This section covers online student special programs and student services. For more detailed academic information and a list of degrees, please see the "Online Programs" section of 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 students may take courses and other learning experiences offered annually through consortium partner schools 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
Half a century 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.
To inspire and reward excellence in the areas of Biblical Language and Theology, Bethel Seminary partners with Zondervan Publishing Company to offer Zondervan’s Awards for Excellence in Greek, Hebrew, and Theology. These awards are given annually to the most outstanding students in Greek and Hebrew grammar and exegesis, and Theology as determined by residential faculty in consultation with other instructors at the seminary. The winners will receive a prize of a Zondervan product of his or her choice, a commemorative pin, and have his or her name engraved on a plaque displayed at the Seminary.
Bethel Seminary provides two resources for students who desire personal counseling:
- Short-Term Counseling: The Associate Dean of Formation and Professional Development (651.635.8524) 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 to schedule an appointment online or 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 Formation and Professional Development 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. Students may contact their advisor for more information.
All Master of Divinity, Master of Arts in Ministry, and Master of Arts in Transformational Leadership students are required to participate in a supervised ministry sequence during their degree programs.
These courses engage the application of ministry skills and personal developmental goals in a context that considers the individual’s design for ministry vocational direction. Accountability relationships, regular reflection, and degree-specific outcomes are woven into the practical ministry experiences. In Professional Internship and Chaplaincy Internship (Master of Divinity or Master of Arts in Ministry students), course credit is only granted for internship experiences that have received pre-approval from the Office of Internship and Placement.
Office of Student Success and Retention
The Office of Student Success and Retention provides essential services, resources and support for the post-traditional student body of Bethel Seminary. From the first day of class until the completion of one's degree, The Office of Student Success and Retention creates a positive learning experience for students by providing them with all they need to know and do to be successful in their respective programs. This includes walking students through the new student orientation process, connecting students to important personnel and resources, and overseeing academic advising services to help adult learners reach their educational goals and pursuits while supporting wholeness and holiness in their studies and their lives.
The specialists at Bethel's CAPS, Seminary, and Graduate School Academic Resource Center can help build students' skills in academic work and professional life. Students may schedule an appointment by visiting the academic support page or by emailing: firstname.lastname@example.org, or calling 651.635.8777.