BOLD Handbook

Mission Statement

Rooted in Bethany’s commitment to peacemaking, service to one’s community, and love of neighbor, Bethany BOLD invites leaders who have the grit and determination to strive to lead on issues that matter. Our rigorous, immersive residential program demands that students commit to no new debt, academic excellence, and community living. Students will engage in intensive service and learn about issues of poverty and race in Wayne County, Indiana. They will also gain greater self-awareness and undergo personal growth as they develop skills for congregational and community leadership.

Bethany BOLD Vision

You are in the town of Richmond, in Wayne County, Indiana, and you want to live out your faith. We hear your desire to make a difference in the world and to find meaningful ways to live as peacemakers, to serve others as Jesus in the neighborhood, and to grow as leaders and Christians. Bethany BOLD honors that desire and provides opportunities for your transformational education through a residential program with no new debt, simple living, and community service.

Bethany BOLD welcomes and affirms students across race, gender, sexuality, age, and experience as we strive to serve and grow in love. This handbook describes the structure and requirements of BOLD to bring you into closer relationships with your neighbors, your wider community, your church, and each other.

What does it mean to be BOLD at Bethany?

  • Students will BUILD. You will do the personal work needed to grow in capacity as a leader who is a capable adult, taking responsibility for your actions and cultivating self-respect.
  • Students will ORGANIZE. You will make sense of the community you strive to lead by learning how structures and organizations work, developing a nuanced understanding of race and class.
  • Students will LOVE. You will fully engage in serving as you live out your faith, joyfully offering your heart and whole self in hope of bettering the lives of others.
  • Students will DARE. You will push and question, seeking the courage and grit to see this challenging project through, living into the uncertainty and ambiguity that accompanies difficult tasks, developing the deep resiliency that leaders rely on.

Program Requirements and Student Accountability

And what does the LORD require of you
but to do justice, and to love kindness,
and to walk humbly with your God?

– Micah 6:8

In order to carry out our mission, BOLD students will uphold the ethos and responsibilities of BOLD and the BOLD Scholarship according to the expectations of the program. These are minimum requirements for living a BOLD life of faith in action at Bethany:

Students will engage in community service through ongoing assignments and one-time events.

These assignments will address real-world problems, including volunteering with underserved and at-risk populations in schools, shelters, and community organizations. Issues of poverty and racial injustice are the focus of these work assignments. Students will complete 4-6 hours of community service per week at a placement in Wayne County that is determined in consultation with the BOLD Coordinator. Students will maintain current records of their community service hours. These records will be shared with the Coordinator, who will be in regular contact with the site’s leadership.

Students will grow to understand Wayne County, IN, by going to a variety of organizations and churches. They will also participate in a variety of educational opportunities, including lectures and trainings. Students will attend one different activity per week on average. A schedule of events will be provided.

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.

Build ye houses, and dwell in them; and plant gardens, and eat the fruit of them.
– Jeremiah 29:5

BOLD students are leaders who act with compassion, self-awareness, and respect for themselves, the seminary, their neighbors, and the wider community. They will participate in Bethany Seminary activities, including Common Meal, Board Meetings, and other opportunities. BOLD students strive to fulfill the spirit of the program as people who build, organize, love, and dare, even as they meet the letter of the requirements listed and explained within this document.

BOLD students will conduct themselves with integrity and care as they represent Bethany Seminary to our Wayne County neighbors during their community service work and in attendance at community meetings, churches, lectures, and other opportunities. They will follow the rules and norms of these places, and they will treat others as they wish to be treated, displaying the leadership and personal qualities expected of BOLD students.

People with various relationships to BOLD and the Seminary live in the Bethany Neighborhood. BOLD students will be good neighbors to those who are not in the program, including other Bethany students, ESR students, and others.

BOLD students will live in the Bethany Neighborhood. They will be physically present for BOLD activities.

BOLD students will be enrolled and maintain good standing at 9 credit hours per semester, or a total of 18 credit hours per academic year. BOLD students will complete their programs in a timely manner. A student is eligible to apply for BOLD for a maximum of four years. BOLD students must maintain their academic eligibility to receive the Academic Excellence Scholarship. BOLD students who drop below full-time status, who lose their Academic Excellence Scholarship, and/or who are on Academic Probation will immediately lose the monthly living stipend. BOLD students who are on Academic Probation will be terminated from BOLD. Should they be allowed to continue living in the Bethany Neighborhood, they will need to pay full rent beginning from the time they are placed on Academic Probation.

