Bethany Neighborhood Handbook

Bethany Mission Statement

As an innovative learning community grounded in an Anabaptist and Radical Pietist witness, Bethany Theological Seminary empowers every student to lead through spiritual engagement, faith-filled thought, and transformative practice so that the world flourishes.

To encourage Christian and neighborly community living, Bethany Seminary has provided houses, tools, furniture, a community garden, and many other kinds of support. In return, residential students agree to the following expectations:

Neighborhood Responsibility
Residents will actively engage in community living and in the responsibilities of maintaining and cultivating community, which includes planning and participating in neighborhood activities and regular chores. They will commit to healthy conflict resolution practices to resolve neighborhood conflicts. Conflicts that can’t be handled among students will be directed to the student development personnel of their respective institutions. They will work with the Bethany Director of Student Development to plan community events.

The Neighborhood is home to many kinds of students and friends of Bethany, both visiting and long-term. Connections students, Board members, and others make use of the Bethany neighborhood properties. Residents may be asked to open their homes for tours, photo shoots, and visits by trustees, donors, and potential students. Guest rooms should be kept available and guest-ready. The Office of Student Services will provide 24-hour notification when a guest room is to be used.

Bethany staff will conduct monthly maintenance checks of each house and surrounding property on the first Monday of each month.

Participation in Seminary Life
Community life is essential to the seminary experience. Bethany students will be active on campus, and are expected to serve on one of the many committees or as a representative to board, faculty, or EPAC meetings. Residents will be consciously engaged in the life of the seminary.

Bethany residents will attend campus events, including worship, MA student presentations, common meals and joint common meals, seminary-planned events, other annual events, special events at Bethany, and Board of Trustees meetings. Regular presence on campus is expected.

Residents who are Bethany students are eligible to apply for work-study. Contact the Office of Student Services to discuss possible opportunities.

Non-Bethany residents are a welcome and vital part of the neighborhood community and our joint seminary communities. We encourage all of our neighborhood residents to explore ways they might contribute to a healthy and robust community life. All neighborhood residents will be invited to participate in seminary-planned community activities, and are encouraged to plan their own game nights, study sessions, book groups, backyard bonfires, etc, making good use of the space and tools the neighborhood provides.

Residency Responsibility
Students will inform the Bethany Director of Student Development via email if they plan to be away from the Neighborhood for longer than a week. This includes scheduled academic breaks and the summer. This matters for the safety of our students and the maintenance of Bethany’s houses.

Healthy Christian community living requires everyone’s involvement and commitment, along with humor, kindness, forgiveness, and flexibility. Lifelong friendships and deep sharing are possible with close living.

  • Residents are renting their bedroom and sharing common spaces.
  • The house and surrounding property will be kept in the condition in which the residents found them.
  • Bethany has furnished the houses; any additional furniture requires approval from the Bethany Office of Student Services.
  • Bethany staff must be informed of any maintenance issues as they arise. To report emergency maintenance issues, please contact Tammy Glenn via her cell phone. For non-emergency issues, please email

The following are minimum expectations.


  • Clean thoroughly once a week. This includes scrubbing counters and mopping the floor.
  • Return personal items to appropriate areas.
  • Hang up towels.
  • Put laundry in the appropriate place.
  • Keep fixtures clean. Dust and wipe down as needed.
  • Rinse the sink after each use.
  • Things from our bodies (hair, spit, etc) should not be left for others to deal with.

Kitchens and Food

  • Clean thoroughly once a week. This includes sweeping the floors.
  • Wipe down the stove after each use.
  • Wash dishes on the day they are used.
  • Dishes removed from the kitchen need to be returned and cleaned up in a timely manner.
  • Check the fridge for old food.
  • Take out the trash.
  • Use the garbage disposal appropriately.
  • Use the appropriate soap for the dishwasher.

Community Spaces (Living Rooms, Hallways, etc.)

  • Vacuum weekly.
  • Dust once a month.
  • Move laundry through from start to finish so that others can use the machines.


  • Keep the yards and exterior spaces free of clutter.
  • Care for lawns, yard, and sidewalks, including mowing, and leaf and snow removal as seasonally appropriate.
  • If you use the fire pits, be aware of local burn ordinances. Make sure that fires are completely out when you are finished.
  • Bethany has a community grill. If you use this, clean up when you are finished.
  • The community garden is available. If you have interest in using it, speak to the Bethany Director of Student Development.
  • Lawn furniture and games are available. Put these back in appropriate places after use.
  • All tools are supplied by Bethany Seminary.


  • Personal items are confined to bedrooms.
  • Residents must agree on any personal items present in common living spaces. Sharing of those items is expected.
  • Do not store items in the houses’ basements.
  • Bicycles and garden items may be stored in the sheds.

Additional Information

  • Quiet hours are from 10:00 PM to 7:00 AM.
  • The Bethany Director of Student Development will meet with each house to set expectations around shoes, scented items, noise levels, cleanliness, guests, and other practices that impact communal living.
  • Non-community guests may stay for no more than two nights every month with permission from housemates and the Bethany Director of Student Development.


  • Practice nonviolent communication: active listening, mirroring, using I-statements in discussion, and seeking resolution.
  • Address fellow residents with kindness.

Differences of personality and lifestyle choices

  • Residents will respect the differences among each other. They will display care for each other as friends, neighbors, and colleagues.
  • Pay attention to other residents. Bring it up with your neighbor if you notice a change in demeanor or behavior. If this does not resolve the issue, notify the Bethany Director of Student Development.

The Office of Student Services determines all housing and roommate assignments. All houses are all-gender.

Students will respond to prompts through reflective journaling. Students will discuss their work, their community learning, and their reflections in weekly debrief sessions, individual and group conversations, and other venues. They will integrate their experiences in BOLD with the classroom and by sharing with the Bethany community. BOLD students will serve as leaders in the program and at Bethany.

Residents will uphold all rules and responsibilities as laid out in Bethany Student Handbook, the Ethical Conduct Policy, this Neighborhood handbook, and the lease agreement. Misconduct will not be tolerated, and Residents will act with integrity, empathy, and respect for self and neighbor.

The focus of disciplinary action is to resolve student misconduct. As Bethany employees are made aware of incidents and behaviors, it is expected that they will communicate these concerns to the relevant parties. Misconduct that involves Neighborhood living in relation to the Ethical Conduct Policy in the Bethany Student Handbook will be referred to the Office of Student Services. Misconduct that involves violation of the lease agreement will be referred to the Executive Director of Finance and Administration. Misconduct that involves the requirements and expectations of BOLD as delineated in the BOLD handbook are the domain of the Director of BOLD.

Failure to meet the requirements and expectations of the Bethany Neighborhood is grounds for dismissal from the program and will be met with the following steps:

A first offense will result in a disciplinary meeting with the Director of Student Development. In the meeting the student will be informed of the offense and will work with the Director to create a plan for resolving it. The offense and plan for resolution will be documented and copied to the Office of Student Services, the Academic Dean, and the Office of the President. The student will also receive a copy.

A second offense will result in a disciplinary meeting with the Director of Student Services, members of the Office of Student Services, and any other relevant parties, including the Academic Dean and the President. The student will be informed of the offense and placed on probation. The nature of the probation will depend on the nature of the offense.

A third offense may result in dismissal from the Bethany Neighborhood. Those dismissed from the neighborhood as a result of disciplinary action may not reapply or be reinstated to the neighborhood or its programs. For further information, please consult the Ethical Conduct Policy.

If the Director decides at any point that the safety of the student, other people, or the Seminary is at stake, immediate disciplinary actions, including termination, may be imposed against a student who is suspected of violating the Student Handbook, Ethical Conduct Policy, BOLD Handbook, or any other rules, regulations, or procedures of the Seminary, or otherwise poses a risk to the safety and well-being of the campus or community.

A student may appeal a disciplinary decision by contacting the Director of Student Development in writing. A committee may include the Director, others from Student Services, the Academic Dean, and other relevant parties to hear the appeal and make a determination.