Bethel University and University of Northwestern – St. Paul Announce Course-Sharing Partnership

By Jennifer Clemens on Friday, August 18, 2023

Beginning this fall, select adult students at Bethel University and University of Northwestern – St. Paul (UNW) will take part in an innovative course-sharing partnership.

Twelve courses will have reciprocal teaching, meaning a Bethel student may take a course from a Northwestern professor, or a Northwestern student may take a course from a Bethel professor within online adult undergraduate programs. UNW will offer courses for Bethel’s Healthcare Management concentration, and Bethel will offer courses for UNW’s Accounting concentration.

The partnership follows a year-long effort by university leaders to explore collaborative opportunities between the two institutions, with a goal of keeping tuition costs down without compromising the student experience. Bethel and UNW are both Christian universities, located three miles apart, and serve similar student bodies — especially in online undergraduate programs designed for busy working adults.

“Having a sister Christian university like Northwestern partner with us to share courses benefits both universities by expanding the kinds of learning we can offer,” says Bethel University provost Dr. Robin Rylersdaam. “I’m excited about the good work we have been doing all year to develop systems to allow a seamless student experience, and I’m hopeful we can share even more courses this way in the future.”

Northwestern’s provost, Dr. Janet Sommers, adds, “I’m struck by the similar goals in both universities’ mission statements — to equip men and women intellectually, but also for leadership and service. This partnership provides an easier pathway for busy, hard-working adults to pursue their educational goals through collaboration between like-minded institutions.”

Bethel University and University of Northwestern – St. Paul remain committed to their individual missions and values, as well as consistency and support in the student experience. As a result of this partnership, students will have access to a wider and more specialized network of faculty, while enjoying the support systems they’ve come to know and expect from their home universities.


Bethel University – At Bethel, you’ll find a community where you belong, because who you’re becoming matters. With over 100 areas of study, you’ll find opportunities to pursue your purpose and passion. You’ll grow as you experience top-ranked academics, engaged faculty, and experiential learning opportunities that will equip you to make an impact. Outside the classroom, Bethel offers exciting campus activities and a wide variety of student clubs and organizations. Here, you’ll experience a community that equips students, helps you discover your purpose, and prepares you to pursue your calling. Visit bethel.edu to learn more.

University of Northwestern – St. Paul (UNW) is a nondenominational, Christian university in St. Paul, Minn. With a biblical worldview integrated into all programs, UNW provides a unique educational experience for students who want to combine faith and academic rigor. Northwestern offers more than 65 areas of study, including five master’s degrees, and online and early college programs. Northwestern Media, a ministry of the university, owns and operates 104 Christian radio outlets in 10 states with a more than 2 million listeners. Visit unwsp.edu for more information.