Tag Archives: Bethel Seminary

Morgan Hall

A Rivalry Renewed? Bethel and the University of Chicago

We’ve noted a few times here that 2014 is the 100th anniversary of the two events whose intersection gives this project a point of departure: In 1914 the modern age of warfare began with the onset of World War I; also that year, what’s now Bethel University made its permanent home in St. Paul, Minnesota when the Swedish Baptist Theological […]

Adelphia College ca. 1905

When Bethel Had a Sibling

In 1910 just over 350,000 Americans (not quite 3% of the total population) were enrolled in a total of 951 institutions of higher learning; by 1920, enrollment neared 600,000 (almost 5% of population) and there were over a thousand colleges, universities, law schools, business schools, medical and dental schools, normal schools, seminaries, and other such […]

Worship service on the U.S.S. South Dakota, June 1944

“We have among us very many Christian softies…”

In his posts on the Vietnam War, Fletcher has noted that Bethel-educated chaplains like Kenneth Carlson received a great deal of publicity from the Baptist General Conference. In the pages of the BGC’s chief publication, The Standard, these uniformed pastors were both “the primary mediators of the war to Conference laity” and “front-line soldiers in the global struggle against atheistic communism.” […]

Signe Erickson

Signe Erickson: A Bethel Martyr

One day after their attack on Pearl Harbor, Japanese forces began their invasion of the Philippines. In December 1941 that commonwealth hosted twenty-one American Baptist missionaries, mostly working in hospitals and schools on the island of Panay. By April 1942, with American and Filipino defenses collapsing, only eleven of those missionaries remained at liberty. With the help of a […]

The Bethel Academy Class of 1917

“Are You Loyal?”: Bethel as an Immigrant School in 1917-18

Because of their widespread pro-German sentiments at the beginning of the European conflict and outspoken support for American neutrality, up to April 1917, the Swedes and other Scandinavians in the United States faced a highly uncomfortable situation, causing many to overreact—or to keep quiet. – H. Arnold Barton, A Folk Divided, p. 248 Both responses — overreact […]

A Sea King hovers, Vietnam mid-1960s

“Traveling by ‘Holy Helo'”

Paging through the July 4, 1966 issue of the Standard, I came across a small article that caught my attention. It’s rather vividly written by a Baptist General Conference navy chaplain, Kenneth Carlson, and describes how Carlson ‘choppered’ between vessels to hold worship services for U.S. Navy sailors. First though, I was curious whether Carlson ever […]

Calvin College student in military uniform, 1918

War and Americanization at Immigrant Schools: Bethel and Calvin

Not long after the United States entered the First World War, Bethel Academy graduated its class of 1917, fifteen strong. It had been sixty-five years since Swedish Baptist immigrants founded their first American congregation, yet still one in three of the school’s graduates were natives of Sweden or Norway, and almost all the rest had Scandinavian surnames. That last […]

Somme American Cemetery in Bony, France

Introductions: World War I and World War II

While this project is a collaboration with Fletcher — indeed, it’s probably the most collaborative research project I’ve ever attempted — we’ll each take primary responsibility for two of the four wars in Bethel’s past century of warfare. Fletcher will handle the more recent history, focusing on the Vietnam War and the War on Terror. Which leaves me with […]

"Help keep it great! Freshmen! Sophomores! Stay in college and become a naval officer!"

Welcome to “Bethel at War”

The year 2014 marks the 100th anniversary of the beginning of World War I, one of the most devastating events in human history. Much less famously, 1914 was also the year that the Swedish Baptist Theological Seminary moved from Chicago, Illinois to St. Paul, Minnesota, where it merged with — and took the name of — a Christian […]