Overview

The Ministry Scholars program is Bethel University's 5-year Bachelor's Degree and Master of Arts in Ministry program that reduces cost and time-to-completion by streamlining undergraduate and graduate education. Graduates receive a Bachelor's degree from Bethel University's College of Arts and Sciences (CAS) and a Master of Arts in Ministry from Bethel Seminary. This program is well suited for a variety of majors who want to become equipped to lead churches, parachurch organizations, and other ministries. It is also a good fit for ministry-minded students who want to pursue bi-vocational ministry or work outside of professional ministry. Students learn from successful ministry leaders and experts in Biblical and Theological Studies, Spiritual and Personal Formation, and Transformational Leadership. This program offers supplemental training resources, cohort-based activities, and mentorship opportunities to prepare ministry-minded students for effective ministry leadership. Students also gain valuable field experience in local churches and ministry settings.

The objectives of the program are that graduates will demonstrate age-appropriate growth and ultimately ministry leadership preparedness in the following domains:

  1. Spiritual life: Students will grow spiritually, deepening their love for, commitment to, and dependence on God, and develop an instinct to trust in God and to connect intimately with God.
  2. Discernment of call: They will clarify and reaffirm their sense of calling to glorify God, to work in Christ’s church and to serve humanity sacrificially.
  3. Emotional maturity: They will become emotionally mature adults, possessing the ability to sense and manage emotions, to see others’ perspectives, to sympathize and empathize, to follow and lead as appropriate and to foster healthy relationships.
  4. Cultural competence: They will become culturally aware, gaining a perspective that all cultures possess strengths and vulnerabilities, an ability to work across cultural lines and an appreciation that diverse teams are stronger teams.
  5. Bible knowledge: They will gain a clear understanding of the Bible’s content and a deep and abiding passion for the truth of the Gospel.
  6. Spiritual wisdom: They will grow in wisdom, possessing a capacity to apply the Bible so that others are inspired by their teaching and preaching to live out biblical truth and experience human flourishing.
  7. Intellectual virtues: They will develop virtues such as critical thinking, respect for data, intellectual humility, and thirst for learning, combined with the skill to interpret and teach the Bible accurately.
  8. Leadership capacity: They will learn to follow leaders and to lead followers—enlisting people, building teams, leading change and achieving results.
  9. Godly character: They will become virtuous people—individuals who love others, speak truth, live humbly, sacrifice their own interests, live justly, express joy and show compassion.

What is Bethel looking for in a Ministry Scholar?

  • Minimum of 3.0 GPA (cumulative college grade point average or unweighted high school GPA if the student has less than one year of college experience), and maintenance of 3.0 minimum GPA throughout the duration of the Ministry Scholars program while enrolled at CAS and Seminary.

  • Able to provide a pastoral or ministry leader reference that speaks to the student’s character and call to ministry.

  • Committed to prioritizing activities and retreats offered for Ministry Scholars, enabling the individual to develop a strong sense of community.

General Criteria for Participation in the Ministry Scholars Program

This is a rigorous 5-year program that streamlines undergraduate and graduate education while providing robust mentoring and co-curricular experiences to prepare students for effective ministry. Throughout the program, students are expected to meet and maintain certain academic standards and demonstrate a commitment to their spiritual and professional growth related to their calling to vocational ministry.

Students must maintain a 3.0 minimum GPA throughout the duration of their undergraduate degree program at Bethel University's College of Arts and Sciences (CAS) and while enrolled in the M.A. in Ministry program at the Seminary.

Because the Ministry Scholars Program utilizes a curriculum plan in which Advanced Standing with Credit Waiver is granted based upon the completion of certain pre-seminary courses taken while enrolled at CAS, students must have earned a grade of "C" or better in the respective pre-seminary courses to remain in the Ministry Scholars Program.

Prior to Seminary enrollment, students will be evaluated by the Pathway to Ministry Program Director for their readiness to transition to graduate level education. The evaluation will be based primarily on academic ability, spiritual maturity, character and continued discovery of the student's calling. This evaluation will take place during the fall semester of the 4th year (or CAS senior equivalent, whichever is sooner). 

Admission to the M.A. in Ministry through the Seminary is conditional on earning a Bachelor's degree from CAS with an undergraduate GPA of 3.0 and obtaining approval from the Pathway to Ministry Program Director.  

