of Lutheran colleges to explore the distinctive roles they play in higher education.

Melody Steed, assistant academic dean; Linda Ball, administrative assistant; and William Strommen, a senior from Salina majoring in history and political science, represented Bethany at this year’s conference.

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Professor receives fellowship



Assistant Professor of Religion Adam Pryor has been selected  to participate on a research team at Princeton University’s Center of Theological Inquiry for the next academic year.

Professor Pryor will be a research fellow on an interdisciplinary team of theologians and scholars in the humanities and social sciences that will work in dialogue with leading astrobiologists on the Societal Implications of Astrobiology. The research team is in its second year of inquiry and is supported by the NASA Astrobiology Program and the John Templeton Foundation.

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Third-Party Comments

Bethany LogoBethany College is seeking comments from the public about the College in preparation for its periodic evaluation by its regional accrediting agency.

Bethany College will host a visit October 31-November 2, 2016, with a team representing the Higher Learning Commission. Bethany College is currently accredited and has been accredited by HLC since 1932. The College was placed on probation in 2015. The team will review the institution’s ongoing ability to meet HLC’s Criteria for Accreditation.

The public is invited to submit comments regarding the College to the following address:

Public Comment on Bethany College
Higher Learning Commission
230 South LaSalle Street, Suite 7-500
Chicago, IL 60604-1411

The public may also submit comments on the HLC website at:

Comments must address substantive matters related to the quality of the institution or its academic programs. Comments must be in writing.

All comments must be received by September 30, 2016.

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2016 Commencement

untitled-8031On May 15, Bethany College honored 115 students who earned Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Music, and Bachelor of Music Education from the college during the 2015-2016 academic year. Summer, fall, interterm, and spring graduates were honored during Baccalaureate worship and Commencement ceremonies on campus.

untitled-8190Bishop Michael Girlinghouse of the Arkansas-Oklahoma Synod of the ELCA in Tulsa was the preacher at morning Baccalaureate service. Bishop Girlinghouse encouraged the graduates to embrace their uniqueness and share their wisdom of what it means to live in a diverse world.

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Board announces new President


William Jones

From an early age Will Jones, 43, was told, “You will be a college graduate.” Some may have taken that for granted, but for somebody like Jones who grew up in Kensee Hollow, Kentucky, the son of parents who dropped out of school, his mother in the eighth grade and father in the ninth grade, it was a life changing statement.

And it is part of what has inspired him to lead Bethany College as its 14th President. The Board of Directors announced his appointment as the College’s new President on Friday, May 13 at a campus forum.

“A school like Bethany College saved my life,” he said. “Bethany is a good fit for me and I am right for Bethany and Lindsborg. I am excited to engage Bethany College alumni in the lives of the Bethany students.”

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Campus remembers Isaacson

Professor of Communication, Carl Isaacson

Professor of Communication, Carl Isaacson

A celebration of life service honoring long-time Bethany College professor of communications, Dr. Carl Isaacson, will be held Wednesday at 4 p.m. in the Pearson Chapel at Bethany.

The campus community is invited to gather in the chapel for music, prayers, and opportunities to share remembrances.  The service will close at the end of the hour with a toast to Dr. Isaacson and some refreshments in the lobby of the chapel.

Dr. Isaacson passed away on Monday, May 9. He was professor of communications at Bethany since 2004 and was chair of the department. He taught all aspects of communication and was highly regarded by his students and colleagues for his wit and wisdom.

His fields of interested included Swedish Americana. He served as educator/curator of the Swedish American Museum Center in Chicago, and his research had been published in the Chronicle of Higher Education and American Communication Journal. He took special pride in his project of translating, adapting and directing the student production of “Barabbas,” based on the Pär Lagerkvist’s 1950 novel, for the 2006 Messiah Festival of the Arts.

He received his Ph.D. in theatre from the University of Minnesota and held a M.Div. with a major in Parish Ministry from Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary in Columbia, South Carolina.

Funeral services are scheduled for Saturday, May 14 at 11 a.m. at Bethany Lutheran Church in Lindsborg with visitation Friday, May 13 from 4 to 7 p.m. at Christians Funeral Home, Lindsborg.

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Gallery features photos

TurnerBethany College will feature the work of long-time friend and College photographer, Jim Turner, in a photo exhibition beginning May 7 through May 31 in the gallery at the J.E. and L.E. Mabee Welcome Center.

Turner attended Bethany College beginning in the fall of 1964. After serving in the United States Navy as a photographer’s mate, he returned to Lindsborg purchased an existing studio in in 1972 and began operating a commercial photography business. For the past 15 years he has pursued a fine arts photography studio, Brick Street Gallery. Along with this business, he has also been documenting life at Bethany College for 44 years.

A large share of Turner’s work is of Lindsborg and the Smoky Valley area; however, he has photographed extensively in Scotland and Great Britain and most recently conducted a photography workshop in Baku, Azerbaijan in partnership with the United States Embassy. He will return there this spring for a photography exhibition featuring the work from the workshop participants.  His work in Baku was the inspiration of former Bethany student Lamiya Korchiyeva who is from Baku and was a student in Turner’s photography class at Bethany.

The exhibit will open with a reception on Thursday, May 12 at 10:15 a.m. at the Welcome Center when the campus gathers for its weekly Big Brew event. The community is invited to attend. The exhibit will be on display during the upcoming Bethany Board of Directors meeting and Commencement.

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