Bethany Theological Seminary Announces $12 Million Comprehensive Campaign

Bethany Theological Seminary is announcing a campaign to raise $12 million in support of its educational mission. Flourish: A Campaign for Bethany Theological Seminary will garner significant philanthropic support for the student experience, faculty innovation, and operational funding through the Bethany Fund. When it is complete, it will be one of  the largest fundraising efforts in Bethany’s 119-year history.

Bethany has already secured leadership gifts and pledges totalling $9.1 million. These include six- and seven-figure commitments that are among the largest individual gifts in the Seminary’s history. The Flourish Campaign promises to fundamentally transform the Seminary, ensuring Bethany’s mission will be pursued in perpetuity.

The campaign seeks to ensure that:

  • Anyone called to ministry can get a quality Seminary education without debt
  • Professors receive the support they need to conduct research, mentor, teach, and develop new courses
  • Nigerian students are fully embraced as members of the Bethany family, and all students have opportunities for cross cultural engagement
  • Bethany has the financial resources to ensure that our work with students is never at risk

Flourish: A Campaign for Bethany Theological Seminary was celebrated on Friday, March 22, 2024 during a dinner at Forest Hills Country Club. The dinner coincided with the spring meeting of Bethany’s Board of Trustees. The gathering gave invited community leaders in Wayne County (Indiana) an opportunity to learn more about the Seminary’s impact on the local community.

“We are thrilled to announce this campaign, and we are so grateful that some of our most faithful donors have already stepped up to support this effort,” says President Jeff Carter. “The generosity of these leaders is inspiring, as they see the impact that a Bethany education is having on our students, the church, and the world. We are delighted to invite our larger community of alumni and friends to join us in this effort — so the world flourishes!”

Campaign Priorities

The Student Experience  — $7 million

Over the last decade, Bethany has dramatically increased its enrollment, while decreasing annual student borrowing to a fraction of the total debt a decade ago. The Seminary is seeking additional gifts to remove all financial barriers from those who are answering a call to ministry and service and seeking the exceptional graduate theological education that Bethany provides. This initiative will also provide additional funding for student housing in the “Bethany Neighborhood” — a group of houses near campus. This funding will also provide support for international students, particularly those in Nigeria. 

Support for Faculty Innovation — $2 million

This initiative establishes a new endowed chair in Brethren Studies and enhances the funding for existing endowed chairs, providing significant new financial resources to nurture the Seminary’s remarkable faculty. Bethany professors distinguish themselves with their responsiveness to the evolving needs of students and the church, while also remaining engaged in scholarly research. This new funding ensures that faculty have appropriate time and resources to develop new courses, engage in professional development, and pursue their scholarly agendas.

The Bethany Fund — $3 million

The Bethany Fund supports the operations and ongoing strategic priorities like community relations and racial justice. This initiative includes all gifts to the fund over a three-year period, and provides essential support for the Seminary’s mission.

John Flora (Harrisonburg, Va.) serves as chairman of  Flourish: A Campaign for Bethany Theological Seminary. 

“There is much to celebrate as Bethany flourishes and grows, and I am honored to lend my support to the Seminary’s next chapter. We need additional investments to stay ahead of the ever changing needs of our students and faculty. I am pleased to have the opportunity to invite others to join me in supporting Bethany’s mission.”

With this public announcement, Flourish: A Campaign for Bethany Theological Seminary will move into a more public phase, seeking gifts from a larger group of donors, including individuals, foundations, and corporations. The campaign is expected to conclude in 2026.

Visit the campaign webpage.

You can make a gift in support of Bethany here.