Bethel University Department of History

Bethel University Department of History Offering undergraduate degrees in History, Social Studies Education, and Digital Humanities as part of a Christian liberal arts college.

Operating as usual

In case you missed it last week... Prof. Goldberg and his Advanced Digital Humanities students are the subject of the cu...
06/22/2021
Responding to COVID with Digital Humanities

In case you missed it last week... Prof. Goldberg and his Advanced Digital Humanities students are the subject of the current article on Bethel News.

Be sure to check out the current story at Bethel News: it features History professor Charlie Goldberg and his Advanced Digital Humanities students, who spent part of last fall using the tools they …

Publishers Weekly just posted an advance review of Prof. Gehrz's new biography of Charles Lindbergh, coming mid-August: ...
06/11/2021
Religion Book Review: Charles Lindbergh: A Religious Biography of America’s Most Infamous Pilot by Christopher Gehrz. Eerdmans, $28 (272p) ISBN 978-0-8028-7621-8

Publishers Weekly just posted an advance review of Prof. Gehrz's new biography of Charles Lindbergh, coming mid-August: "Using Lindbergh’s journals, writings, and public statements, Gehrz builds a thorough portrait of the aviator’s inner life, and the inclusion of the equally complex spiritual path of Lindbergh’s wife, Anne, adds useful context. Readers curious about a lesser-seen side of Lindbergh’s life will gain much from this well-argued biography."

In this convincing biography, historian Gehrz (The Pietist Option) argues Charles Lindbergh was an early example of a public figure wholed a spiritual but not religious life. Lindbergh did no

Free courses!
05/26/2021
History School | Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History

Free courses!

History School | History School is back for another semester of fun! Since launching in April 2020, 5200 students have participated in 22 courses with our award-winning teachers. We are pleased to offer free courses this summer for elementary, middle, and high school students. Master teachers will p...

Prof. Poppinga closed Commencement on Saturday with this charge to and prayer for the Class of 2021.
05/25/2021
A Commencement Benediction

Prof. Poppinga closed Commencement on Saturday with this charge to and prayer for the Class of 2021.

For History students and faculty, this most unusual academic year ended on Saturday afternoon, with our first in-person Commencement ceremony since December 2019. As we say farewell to the Class of…

It wasn’t exactly a typical Commencement ceremony, but it sure felt good to send off our graduates in person.Congratulat...
05/22/2021

It wasn’t exactly a typical Commencement ceremony, but it sure felt good to send off our graduates in person.

Congratulations to the Class of 2021 — only some of whom were around for this quick photo shoot on the Great Hall lawn. (Yes, we did have several women graduate with a History major this year, not just guys.)

It’s the Monday night before spring commencement, which means that it’s presentation night in our Senior Seminar! Learn ...
05/17/2021

It’s the Monday night before spring commencement, which means that it’s presentation night in our Senior Seminar! Learn more about this year’s class in a series of profiles — written by students about their peers — at our blog: bethelhistory.wordpress.com

It’s the Monday night before spring commencement, which means that it’s presentation night in our Senior Seminar! Learn more about this year’s class in a series of profiles — written by students about their peers — at our blog: bethelhistory.wordpress.com

04/29/2021
ROAR Day Short Film

What can you do with a History major?

If you’re Jacob Manning ‘15: “registraring.”

And playing a key supporting role in a short film about #BUROARDAY.

04/29/2021

Every time this post is shared, $20 will be donated—up to $20,000. Continue to keep safe and socially distant! But share this post guilt-free and contribute to the Bethel community. bethel.edu/roar-day #BUROARDay

Thanks to everyone who voted! We'll try this again in 2022.
04/12/2021
And the Winner of This Year’s Historical Film Tournament Is…

Thanks to everyone who voted! We'll try this again in 2022.

