Bethel’s mission is to create opportunities for members of the learning community to develop to their highest potential as whole persons—intellectually, spiritually, socially and physically—in a Christian environment.
By the words “create opportunities,” Bethel University offers the means for persons to have choices and options opened before them and to develop the confidence and maturity to choose appropriately.
By the term “learning community,” the University extends its mission to all persons who seek development of the whole person and who would choose to pursue this aspiration through Bethel University. The learning community of Bethel University includes undergraduate students in traditional and non-traditional programs, graduate students, faculty, staff, the local community, and the Cumberland Presbyterian Church.
By the term “whole persons,” the University intends that, in the true spirit of the liberal arts education, the undergraduate education encompass all dimensions of the human being which are in reality inseparable. Intellectual development focuses on the cognitive aspect of the human; cognitive development incorporates analysis, critical reflection, and synthesis of knowledge of multiple disciplines. Social development focuses on the affective and behavioral aspects of the human; social development incorporates the ability to interact and communicate with other humans with civility and tolerance. Physical development focuses on the corporeal aspect of the human; physical development incorporates respect for the body as integral to the cognitive, social, and spiritual dimension of the human experience. Spiritual development focuses on the metaphysical aspect of the human; spiritual development incorporates the ideas of faith, morality, and practice.
By the term, “Christian environment,” the University draws upon the thought of St. Ignatius that the collegiate environment should facilitate knowledge and contemplation such that actions are based on unbiased reason and reasonable faith.