Bethany was founded March 2, 1840 and for more than 175 years, Bethany College has been a highly contemporary institution based in the tradition of the liberal arts.
The College offers a wide array of studies, awarding Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Arts degrees in more than 25 fields of study, many with options for emphasis. Students also have the option of including one or more optional minors as part of their programs.
The College's program of classical liberal arts education prepares students for a lifetime of work and a life of significance. Bethany places particular emphasis on leadership and incorporates pre-professional education in dentistry, engineering, law, medicine, physical therapy, public administration, theology and veterinary medicine.
Bethany's 1,300-acre campus is located in the northern panhandle of West Virginia in the foothills of the Allegheny Mountains. Pittsburgh, America's Most Livable City, is a 50-minute drive from campus. Wheeling, W.Va.; Washington, Pa.; and Steubenville, Ohio are less than a half-hour away.
Founded by Alexander Campbell, who provided the land and funds for the first building and served as the first president, Bethany has been a four-year private liberal arts college affiliated with the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), since its inception. This religious body, of which Campbell was one of the principal founders, continues to support and encourage the College, but exercises no sectarian control. Students from virtually every religious community attend Bethany.
Teaching and learning form the mission of Bethany College. Central to this broad purpose is providing a liberal arts education for students, including the preparation of professionals, in an atmosphere of study, work, and service.
Bethany College is an academic community founded on the close interaction between students and faculty in the educational process. Bethany College values intellectual rigor and freedom, diversity of thought and lifestyle, personal growth within a community context, and responsible engagement with public issues. Its programs are designed to
--engage the mind through emphasis on discipline in thinking, motivation in the search for knowledge, and acquisition of the intellectual resources for a lifetime of learning
--embolden the spirit through the opportunity for intellectual challenge, collaborative enterprise, athletic competition, artistic expression, personal growth, and meaningful work
--enlarge the world through exposure to the abundant diversity of thought and lifestyle of the human community, support for personal engagement with societies and cultures different from one's own, and commitment to service.
In its charter, granted in 1840 by the Commonwealth of Virginia and recognized in 1863 by the newly organized state of West Virginia, the mission of Bethany College is defined as
the instruction of youth in the various branches of science and literature, the useful arts and the learned and foreign languages.
Alexander Campbell set the purpose of the College in the context of western religious tradition and the thinking of the American Enlightenment, interpreting it to imply that the goal of education is to prepare students to become useful and responsible members of society by liberating them from superstition and ignorance, the tyranny of others, and "vulgar prejudices." Campbell envisioned that upon graduation, students would become their own teacher(s) and pupil(s) and continue their education throughout life.
Bethany College continues to accept the implications of its mission as understood by its founder. It continues to accept the responsibility for educating effective, honorable, humane, and intelligent citizens who believe in and will promote the creation of a world of worth and value, integrating critical reason with the convictions of faith, personal accomplishment with ethical responsibility, and individual development with service to others.
The Bethany experience encourages students to realize their intellectual capabilities, moral capacities, and leadership potential by assisting them in their quest to achieve the following objectives: