Making a difference in the lives of our students

Our core mission at Bethany Christian Schools is to prepare students to participate in God’s work in the world. Underlying this mission is the commitment to making a difference in the lives of our students, helping them live into their gifts and discover how they can be utilized to make a difference in the world. 

This issue of The Bulletin highlights the career of Dan Bodiker, who has made a difference in the lives of countless students during his tenure at Bethany as a teacher, coach and athletic director.  “Bod” as most students affectionately call him, understands how to show others that they are known and loved—necessary foundations for learning.

This issue also contains a story about 1976 graduate Donna Minter, a PhD neuropsychologist who is making a difference in the world through her work with the Minnesota Peacebuilding Leadership Institute, helping communities understand trauma and build resilience through restorative justice programs. Dr. Minter’s work with resilience in the face of trauma is deeply rooted in her faith and foundational experiences at Bethany. 

Resiliency is a common topic for educators this year: how to be successful during the time of COVID, how to be engaged politically and how to maintain community despite social distancing. Educational institutions can no longer focus solely on curriculum. We must also teach skills such as resiliency by helping students develop core intrapersonal competencies like intellectual openness and curiosity, self-directedness and emotional stability. 

At Bethany we achieve this by maintaining high expectations for academic achievement and personal behavior rooted in Christian community. It is deeply gratifying to walk alongside students in this critical stage of their lives, as Bod did for many years, and then see the beautiful work they do while participating in God’s work in the world—like that of Donna Minter.

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