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Academic Programs

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Bethany offers three master’s degree programs, six graduate-level certificates, and nondegree learning options. Learn more about what Bethany has to offer!

Master’s Degree Programs

Master of Divinity (MDiv)
This ministerial degree program is designed to prepare persons for church-related ministries, including ministries requiring ordination. A key component of the MDiv degree is Bethany’s acclaimed Ministry Formation sequence (practical ministry preparation and experience).

MDiv Connections Track: The same MDiv degree earned from a distance.

Master of Arts (MA)
This program of focused study requires 42 credit hours and culminates with a thesis or portfolio. It is designed to carry students into future doctoral work and/or a professional appointment. As of fall 2019, it can be completed entirely through online/distance education courses. .

Master of Arts: Theopoetics and Writing (MATW)
The only degree of its kind, the MATW is graduate education on the cutting edge. Designed to enhance students’ ability to write and think at the intersection of creativity, faith, and meaning, it trains students in various forms of written communication and other media that bring spirituality into public conversation with the whole of life.

This degree requires 36 credit hours, culminating with a thesis, portfolio, or project. It can be completed entirely through online/distance education courses.

Graduate Certificates

  • Graduate-level programs
  • Online/distance education courses available
  • All courses can be rolled into a degree program and are fully accredited and transferable

Certificate of Achievement in Theological Studies (CATS)
This is a great opportunity to test the waters of seminary education, with courses taken across the disciplinary content areas. The CATS program provides a means to deepen one’s understanding of Christian faith and ministry while providing an opportunity to explore seminary education. It is designed for persons who wish to pursue theological study without necessarily becoming a candidate for a degree.

This program requires 18 hours of coursework. A 3-credit course must be taken in each of the following areas of the curriculum: biblical studies, theological studies, historical studies, ministry studies, and peace or intercultural studies. In addition, students will take one general elective.

Certificate in Biblical Peacemaking (CBP)
The CBP provides a means to construct one’s theology of peacemaking through biblical, theological, and ethical reflection. With this foundation, students will apply their learning in a practical setting. Designed to serve the needs of students from the Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (Church of the Brethren in Nigeria), this program is open to domestic as well as international students.

This program requires 18 hours of coursework, including two required courses and a practicum. The other hours will come from selected courses in peace studies and theological studies as listed in the catalog

Certificate in Intercultural Biblical Interpretation (CIBI)
The Certificate in Intercultural Biblical Interpretation provides a means to deepen one’s understanding of the Bible and methods of interpretation. The importance of rigorous and reflective engagement with scripture is stressed.

This program requires 15 hours of coursework, including both introductory courses. The other 9 hours come from various biblical studies courses as listed in the catalog

Certificate in Just Peace and Conflict Transformation (CJPCT)
The Certificate in Just Peace and Conflict Transformation provides a means of focusing on the work of conflict transformation and creation of just Ppace in the world. Along with theoretical approaches, the skills needed for constructive work in these areas are practiced both individually and in groups.

This program requires 15 hours of coursework, including two required courses. The additional hours will come from a variety of courses in reconciliation and peace studies as listed in the catalog.

Certificate in Theology and Science (CTS)
In every area from physics to medical science, each year brings new discoveries that can inspire wonder, stretch our faith, and inform our ministry. The Certificate in Theology and Science assumes interest, rather than prior knowledge or ability, in fields of science and theology. It offers students the opportunity to

  1. understand better the different ways that scientists and theologians form questions, gather evidence and find answers;
  2. explore places of potential conflict or collaboration between science and theology;
  3. learn practical scientific knowledge that can be valuable for one’s vocation.

Students can choose to focus their work on specific areas, such as the intertwined history of science and faith, the theory and practice of creation care, neuroscience for ministry, evolution and biblical interpretation, human relationship with animals and machines, technology and Christian ethics, and many others.

This program requires 15 hours of coursework, which may come from a variety of courses in biblical, historical, ministry, and theological studies as listed in the catalog.

Certificate in Theopoetics and Theological Imagination (CTTI)
The Certificate in Theopoetics and Theological Imagination provides a means to deepen one’s understanding of theology, especially as it is articulated in public venues and in wider cultural contexts that bring theology into conversation with the whole of life.

This program requires 15 hours of coursework, including a required introductory course and a course in theopoetics. Additional coursework may come from a variety of theological areas, including classical and contemporary approaches, ecological theology, public theology, theology and culture, and ministry of writing courses as listed in the catalog.

Nondegree Learning Opportunities

Occasional Students
A person who applies and is admitted but not enrolled in any particular degree track is classified as an occasional student. Occasional students may choose to take any courses they desire. Most often, those who enroll as occasional students are those testing out seminary, perhaps planning to enroll in a degree program at a later time, or those who may already have a degree and are seeking the best of continuing education on the graduate level.

Brethren Academy for Ministerial Leadership
The Academy, a partnership of Bethany Theological Seminary and the Church of the Brethren, is the umbrella organization for nondegree ministerial training within the Church of the Brethren. The program leading to commissioned ministry in the Church of the Brethren is Education for Shared Ministry (EFSM). Programs leading to ordination in the Church of the Brethren include the following:

  • Training in Ministry (TRIM)
  • Academy Certified Training System (ACTS)
  • Seminario Biblico Anabautista Hispano de la Iglesia de Los Hermanos (SeBAH-CoB)