Each of four finalists got at least 10% of the first-place votes, but in the end our Best Historical Film tournament for 2021 came down to a close race between a gripping TV miniseries about a nucl…

A tradition unlike any other... it's our Intro to History class's 2nd annual Best Historical Film tournament!Alumni and ...
04/08/2021
Vote in the 2021 Best Historical Film Tournament

A tradition unlike any other... it's our Intro to History class's 2nd annual Best Historical Film tournament!

Alumni and friends are welcome to vote in our final round — polls open until Friday morning.

For the second year in a row, I’d like to invite readers of CC 4th to help the students in Intro to History determine the best historical film or TV series! We inaugurated this tournament las…

Great to see Ben Beecken '10, head of marketing and communications for the Oklahoma City Dodgers, featured by Bethel Uni...
03/31/2021
Bethel Grad Reflects on Role with World Series-Winning Organization | Bethel University

Great to see Ben Beecken '10, head of marketing and communications for the Oklahoma City Dodgers, featured by Bethel University today!

"Beecken says his history background—and the many presentation and papers he completed—helped him grow as a communicator who often relies on writing, public speaking, attention to detail, and general communication in his role. And his history background still comes in handy. 'There are absolutely some projects that we work on where having a history-focused mind drives my curiosity and causes me to look deeper and consider things from a broader context,' he says."

Ben Beecken ’10 isn’t sure if he and his coworkers with the Oklahoma City Dodgers will get World Series rings after the Los Angeles Dodgers won the 2020 World Series, but he and others in Oklahoma City are thrilled with their organization’s success. “There’s certainly a sense of pride to b...

As our series of Senior Seminar student profiles continues, meet one of our double-majors in History and Digital Humanit...
03/29/2021
Senior Seminar Spotlight: Chad DeSota

As our series of Senior Seminar student profiles continues, meet one of our double-majors in History and Digital Humanities.

Our second “Senior Seminar Spotlight” comes by way of Zeke Chapin, who interviewed Chad DeSota. If you missed Celia Blattner’s post on Josh Hinrich, please click here to check tha…

History Courses This Summer
03/24/2021
History Courses This Summer

History Courses This Summer

We’ve offered History courses every so often in the summer, and three of our professors have been teaching an online version of Christianity and Western Culture every summer since 2013. But t…

In a new series at our blog, you'll meet the students in our Senior Seminar... as interviewed by their fellow classmates...
03/22/2021
Senior Seminar Spotlight: Josh Hinrichs

In a new series at our blog, you'll meet the students in our Senior Seminar... as interviewed by their fellow classmates!

First up, Social Studies Ed major (and worship leader) Josh Hinrichs.

Over the next few weeks, you’ll have a chance to meet the students in HIS499: Senior Seminar. Students interviewed each other, and then created a blog post. First up, here’s Celia Blatt…

Political Science major and History minor Matthew Ramírez '21 is profiled in the current issue of the Bethel University ...
03/11/2021
Shaping political views with a liberal arts education

Political Science major and History minor Matthew Ramírez '21 is profiled in the current issue of the Bethel University Clarion. Matthew talks about his work last year on the reelection campaign of Sen. Tina Smith, plus the importance of his Catholic faith. (Bonus: a quotation from Prof. AnneMarie Kooistra that mentions Prof. Kevin Cragg!)

Bethel University alum Jake Schneider and senior Matthew Ramirez reflect on how Bethel influenced the way they see the world and work in a political environment. By Rachel Blood and Soraya Keiser |…

Alumni teaching social studies: if you're looking for continuing ed opportunities, check out this summer's list of Teach...
03/06/2021
2021 Teacher Seminars | Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History

Alumni teaching social studies: if you're looking for continuing ed opportunities, check out this summer's list of Teacher Seminars offered by The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History.

2021 Teacher Seminars | Choose from the Following Themes and Eras Click on a Teacher Seminar title to see a full description. Click here to see the seminars listed by date. Thematic across Eras [collapse collapsed title=African American History since Emancipation (Week of June 14)] Live Sessions Sch...

