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Bethel College

Administration Building at Bethel CollegeThe Kansas Conference of Mennonites signed the charter for Bethel College on May 11, 1887, in Newton, Kansas. The first building was completed and classes began in 1893. Cornelius H. Wedel was the first president of the college, and he along with five colleagues taught classes in church history, German, English, mathematics, science, and music. Bethel College was a bilingual college until 1918 and the First World War.

Bethel College began to grow and expand in 1925, and its most recent building was completed in 2005. In 2011 there were over 500 students enrolled at Bethel College. In 1972, the Administration Building on campus was listed on the National Register of Historic Places.


More information about the university’s history can be found at the Bethel College website.

Entry: Bethel College

Author: Kansas Historical Society

Author information: The Kansas Historical Society is a state agency charged with actively safeguarding and sharing the state's history.

Date Created: June 2012

Date Modified: July 2016

The author of this article is solely responsible for its content.