Today, February 1st, is the start of spring semester around Bethel. Here are a few things to look for this semester on top of our usual course offerings:

The Retirement of G.W. Carlson

Long-rumored, much-feared, finally here… Yes, Spring 2012 marks the last semester of full-time teaching for G. William Carlson, Professor of History and Political Science. A search for a new professor is underway, and we’ll hope to have an announcement about a hire later this spring. But of course, no one can truly replace GW.

Look for much more at AC 2nd as we plan what promises to be a glitzy send-off for the famously shy Prof. Carlson.

The (Temporary) Absence of AnneMarie Kooistra

Our correspondent reports that Dr. Kooistra submitted her Interim grades on Monday afternoon, which means that she is officially on sabbatical, doing everything that professors wish they could do if they weren’t busy teaching classes, advising students, or serving on committees. Look for her to show up in August looking even more relaxed than usual.

The Premiere of Our First Z-Tagged Course

This semester Ruben Rivera will be offering HIS217UZ Hispanic Christianity (formerly: Christianity in Latin America), which he has revised to meet the “Z-tag” requirement in Bethel’s general education curriculum. The goal of such courses is that “students will experience an off-campus person-to-person (ideally one-on-one) intercultural engagement, of at least 25 hours with a specific cultural group that supports the development of awareness of one’s own culture and the culture with which the student is interacting. Students will develop an increased understanding of the complexity and tension cultural difference has on interaction with others.” In this case, students in Hispanic Christianity will perform service-learning projects with Hispanic churches or faith-based organizations in the Twin Cities.

The Bethel Colloquium on Pietism Studies

Three years after Bethel hosted a national research conference on Pietism, we’ve organized a follow-up colloquium on Pietism studies — Friday, April 20, 2012 — that’s free and open to the public. Featuring talks by Scot McKnight and Jon Sensbach and a roundtable discussion of Pietism in various denominations, this event is being coordinated by our own Chris Gehrz and theology prof Christian Collins Winn (with G.W. Carlson and Eric Holst, editors of the recently published The Pietist Impulse in Christianity). The links above will take you to further details at Chris’ blog.

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