When studying criminal justice at Bethany, you will receive:

  • Small classes with high-quality instruction;
  • Faculty who care about student learning;
  • Practitioners with advanced degrees who’ve “been there/done that”;
  • Internship opportunities with local, regional, and statewide criminal justice & human services agencies;
  • Classes based on theory and real-life situations;
  • Opportunities to participate in extra-curricular clubs;
  • Courses designed to help confirm your decision about a criminal justice career early in your college education.

What can I do with a criminal justice degree from Bethany College?

Graduates from our criminal justice program have gone on to become:

  • State Troopers;
  • City and County Law Enforcement;
  • Detectives;
  • City Prosecutors;
  • Practicing Attorneys;
  • Probation and Parole Officers;
  • Corrections Officers;
  • Court Services Officers;
  • Substance Abuse Counselors;
  • Mental Health Professionals;
  • Social Workers;
  • Victim Advocates;
  • Case Managers.

Our students also go on to pursue graduate degrees and military careers. We have a multicultural student body in criminal justice and they come from all over the United States and the world! Our students participate in student government, Greek council, serve as class presidents, residence hall assistants, and are All-American and Academic All-Americans in the KCAC and NAIA. They have earned places on the Dean’s Honor Roll and graduate both Summa and Magna Cum Laude.

vance_lipsey_176_mweStudent Spotlight

Vance Lipsey, Freshman

  • Hometown: Brentwood, Tennessee
  • Area of Interest: Law Enforcement
  • Athletics: Wrestling & Soccer
  • Activities: Freshman class president, Law and Order Club president, Pi Sigma Chi treasurer
  • Internships: Police agencies in Tennessee and Colorado
  • Quote: “The best thing I like about Bethany College Criminal Justice is that each professor has experience in the field which helps me learn more about the material I’m reading and studying.”

Michelle Rambo (1)11Graduate Spotlight

Michelle Rambo ’15
  • Hometown: Greenwood, South Carolina
  • Employment: Police Officer, Greensboro, North Carolina Police Department
  • At Bethany: Tennis team, Swede Government Association leadership positions, Law and Order Club, completed summer internships, graduated with honors
  • Quote: “Going through Bethany College Criminal Justice program prepared me for real-life experiences because I have a solid foundation of the criminal justice system. This has helped me excel academically throughout the police academy. The professors at Bethany College aren’t just ‘ordinary professors’ because they have worked in the field before coming to Bethany College to teach.”

North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.

Our curriculum reflects the national standards set by the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences.


Criminal Justice


Criminal Justice


DownloadCriminal Justice Brochure

DownloadMission and Vision

Download4-Year Plan

Brian Kinnaird, Ph.D

Chair of the Department of Criminal Justice Associate Professor of Criminal Justice
Office Wallerstedt Social Science Center 24 Department of Criminal Justice Phone: 785.227.3380, x8213
Photo of Brian Kinnaird , Ph.D


Dr. Brian A. Kinnaird has two decades as a scholar-practitioner in the field of criminal justice. He began his career as a commissioned peace officer, serving as a deputy sheriff in Kansas for over a decade. During his tenure, Kinnaird was assigned to both jail and patrol divisions. He was a shift supervisor, field training officer, SWAT team operator and lead defensive tactics instructor.

As an academic, Dr. Kinnaird has served as a professor and administrator for public, private, and proprietary institutions all over the state and country. He is the author of several books and book chapters and is widely published in a variety of peer-reviewed outlets with active research and training agendas.

Dr. Kinnaird earned his B.A. in sociology (1997) and M.L.S. in justice studies (1999) from Fort Hays (Kansas) State University and his Ph.D. in criminal justice/human services (2004) from Capella University in Minneapolis, Minnesota. His doctoral dissertation on police misconduct and risk management was published by the “International Journal of Police Science and Management.”