If you're looking for a devotional resource this Lent, check out this twice-weekly series from the Conference on Faith a...
02/19/2021
Ashes and Dust – Conference on Faith & History

If you're looking for a devotional resource this Lent, check out this twice-weekly series from the Conference on Faith and History. It started yesterday, with an Ash Wednesday reflection from our own Prof. Chris Gehrz.

In our original set of devotionals, Faith and History, I opened with a reflection on Genesis 1-2, considering what it might mean for historians to be good stewards of Creation. I suggested that we “till . . . and keep” the past (Gen. 2:15), a notion that often occurs to me when I walk into a li...

The Author’s Corner with Ben Wright
02/03/2021
The Author’s Corner with Ben Wright

The Author’s Corner with Ben Wright

Ben Wright is Assistant Professor of History at The University of Texas at Dallas. This interview is based on his new book, Bonds of Salvation: How Christianity Inspired and Limited American Abolit…

On this MLK Day we remember a sermon that Rev. Dr. King preached fifty-five years ago, one that imagines the Apostle Pau...
01/18/2021
Paul's Letter to American Christians

On this MLK Day we remember a sermon that Rev. Dr. King preached fifty-five years ago, one that imagines the Apostle Paul writing an epistle to this nation.

Delivered at Dexter Avenue Baptist Church, Montgomery, Alabama, on 4 November 1956. MLKP.

Big news from Dr. Goldberg!!
01/08/2021
Check Out Prof. Goldberg’s New Book!

Big news from Dr. Goldberg!!

Congratulations to Prof. Charlie Goldberg, whose first book has been published by Routledge! Here’s the full publisher’s description of Roman Masculinity and Politics from Republic to E…

If you graduated from Bethel University with a major in History, Social Studies Ed, Political Science, Business & Politi...
01/07/2021
Alumni, We’d Like to Hear from You!

If you graduated from Bethel University with a major in History, Social Studies Ed, Political Science, Business & Political Science, International Relations, Social Studies Ed, Philosophy, or Digital Humanities, please click through to complete our first alumni survey since 2010.

Attention, Bethel History alumni! In part because it’s been about ten years since the last time we gathered such information and in part to help us make plans for the next ten years, we’…

Congratulations to Dr. Magnuson, whose newest article on the Census was named to Oxford University Press' "Best of Histo...
12/21/2020
Best of History 2020

Congratulations to Dr. Magnuson, whose newest article on the Census was named to Oxford University Press' "Best of History 2020" list!

Oxford University Press is a department of the University of Oxford. It furthers the University's objective of excellence in research, scholarship, and education by publishing worldwide

Join us at 4pm Central for the online version of Bethel's Winter Commencement ceremony.
12/18/2020
Commencement | Bethel University

Join us at 4pm Central for the online version of Bethel's Winter Commencement ceremony.

Learn more about the events scheduled for Bethel University's commencement ceremonies.

Congratulations to Dr. Ben Wright ‘05, whose study of religion and abolitionism is now available from LSU Press. (Buy st...
12/17/2020
Bonds of Salvation

Congratulations to Dr. Ben Wright ‘05, whose study of religion and abolitionism is now available from LSU Press. (Buy straight from the publisher and save with the code 04READHOME.)

Ben Wright’s Bonds of Salvation demonstrates how religion structured the possibilities and limitations of American abolitionism during the early years of the republic. From the American Revolution through the eruption of schisms in the three largest Protestant denominations in the 1840s, this comp...

From our archives... the eulogy from Katie Koch ‘02 for Prof. Stacey Hunter Hecht, who died five years ago today.
12/10/2020
The Peaceable Kingdom: Katie Keller Koch on Stacey Hunter Hecht

From our archives... the eulogy from Katie Koch ‘02 for Prof. Stacey Hunter Hecht, who died five years ago today.

One final tribute to Prof. Stacey Hunter Hecht comes from Pastor Katie (Keller) Koch ’02, who shared this reflection on the first verses of Isaiah 11 at Stacey’s memorial service on Thu…

Happy publication day to Profs. Gehrz and Poppinga and the other contributors to Faith and History: A Devotional, now av...
12/01/2020
Publication Day for Faith and History: A Devotional

Happy publication day to Profs. Gehrz and Poppinga and the other contributors to Faith and History: A Devotional, now available from Baylor University Press!

