Overview

Bethel Seminary St. Paul, our largest campus, is located on the beautiful lake shore campus of Bethel University in St. Paul, Minnesota. Here you can explore the Bible and its history as you ground yourself in theology and spiritual growth. This section covers campus specific resources, special programs and student services. For more detailed academic information and a list of degrees, please see the "St Paul" section of the Academic Information portion of this catalog.

Campus and Community Resources

Bethel Seminary St. Paul is located on the campus of Bethel University in St. Paul, Minnesota. With a student body of approximately 6,300 students, Bethel University offers myriad opportunities and services. Undergraduate coursework for students or spouses is available in numerous areas of study. Social, cultural, and athletic activities are abundant. The university also offers numerous adult education, degree completion, and graduate programs.

The seminary is bordered by freeways that go directly to the heart of Minneapolis and St. Paul, and is on Highway 51 (Snelling Avenue), a direct route to St. Paul’s midway district. Our location facilitates convenient access to churches, industrial centers, and other institutions of learning, including the University of Minnesota, several liberal arts colleges, and three theological seminaries. The library resources of these educational institutions are available to seminary students, as are those of the public libraries of St. Paul and Minneapolis. The Twin Cities area also offers many opportunities for cultural enrichment.

Buildings and Facilities

Bethel University, including the seminary, is situated on 245 wooded acres, including a spring-fed lake. The seminary complex has been arranged to take advantage of the natural beauty of the site. Much study went into the design to encourage faculty-student relationships that will best carry out the objectives of the school. The six buildings in the complex are all interconnected by covered walkways and glassed pavilions.

Campus Center. The setting, complete with a student lounge, has been designed for relaxation, dining, and fellowship. The Scandinavian architecture is a reminder of Bethel’s Swedish heritage.

Chapel. The chapel is designed to express two of the most important aspects in the life of the seminarian – the preaching of the Word and the worship of the Savior. The strength of the building in the simple but massive structure suggests the majesty and might of God and aids our experience of awe in worship. The interior focuses on three elements of our Baptist heritage – the baptistry, the pulpit, and the communion table. A sense of fellowship and corporate worship is strengthened by the seating arrangement and the lighting. The lower level of the chapel is designed with a large communication center and a preaching laboratory for instruction and experience in preaching.

Classroom Hall. The smaller classrooms are designed to enhance learning. The same sense of intimacy is achieved in larger classrooms with elevated seating in a semicircle.

Faculty Hall. Faculty Hall is centrally located in the seminary complex and houses the administrative and faculty offices. Traffic to and from the chapel and social center flows through the hall, which opens to the main seminary entrance. A balcony with faculty offices, each large enough to accommodate several students for discussion with a professor, surrounds the open shaft that extends from lobby to roof.

SemPM (Evening Program)

The SemPM evening school program offers individuals the opportunity to pursue the Master of Arts in Ministry while attending class one night per week. This degree is ideally suited to those who wish to prepare for associate ministry roles in churches or parachurch organizations. The M.A. in Ministry degree provides students with practical ministry training shaped by a firm grounding in biblical and theological reflection. Students in the SemPM program are enrolled in five to seven courses per year and are considered full time students. Students can also pursue a Master of Divinity through the SemPM program. Master of Divinity students will complete the Master of Arts in Ministry course sequence and continue on for two additional years to complete Master of Divinty degree requirements. The Master of Divinity completion sequence includes evening classes throughout the week and some online courses. For more detailed information on the SemPM program in St Paul, please see the "SemPM" section under "St. Paul" in the "Academic Information" portion of this catalog.

Small-Town and Rural Ministry

As one of five seminaries of the Minnesota Consortium of Theological Schools, Bethel participates in the Northland Ministry Partnership. Through this project, courses and other learning experiences are offered annually with a focus on ministry in small towns and rural areas.

Bethel Seminary St. Paul also partners with the Rural Home Missionary Association’s Town and Country Training Program. The program offers summer courses focused on contextualized training in small towns and rural settings. Courses of study include ministry, ministry leadership, pastoral care, faith communication, and a seminar in small-town and rural ministry.

Edwin J. Omark Preaching Competition

More than 40 years ago, Dean Emeritus Edwin J. Omark established a competition at Bethel Seminary designed to bring out the best in biblical preaching from the students. Each year, Bethel Seminary hosts this competition as one more way to help develop the best communicators of the Gospel. Each contestant submits a video recording of a 25-minute sermon to be judged by faculty and students.

Zondervan Greek Award

To inspire and reward excellence in the study of New Testament Greek, Bethel Seminary St. Paul partners with Zondervan Publishing Company to offer Zondervan’s Excellence in Greek Award. This award is given annually to the most outstanding student in Greek grammar and exegesis as determined by the New Testament faculty in consultation with other language instructors at the seminary. The winner will receive a prize of a Zondervan product of his or her choice, a commemorative medallion, and have his or her name engraved on a plaque displayed in the seminary library.

