Bethel Seminary has been a pioneer and a model in combining distance learning with intensive, on-campus classes in order to accommodate students with active lives outside of seminary study. Through this delivery system, called InMinistry, Bethel offers a number of master’s degree programs. Also primarily online but distinct from InMinistry is a premier Doctor of Ministry program, the most advanced degree available from Bethel Seminary.


InMinistry Master's Degrees

The InMinistry program is designed for individuals who are already established in ministry and are eager to pursue applied graduate education, but are able to spend only limited time on the seminary campus. This program makes it possible to complete a master of divinity degree in five years of continuous enrollment, or one of several master of arts degrees in three years of continuous enrollment. These degree programs incorporate two types of courses, intensive courses and fully distance courses. Intensive courses incorporate an on-campus component; a class session that typically meets on campus for one week. This on-campus experience is preceded by faculty guided preparation using distance education methods and is followed by guided application after the on-campus experience. Fully distance courses are supported by interactive technologies that allow students to learn from their professor and fellow students in a collaborative learning community.

Master of Divinity Program

[St. Paul and San Diego]

The InMinistry Master of Divinity program makes the degree available to nonresident students serving in ministry positions. The ministry setting provides a laboratory for application of course material, as well as questions posed in the courses. The master of divinity program is offered with several options. Degree requirements are available through the "Requirements by Degree" pages found in the Academic Programs section of this catalog. Please note that all options are not available at both campuses.

  • Single language (Greek or Hebrew) with no concentration
  • Dual language (Greek and Hebrew) with no concentration
  • Single language (Greek or Hebrew) with one of the following concentrations (St. Paul only):
    • Children’s and Family Ministry
    • Christian Thought
    • Transformational Leadership

Master of Arts in Children’s and Family Ministry

[St. Paul]

The Master of Arts in Children’s and Family Ministry offered through the InMinistry program is designed for professionals who minister to the particular needs of children and families. It is specially designed for those ministering in churches, child evangelism organizations, Christian schools, professional organizations, and missions agencies focused on ministry to children and families.

Master of Arts (Christian Thought)

[St. Paul]

This integrative degree enables and inspires students to engage theology, philosophy, and social contexts through thoughtful reflection on the practices of Christian life in the context of a changing culture. While the core of the program is an exploration of theology in relation to pressing contemporary issues and dialogues, the curriculum begins with a foundation in key themes and concepts from the philosophy of religion and concludes with a seminar in missional apologetics. Along the way, students and professors engage in dialogue among biblical studies, theology, philosophy, science, and cultural issues. Some graduates of the program enter church or para-church ministry vocations, which demand an in-depth understanding of the Christian faith and culture (such as teaching and discipleship ministries or church planting). Other graduates choose to pursue doctoral work in theology and theology-related disciplines (e.g., systematic or contemporary theology, theology and culture, and theology and science). Students who plan to pursue doctoral studies upon graduation should make those intentions known to the program director so that they can most efficiently strategize their preparation.

Master of Arts in Ministry

[St. Paul and San Diego]

The Master of Arts in Ministry is for persons called to specialized vocational ministry. While the curriculum provides excellent preparation for specialized ministry in the church, it is not designed to provide an abbreviated period of graduate study leading to the pastorate. Those who want to serve in senior leadership positions are encouraged to enroll in the seminary’s Master of Divinity program.

Master of Arts in Transformational Leadership

[St. Paul]

The Master of Arts in Transformational Leadership offered through the InMinistry program prepares emerging leaders for ministry in churches and missions organizations. It is a cooperative venture between Bethel Seminary and designated partner churches and missions agencies that provide a supervised ministry site and sponsor a student or student cohort group. This unique educational setting provides a day-to-day ministry context for study, leadership development, and ministry application.


Doctor of Ministry

The Doctor of Ministry is the most advanced degree for professionals working in ministry. The program at Bethel Seminary strives to provide innovative education to equip transformational leaders. Our program guides students on a research journey to address the burning issues facing the church and the world, leading to social innovation on the ground. The course and project work often is interdisciplinary in nature and usually involves applied exercises, including integral research and writing. A significant proportion of the program’s requirements will be met in the setting of the applicant’s ministry rather than in residence. Bethel Seminary has two unique and distinct offerings within the Doctor of Ministry degree program:

Self-Directed Doctor of Ministry

Bethel Seminary’s self-directed Doctor of Ministry program is nationally recognized, setting new standards in post-graduate theological education. It is dedicated to producing transformed, godly leaders ready for 21st century ministry and is convenient, relevant, progressive, focused, and empathetic. In the self-directed program, students are free to choose between Church Leadership, Congregation and Family Care, or Biblical and Theological Engagement, as well as pursue a more specific concentration within the track. Courses are offered in the summer and winter on the St. Paul campus, and occasionally on the San Diego campus. They also utilize online technology.

Cohort-Based Doctor of Ministry Program

With its revolutionary program design and innovative delivery system, Bethel Seminary’s cohort-based Doctor of Ministry program challenges students to take ministry and leadership skills to a new level. Master practitioners and scholars lead unique subject-based, carefully selected cohort groups in an intensive four-year course of study.