President’s Welcome

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Carter_wWelcome to Bethany Theological Seminary, an innovative graduate school educating women and men for clergy and lay leadership in churches and those seeking to integrate theological, biblical, and ethical reflection into their various professions.

As a place of faith, intellectual inquiry, and holy conversation, the Seminary offers an Incarnational education that transforms our inner lives and turns us outward to serve the world. At the table of conversation, we gather around scripture to listen to the Holy Spirit, each other, and the world’s needs. Study and nourishing reflection lead to fruitful living where justice and mercy are not merely ideas but evidence of God’s way. Around the Bethany table you will find colleagues who will become pastors, teachers, prophets, chaplains, architects or builders, earth caretakers, musicians, accountants, and nurses.

Bethany is an intellectual and spiritual community educating for God’s shalom and Christ’s love and peace. Theological education here is grounded in the testimonies of the Church of the Brethren, which include the priesthood of all believers, the study of scripture in community, simplicity and reverence for creation, service to others, and peace and reconciliation. Founded in 1905, the Seminary remains committed to educating the mind, heart, body, and spirit of students from a variety of theological perspectives. Sharing the conviction that each person is a minister grounded in Christ’s transformative love, we live and teach in the questions that challenge religions and cultures in this time.

Students may enroll in either the MA or MDiv program, both of which are available on campus and in an online format. Both programs will afford you abundant opportunities to

  • engage in disciplined study of biblical scripture, theology, and historical texts;
  • participate in thoughtful dialog on contemporary issues of faith and values;
  • practice spiritual disciplines of prayer, contemplation, and reconciliation in an era plagued with anxiety, violence, and dread;
  • link theological reflection with interdisciplinary study;
  • prepare for further graduate study;
  • develop intercultural competencies through cross-cultural travel, work, and study;
  • cultivate distinctive skills required in ministry to and with the emerging generations; and
  • embody Incarnational values of compassion and hospitality for friend and foe in a world of arrogance and greed.

At Bethany Theological Seminary, your educational opportunities will be enhanced by several partnerships. These partnerships build upon our own faculty and are strengthened by the rich resources of nearby seminaries and colleges, area congregations, and denominational agencies, particularly the Earlham School of Religion and the Brethren Academy for Ministerial Leadership.

Bethany’s educational program resides in the community conversation in the classrooms at Bethany located in Richmond, Indiana, and through the extended accessibility of Bethany’s graduate degrees through MDiv Connections and MA Connections, programs that combine short-term intensive courses at the Seminary, courses via synchronous video, and online courses.

Bethany provides rigorous academic programs and generous financial aid to make this education both affordable and accessible so that our students might more faithfully and joyfully embody God’s shalom and Christ’s peace in the church and the world. We are eager to welcome you to this vibrant community of faith and learning.

Jeffrey William Carter

Dr. Carter is the tenth president of Bethany Theological Seminary. With twenty years of pastoral experience, Dr. Carter has valued service to the community and the Church of the Brethren. He teaches a variety of topics including preaching, church history, ecumenism, and theology. The denomination previously called him to membership on the Standing Committee of Annual Conference and to chair the Annual Conference Study Committee on Denomination Name. He currently represents the Church of the Brethren on the Central Committee of the World Council of Churches.

Carter is a graduate of Bridgewater College (BA), Bethany Theological Seminary (MDiv), and Princeton Theological Seminary (DMin). He and his wife, Kimberly, have three daughters.