Today marks the official publication of Faith and History: A Devotional! Co-edited by our own Chris Gehrz, the book features biblical meditations by some forty Christian historians, including Prof.…

We're sad to see him go, but our friend Ruben Rivera's decision to retire at the end of this year does mean that we now ...
12/01/2020
Announcing Ruben Rivera’s Retirement

We're sad to see him go, but our friend Ruben Rivera's decision to retire at the end of this year does mean that we now have the excuse to share some memories and reflections about his years at Bethel University, first as history professor and then as chief diversity officer.

If you have any favorite memories of Ruben from your time at Bethel, share them here or at the blog and we'll make sure he sees them.

After twenty-three years at Bethel, our friend Ruben Rivera has decided to retire at the end of December. Before becoming the university’s chief diversity officer in 2014, Ruben served as a h…

While we're sad to see him go, Ruben Rivera's retirement from Bethel University does give us an excuse to dig into the a...
12/01/2020
Announcing Ruben Rivera’s Retirement

While we're sad to see him go, Ruben Rivera's retirement from Bethel University does give us an excuse to dig into the archives and share some fond memories of our friend and colleague, who has served as history professor and chief diversity officer during his 23 years at Bethel.

If you'd like to share your own reminiscences or reflections, you can comment here or at the blog post. We'll make sure it gets to Ruben.

After twenty-three years at Bethel, our friend Ruben Rivera has decided to retire at the end of December. Before becoming the university’s chief diversity officer in 2014, Ruben served as a h…

Check out Prof. Gehrz's piece in the new issue of the Bethel University Magazine.
11/20/2020
Prof. Gehrz in Bethel Magazine: College under COVID

Check out Prof. Gehrz's piece in the new issue of the Bethel University Magazine.

The current issue of Bethel Magazine includes a letter that history professor Chris Gehrz addressed to his students at the beginning of a semester that has been shaped in many ways by the COVID-19 …

Thanks to two of our military students majoring in History for helping to lead a special Veterans Day service in Chapel ...
11/11/2020
Veterans Day Chapel

Thanks to two of our military students majoring in History for helping to lead a special Veterans Day service in Chapel this morning.

Thanks to two of our History majors, Conor Nordmeyer and Alex Telford, for helping to lead the special Veterans Day service in Chapel this morning. Conor Nordmeyer ’21 speaking in Chapel R…

With today's announcement by numerous news media that Joe Biden will become the 46th president of the United States, the...
11/07/2020
What Can You Do with a History Major? Become President of the United States

With today's announcement by numerous news media that Joe Biden will become the 46th president of the United States, the history major claims its fourth Oval Office alum — tying with economics (Donald Trump's field) for most in modern presidential history.

Earlier today, the Associated Press, Fox News, CNN, and other major news organizations formally called the presidential election for Democratic nominee Joe Biden. Assuming that result holds up afte…

Congratulations to Bethel History/Social Studies Ed alum Bjorn Olson, elected last night to his first term in the Minnes...
11/04/2020

Congratulations to Bethel History/Social Studies Ed alum Bjorn Olson, elected last night to his first term in the Minnesota House of Representatives (R-Blue Earth)!

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With an unexpected snow day, I made an interactive 3D map of Hannibal's route over the Alps in 218 BCE. Check out the link below to see the final product, or read about it on the History department blog: https://bethelhistory.wordpress.com/2019/02/20/mapping-hannibal-on-a-snow-day/
Tonight I attended Mounds View High School's "parent communication night." How delightful to meet my daughter's APUSH teacher, Alex Hinseth (C'11), a former student of mine!
Long ago history prof (1984-2003) Neil Lettinga face to face with one of the World War 1 artwork that we used to show every January: Otto Dix's Wounded Soldier.