Bethany Seminary Responds to Coronavirus Concerns

October 27, 2020 

Bethany Theological Seminary continues to focus on the health and safety of students, faculty, and staff. Many employees are now working on site at least some of the time, and residential students continue to spend time the building. The doors remain locked, and visitors are encouraged to make an appointment before coming to the Bethany Center. Distance students continue their studies remotely. 

The primary goals of our approach are to protect the classroom and to encourage collaboration and informal communication. The Seminary is maintaining “Golden Rule Practices,” including mask wearing, social distancing, and hand washing. Individuals are also asked to stay away from Bethany Center if they are feeling sick and to get tested if they believe they may have been exposed to the coronavirus. While Bethany is encouraging safe in-person interactions (like small-group meetings with masks and physical distancing), but the Seminary is still not sponsoring large indoor gatherings like worship services or fellowship events. 

During the month of December, Bethany faculty and staff will be encouraged to find creative ways to increase their small group and informal interactions, both on campus and via technology. Members of the Seminary community will be encouraged to find safe ways to celebrate the Christmas season together and to find creative “collision points” where informal interactions occur with other members of the Bethany community. 

September 2, 2020

Bethany is continuing its phased reopening as classes begin for the 2020-21 academic year. The Seminary is responding to the pandemic with caution and care. We are doing everything we can to keep the community members healthy and safe.

The safety measures outlined in the reopening plan remain in place. Bethany students and employees continue to follow Golden Rule Practices, including the wearing of face masks, social distancing, avoiding large gatherings in enclosed spaces. Classes offer participants the option of attending in person or by Zoom. Weather permitting, worship will take by outdoors and in person on the first Wednesday of each month. Other worship opportunities will take place on Zoom. Employees continue to spend significant time working remotely, with most meetings happening via Zoom. However, a few employees will be in the office each weekday. If you would like to visit the Bethany Center, please call 800-287-8822 to make an appointment.

If members of the Bethany community test positive for Covid-19, Seminary leadership will assist with contact tracing to help avoid continued spread of the virus. Leadership will communicate with students, faculty, and staff when we learn of cases in our community. We are grateful to everyone for their cooperation during this difficult time.

July 10, 2020

Bethany Seminary has shared details on the phased reopening of Bethany Center and a plan for returning to in-person classes beginning on August 27, 2020. You can find details here.

April 3, 2020

Bethany Seminary is continuing to closely monitor The COVID-19 pandemic, and we are adjusting our response accordingly.

We have assembled a list of resources for those who are adapting their ministries to the realities of the pandemic. You can find that information here.

Bethany Center is currently closed to the public. All employees are encouraged to work from home. Teaching faculty are to teach from their homes and not travel to Bethany Center. Residential students continue to have access to their residences in the Bethany Neighborhood, but they must self-quarantine if they travel away from campus. A quarantine shelter has been set up for any residential students who need such a facility.

After careful consideration, we have decided to postpone Commencement Ceremonies, originally scheduled for May 8-9, 2020, and reschedule them at a later date, possibly in the fall. Seminary leadership continues to meet daily to asses the situation and consider any needed changes to our operations. Classes continue to meet via Zoom, employees continue to work from home, and together everyone at Bethany remains committed to fulfilling our educational mission as best we can during these unprecedented circumstances. In light of the need for community members to stay at home and practice social distancing, the Seminary is offering students, faculty and staff special opportunities for worship and fellowship via video conferencing.

If you have questions about the Seminary’s response to the coronavirus pandemic, please contact Jonathan Graham, director of marketing and communications, by email at or by phone at 765-983-1825.

March 19, 2020

Beginning Tuesday, March 24, Bethany Center will be closed to the public while accessible to employees.

  • Employees have the option to work from home, in consultation with their supervisor.
  • Students continue to have access to the Gathering Area and Study Room
  • No guests or family, to include children, are allowed in Bethany Center

The rapid unfolding of the COVID-19 pandemic necessitates quick action. The closing of Bethany Center to the public will be regularly evaluated. At this moment employees have the option to work from home, but depending upon the spread of the virus, we are prepared to move from option to encouragement to mandate if need be.

We will continue to offer all courses via Zoom or online and extend this practice for the remainder of the semester. All students who would have attended classes in person will join remotely using Zoom synchronous technology. Faculty will be able to teach via Zoom from the classroom, their offices, or their homes. Online courses will proceed as scheduled. We are making this decision now so everyone can plan accordingly.

Please note that spring registration for fall 2020 courses will continue as planned for two weeks—April 20-May 1. Students should plan to meet with faculty advisors by either Zoom or phone (as faculty indicate) and register for fall courses following our normal process.

Finally, at this time, commencement is still scheduled to take place on Saturday, May 9. A decision to continue with this plan, to change format, or to reschedule (or to implement another creative option) will be made by Friday, April 3. We want to celebrate our graduates but need to do so in an appropriate manner that maintains health and safety for all involved.

March 17, 2020

As part of its response to the spread of the coronavirus and for the well-being of its employees, Bethany Seminary will be closed Friday, March 20, and Monday, March 23.

March 13, 2020

As a preventative health measure, Bethany Seminary and the Brethren Academy are moving remaining spring 2020 class sessions to Zoom or online formats beginning Monday, March 16, until at least Monday, April 6.

All students who would have attended classes in person will join remotely using Zoom synchronous technology. Faculty will be able to teach via Zoom from the classroom, their offices, or their homes. Online courses will proceed as scheduled. In addition, all on-campus activities and gatherings will be suspended for the same period. After this period, President Jeff Carter and Dean Steve Schweitzer will evaluate on a weekly basis whether classes and activities should resume.

The Brethren Academy directed independent study units scheduled in conjunction with the Church Planting Conference in May and the Minister’s Association Pre-Conference Event at Annual Conference will be held contingent upon whether those events proceed as planned.

Bethany employees will continue to work on campus as usual. At this time, the board of trustees meeting will go forward on campus as scheduled, and commencement will be held as expected. Any decisions to further restrict campus activity or to resume regularly scheduled classes and activities will be communicated immediately and widely.

For questions regarding Bethany Seminary course and activity scheduling, contact the Dean’s Office at or 765-983-1815. For questions regarding Brethren Academy courses, contact Janet Ober Lambert at or 765-983-1820.