Bethesda College

Building bright futures

The Bethesda College of Applied Learning is a unique, two-year post secondary certificate program where people with intellectual and developmental disabilities can realize their dream of receiving a college education. Students enrolled in Bethesda College live on the CUW campus in integrated residence halls. At CUW they can build lifelong friendships, practice their faith and participate in clubs and student activities. Bethesda College’s faculty members are always available to support each student and help them get the most from their college experience.

The Bethesda College of Applied Learning is built on an inclusive model focused on academics and employment. Combining a liberal arts focus with skills development coursework, Bethesda College’s curriculum is a blended model designed to help students grow intellectually, vocationally, socially, personally and spiritually.

Congratulations Bethesda College Class of 2016!

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First class graduated May 14 

The first class from Bethesda College, a unique, two-year program designed specifically for students with developmental disabilities, graduated alongside Concordia University Wisconsin (CUW) students on Saturday, May 14, 2016, on the University’s campus in Mequon.

Seven students with developmental disabilities received a Certificate of Applied Learning. This post-secondary program—the result of a partnership with CUW and Bethesda Lutheran Communities—is the only one in Wisconsin that blends the best practices of a nationwide service provider for people with developmental disabilities with the learning environment and resources of an accredited university.


Potential Bethesda College at CUW students and their families can take a tour of the campus and meet current students and faculty. For more information on this program contact Carol Burns, director of Bethesda College at 262-243-2712. 

Want to support life-changing programs like Bethesda College?

Over the past two years, these seven students with developmental disabilities have lived on campus, taken classes with students with and without disabilities, got involved in groups and clubs, held internships, made connections with professors and made friendships with fellow CUW students.

They couldn't have done so without the generous support of Bethesda's donors. Your gift could change the life of a Bethesda College student.

Partnership with Concordia

Bethesda College is the result of a partnership between Bethesda, a LCMS Recognized Service Organization serving people with developmental disabilities at programs across the United States, and Concordia University Wisconsin (CUW), an LCMS an higher education organization.