Bethany Theological Seminary has taken steps to make advanced education in biblical and theological studies accessible and affordable for international students who graduated from Brethren colleges.
Under a newly approved policy, the Seminary is actively recruiting students with homes outside the United States who are attending — or have graduated from — Bridgewater College, Elizabethtown College, Manchester University, McPherson College, Juniata College, or the University of Laverne. These individuals can now apply for the Residency Scholarship — a program that makes it possible for students to earn a Bethany degree as residential students without taking on additional student or commercial debt.
“We are excited to offer this opportunity to excellent students from throughout the world,” says President Jeff Carter. “Students from these colleges are familiar with the Church of the Brethren and they are well prepared for advanced study. International students can bring greater diversity to our community, and Bethany degrees will benefit them wherever their lives and careers take them. By welcoming international students as residential scholars, we are pursuing our mission — so that the world flourishes.”
The Residency Scholarship is part of Bethany’s Pillars and Pathways program, a robust effort to reduce student debt and make seminary accessible and affordable for all qualified students. The program includes scholarships, housing support, work and service opportunities, and coursework related to personal finance. The program was created in recognition of the financial realities facing those who pursue careers in ministry or service. Participants are expected to commit to simple living and to earn up to $7,500 per year through work-study and summer employment.
“Up to this point, the Residency Scholarship has primarily attracted domestic students,” notes Lori Current, executive director of admissions and student services. “We hope that by partnering with Brethren colleges, we can recruit international students who will be a wonderful fit for our programs. All of our students benefit from diverse perspectives in the classroom, worship, and social gatherings. We hope this program will also help us attract a more diverse student body.”
This year, Bethany welcomed Susu Lassa — a graduate of Manchester University from Nigeria — who is pursuing a master of arts degree as a Residency Scholar. She came to Bethany after a year in Brethren Volunteer Service and plans to complete a degree in peace studies. Bethany hopes to build on its international connections — particularly in Africa and Latin America— and attract more students from outside the United States.
International students must meet certain academic and financial requirements in order to enter the Residency Scholarship program. Interested students may contact the admissions office at firstname.lastname@example.org.