Bachelor’s Degree (Ministry Scholars)

Ministry Scholars take five pre-seminary courses (totaling 15 credits) as part of their baccalaureate program (totaling a minimum of 122 credits). The requirements of the student’s major will affect whether certain pre-seminary courses count toward Electives, General Education, or their Major.  

While this program is designed for students to earn a bachelor’s degree and M.A. in Ministry within 5 years, students in some majors (or those who choose to double major) may require more time to complete the baccalaureate degree and thereby extend total time to completion.

Pre-Seminary Courses for Missional Ministries Majors and Biblical and Theological Studies Majors

THE311Early Church to Reformation Theology in Global Perspective3
THE326GChristian Theology in Africa, Asia, and Latin America3
MIN310ZConflict, Reconciliation, and the Church3
THE263Christian Social Ethics3
MIN320Spiritual and Faith Formation3
Total Credits15

The program also includes two 0-credit courses: Formation Assessments and Vocational Assessments, both of which are typically completed by spring semester of year four, or CAS senior equivalent.

All Other Majors (non-Missional Ministries and non-Biblical and Theological Studies Majors)

THE311Early Church to Reformation Theology in Global Perspective3
BIB265The Life and Teachings of Paul3
BIB260The Life and Teachings of Jesus3
THE263Christian Social Ethics3
MIN320Spiritual and Faith Formation3
Total Credits15
 

The program also includes two 0-credit courses: Formation Assessments and Vocational Assessments, both of which are typically completed by spring semester of year four, or CAS senior equivalent.

M.A. in Ministry (Ministry Scholars)

Undergraduate students accepted to the Ministry Scholars Program are conditionally accepted to the M.A. in Ministry through the Seminary.This 48 credit M.A. in Ministry (MAMin) degree from Bethel Seminary may only be completed through the Ministry Scholars program and differs from the standard M.A. in Ministry degree program.  

Full admission to the MAMin is conditional on earning a Bachelor's degree from Bethel University’s College of Arts and Sciences (CAS) with an undergraduate GPA of 3.0 and obtaining approval from the Pathway to Ministry Program Director.

Advanced Standing with Credit Waiver

The 5 pre-seminary courses (totaling 15 credits) that Ministry Scholars should have completed are eligible for advanced standing with credit waiver for 4 MAMin courses (totaling 12 credits) at the Seminary. Seminary faculty have reviewed the CAS courses to ensure that successful completion of each eligible CAS course indicates that the student has achieved the outcomes normally achieved in the respective Seminary course. In order to receive Advanced Standing with Credit Waiver for any of the Seminary courses under this program, students must earn a "C" or better in the respective CAS course. The courses for which CAS graduates are eligible to receive Advanced Standing with Credit Waiver are listed below. 1

Missional Ministries Majors and Biblical and Theological Studies Majors

  • CAS course THE311 Early Church to Reformation Theology in Global Perspective waives requirement for Seminary course  HS510 Church History Survey
  • CAS courses THE326G Christian Theology in Africa, Asia, and Latin America & MIN310Z Conflict, Reconciliation, and the Church waive requirement for Seminary course GC512 Global, Cultural and Contextual Ministry
  • CAS course THE263 Christian Social Ethics waives requirement for Seminary course TS516 Christian Social Ethics
  • CAS course MIN320 Spiritual and Faith Formation  waives requirement for Seminary course SP510 Introduction to Spiritual and Personal Formation

All Other CAS Majors (non-Missional Ministries and non-Biblical and Theological Studies Majors)

  • CAS course THE311 Early Church to Reformation Theology in Global Perspective waives requirement for Seminary course HS510 Church History Survey
  • CAS courses BIB265 The Life and Teachings of Paul & BIB260 The Life and Teachings of Jesus waive requirement for Seminary course NT516 New Testament Survey
  • CAS course THE263 Christian Social Ethics waives requirement for Seminary course TS516 Christian Social Ethics
  • CAS course MIN320 Spiritual and Faith Formation  course waives requirement for Seminary course  SP510 Introduction to Spiritual and Personal Formation
1

 Courses transferred to Bethel University's CAS from other schools are not eligible for Advanced Standing with Credit Waiver.