Adolf Olson Memorial Lectures

The Adolf Olson lectureship was established to perpetuate the memory of Professor Olson’s 40-year ministry at Bethel by bringing noted theologians to the seminary for lectures in biblical and theological fields. These lectures are presented at intervals as determined by the income from the trust fund that has been established. Presenters have included John Weborg speaking on “Spirituality: Questions and Quest”; Wolfhart Pannenberg addressing the subject “Christianity, Marxism, and Liberation Theology”; and Stanley Grenz lecturing on “The Gospel and the Star Trek Generation.”

The Howard Carlson Memorial Lectureship in Pastoral Ministries

The Howard Carlson Lectureship was established by the family of the Reverend Howard Carlson, former executive minister of the Southwest Baptist Conference, and is designed to emphasize the practical areas of ministry, such as evangelism, discipleship, preaching, and counseling. The first Howard Carlson Lectureship was held in October 1984 and brought William E. Pannell, professor of evangelism and black studies at Fuller Theological Seminary, to address current issues in evangelism.

Athletics and Wellness

On-campus facilities are available for Bethel Seminary St. Paul students, staff, and faculty.  The campus is ideal for cross-country skiing and snow-shoeing in the winter, and outdoor tennis courts and a disc golf course are available for the summer. Seminary students are also invited to use the two wellness centers on the university campus: (1) the Sports and Recreation Center, which includes an indoor six-lane running track and basketball, tennis, and volleyball courts, and (2) The Wellness Center, a two-story workout facility with cutting-edge training equipment and studio spaces for group fitness.  Facilities are designed so that students can enjoy amazing views while running on treadmills near floor-to-ceiling windows, move through a circuit-training workout, or join a group fitness class.  

Child Development Center

The Bethel Child Development Center (CDC), a lab school for Bethel undergrad elementary education students taking classes toward their pre-primary endorsement, is located in North Village. Several services are available to the seminary community through the center, including childcare for children ages six weeks to five years old. The CDC offers both part-time and full-time care. All seminary students receive a 20% tuition discount while attending classes. For more information on enrollment and tuition, please contact the CDC Assistant Director, Emily Wolff, at etw56243@bethel.edu or 651.357.6990. 

Counseling

Bethel Seminary provides three resources for students who desire personal counseling:

  • Faculty Advisors/Members of the Student Development Committee: Students who need advice or counsel regarding a problem or situation they are facing should feel free to seek out their faculty advisor or a member of the Student Development Committee. Faculty will try to assist students in one or two sessions, but if additional counseling is needed, faculty will refer the students to the Office of Student Development and Support.
  • Short-Term Counseling: The associate dean of student development and support (651.638.8524), has a limited number of counseling hours available for students free of charge. Students can contact the associate dean directly.
  • Professional Counseling: Confidential counseling is available for seminary students dealing with issues of stress, relationships, sense of call, emotional well-being, addictions, etc. Students may access the Bethel University Counseling Services by calling 651.635.8540. The seminary provides up to six sessions at no fee through the Counseling Center. If the student and counselor agree that further work would be helpful, additional sessions can be arranged for a small fee. The Office of Student Development and Support also provides referrals to competent therapists outside of Bethel and will subsidize up to six sessions of counseling with approved, licensed therapists (contact office for criteria). If a student has mental health benefits through his/her personal health insurance plan, these benefits can be applied to cover costs, in addition to the subsidy. Contact the Program and Services Coordinator of the Office of Student Development and Support (651.638.6049).

Food Service

Students may purchase meals from the university’s Monson Dining Center, 3900 Grill, or Royal Grounds. Vending machines containing beverages and snacks are also located in the Seminary Lower Campus Center. Free coffee, hot water, and ice are always available in the Seminary Lower Campus Center as well.

Health Services

Health Services facilities are located on the university campus. A registered nurse is on duty at regular hours Monday through Friday with a physician on campus at scheduled times during the week. This service is provided for minimal cost to full-time students. Health Services hours, services, and the schedule of the campus physician are listed on the Health Services website.

Women’s Resources

The first woman enrolled in Bethel Seminary in 1880. Today, the seminary continues to meet the needs of both female students and the wives of male students who are a part of the community. Although separate meetings deal with the unique needs of each group, all meetings of any women’s group on campus are open to women students, wives, faculty, and staff members.

SemWomen provides opportunities for all students, but especially women seminarians, to address questions related to ministerial call, servant leadership, personal spiritual growth, and ways that our culture affects women and men in ministry. Regular meetings are planned by the Student Senate representative and faculty advisor.

Bethel Seminary contains an on-site private room for all seminary student mothers who are nursing. This room is located in the Women’s Locker Room in the Seminary Recreation Hall.

Tutorial Assistance

Peer tutorial assistance is available to students through the Office of Student Development and Support.