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Academic Programs

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Bethany offers two master’s degree programs, five graduate-level certificates, and nondegree learning options.

Use the links below to explore our array of program options and learn more about what Bethany has to offer!

Master’s Degree Programs

Master of Divinity (MDiv) Degree: Ministerial degree program designed to prepare persons for church-related ministries, including ministries requiring ordination. A key component of the MDiv degree is Bethany’s Ministry Formation (practical ministry preparation and experience). New degree requirements, with reduced number of credits, beginning in fall 2018!

MDiv Connections Track: Bethany’s acclaimed distance education/online MDiv track—the same MDiv degree earned from a distance.

Master of Arts (MA) Degree: Two-year degree program of focused study culminating in a thesis paper. This program is designed to carry students into future doctoral work, and/or a professional appointment.

MA Connections Track: The same MA degree earned through participating in many classes via distance education.

Graduate Certificates

Certificate of Achievement in Theological Studies (CATS): A graduate-level certificate program. All CATS coursework can be rolled directly into a degree program, and courses are fully accredited and transferable. 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. Online/distance education option is available.

Certificate in Intercultural Biblical Interpretation (CIBI): A graduate-level certificate program. 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. All CIBI coursework can be rolled directly into a degree program, and courses are fully accredited and transferable. Online/distance education option is available.

Certificate in Just Peace and Conflict Transformation (CJPCT): A graduate-level certificate program. 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 may come from a variety of courses in reconciliation and peace studies, as listed in the catalog. All CJPCT coursework can be rolled directly into a degree program, and courses are fully accredited and transferable. Online/distance education option is available.

Certificate in Theology and Science (CTS): A graduate-level certificate program. 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 (a) understand better the different ways that scientists and theologians form questions, gather evidence and find answers; (b) explore places of potential conflict or collaboration between science and theology; and (c) 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. All CST coursework can be rolled directly into a degree program, and courses are fully accredited and transferable. Online/distance education option is available. (New – beginning fall 2018)

Certificate in Theopoetics and Theological Imagination (CTTI): A graduate-level certificate program. 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. All CTTI coursework can be rolled directly into a degree program, and courses are fully accredited and transferable. Online/distance education option is available.

Nondegree Learning Opportunities

Occasional StudentsA 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)