The Ministry Scholars program is Bethel University's bachelors to master's degree 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's 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, developmental activities, and discipleship 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:
- 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.
- Discernment of call: They will clarify and reaffirm their sense of calling to vocational ministry and what that looks like in a changing world.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Leadership capacity: They will learn to follow leaders and to lead followers—enlisting people, building teams, leading change and achieving results.
- 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?
Ability to maintain a 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) throughout the duration of the Ministry Scholars program while enrolled at CAS and Seminary.
Ability to provide a pastoral and ministry leader reference that speaks to the student’s character and call to ministry.
Commitment to prioritizing activities, discipleship opportunities, and retreats offered to Ministry Scholars, designed to enable the individual to develop a strong sense of community.
General Criteria for Participation in the Ministry Scholars Program
This is a rigorous program that streamlines undergraduate and graduate education while providing robust discipleship 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 master's 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 Ministry Scholars Program Director for their readiness to transition to graduate level education. The evaluation will be based primarily on academic ability, spiritual maturity, character, and the 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 Seminary is conditional on earning a Bachelor's degree from CAS with an undergraduate GPA of 3.0 and obtaining approval from the Ministry Scholars Program Director.
Bachelor’s Degree (Ministry Scholars)
Ministry Scholars take courses from a selected list as part of their baccalaureate program (totaling a minimum of 122 credits). The requirements of the students major will affect whether certain pre-seminary courses count toward Electives, General Education, or their Major.
While the program is meant for those interested in ministry, any bachelor's degree can complete the program. If students have other majors, these courses can be taken with elective credit and several for certain letter tags.
|MIN 200||Foundations of Ministry||3|
|Choose up to 15 credits from the following courses or course pairs|
& BIB 265
|The Life and Teachings of Jesus|
and The Life and Teachings of Paul
& THE 326G
|Conflict, Reconciliation, and the Church|
and Christian Theology in Africa, Asia, and Latin America
|MIN 320||Spiritual and Faith Formation||3|
|THE 263||Christian Social Ethics||3|
|THE 311||Early Church to Reformation Theology in Global Perspective||3|
|One Interpreting Biblical Themes (J) course||3|
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.
Advanced Standing with Credit Waiver
The possible pre-seminary courses that Ministry Scholars can complete are eligible for advanced standing with credit waiver for 4 masters courses (totaling up to 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
- CAS course THE 311 Early Church to Reformation Theology in Global Perspective waives the requirement for Seminary course HS 510 Church History Survey.
- CAS course THE 263 Christian Social Ethics waives the requirement for Seminary course TS 516 Christian Social Ethics.
- CAS course MIN 320 Spiritual and Faith Formation waives the requirement for Seminary course SP 510 Introduction to Spiritual and Personal Formation
- CAS courses THE 326G Christian Theology in Africa, Asia, and Latin America & MIN 310Z Conflict, Reconciliation, and the Church waives the requirement for Seminary course GC 512 Global, Cultural and Contextual Ministry
- CAS courses BIB 265 The Life and Teachings of Paul & BIB 260 The Life and Teachings of Jesus waives the requirement for Seminary course NT 516 New Testament Survey: Narratives, Letters, and Revelation.
- Additionally, the following courses, if taken as part of the student's undergraduate degree, may be used to waive Seminary elective credits up to the maximum credit limit listed above:
- One Interpreting Biblical Themes (J) course
- BIB 321 Issues in Biblical Studies
- BIB 326 The Prophets of Israel
- BIB 336 Poetic Books of the Old Testament
- BIB 370 Romans
- BIB 375 First Corinthians
- BIB 440 Topics in Biblical Studies
- COM 387 Speaking in Ministry Contexts
- GES 413P Women's Spiritual Experiences
- GES 433P Biblical Spirituality: Experiencing God
- MIN 330 Teaching in Ministry Contexts
- PSY 325G Psychology of Religion
- RES 305 Conflict Resolution and Mediation Skills
- THE 315 Contemporary Theological Issues
Undergraduate students accepted to the Ministry Scholars Program are able to pursue a one year 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 Ministry Scholars Program Director.
Courses transferred to Bethel University's CAS from other schools are not eligible for Advanced Standing with Credit Waiver.