BOLD students will commit to living within their means and avoiding new academic and consumer debt. Taking out a student loan beyond the permitted amount is grounds for dismissal from the program.

All BOLD students will complete the 4-week Conscious Financial Living course. Conscious Financial Living is at the beginning of the Fall semester of the student’s first year.

BOLD’s Commitment to Our Students

Come, all you who are thirsty,
come to the waters;
and you who have no money,
come, buy and eat!
Come, buy wine and milk
without money and without cost.
Why spend money on what is not bread,
and your labor on what does not satisfy?

– Isaiah 55:1-2

The total value of the scholarship covers the average cost of student residential living in Richmond. The breakdown of the scholarship is as follows:

Category Annual Cost
Stipend – Monthly living amount paid directly to students  $ 3,300.00
Tuition – Covers $1,100/term student cost  $ 2,200.00
Books – Reimbursed based on actual cost of books  $    700.00
Rec/Fitness – Membership at Earlham’s Wellness Center      $    150.00
Housing – Rent and utilities in Bethany Neighborhood  $ 2,875.92
Total  $ 9,425.92

Bethany commits to providing our students the opportunity to complete a degree with no new consumer or educational debt. BOLD students commit to remaining debt free during their time in the program.

We recognize there may be extenuating circumstances where a student may need to borrow a small amount. BOLD students may borrow up to $750 per term (up to a maximum of $3,000 during the course of their degree) at their own discretion. Students needing to borrow beyond the stated amount will petition the Financial Aid Committee in order to borrow additional funds. This amount should be used only in situations of need.

Bethany expects our residential students to cover the gap between their scholarships and personal expenses through a combination of work study, off campus work, family support, or personal finances. Our expectation is that an average student will need about $7,500 to cover this gap. This amount can be earned with 12 hours/week of work study during the academic year and full-time work during the summer.

Stipends are tied to fulfilling the requirements of BOLD.

Students can receive reimbursement for required texts of up to $100 per registered course.

BOLD students have two options:

  • Students can purchase books for their courses and submit receipts to the Financial Aid Office. They must submit all receipts at once. Payment will be made after the first drop date of the semester. All receipts must be submitted by the first drop date of the semester.
  • Students can submit a list of required books to the Financial Aid and Enrollment Assistant. These books must be available for purchase on Amazon.

Students must be registered for two-week intensives so that they can receive the funds for these courses during the payout period. (August intensive is part of Fall Semester/Session, January and May intensives are part of Spring Semester/Session).

This stipend is for the 10 academic months of the year. $330 (minus any applicable taxes for international students) is paid on the 10th of the following months: August, September, October, November, December, January, February, March, April, and May. Students must submit a direct deposit form to the Accounting Assistant two weeks prior to the first payment date.

Simple living is a value of the Bethany Neighborhood, Bethany Seminary, and the Church of the Brethren. BOLD students will commit to living within their means and avoiding new debt. Bethany Seminary will support our students as they practice simple, abundant living.

BOLD cultivates resilience, grit, and determination in students. We expect students to do difficult things. Ongoing conversations about maintaining academic excellence, doing community service well, developing healthy relationships with neighbors and community partners, and regular practices of self-care are integral to BOLD. The purpose of student accommodations is to help students meet BOLD requirements and expectations. Accommodations help support growth. Any accommodations to support our students’ success in meeting BOLD requirements and expectations will be discussed with the Director of BOLD and documented in writing, to be signed by the BOLD student.

Ministry Formation students in BOLD must discuss a plan for a successful year with the BOLD Coordinator and Director prior to the start of their ministry formation placement. The professor of Ministry Formation may also be involved in this discussion.

BOLD students will uphold all rules and responsibilities as laid out in the Bethany Student Handbook, the Ethical Conduct Policy, this BOLD handbook, and the lease agreement. Due to the high expectations of BOLD, responsibilities of BOLD students exceed fulfilling those standard requirements. Misconduct will not be tolerated, and BOLD students 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 BOLD 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 BOLD. 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 BOLD, 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 will result in dismissal from BOLD. The student will no longer receive the benefits of BOLD, including the funds as outlined above, and the student will pay rent from the date of their dismissal from the program. In consultation with the Office of Student Services and the Executive Director of Finance and Administration, the student may be permitted to maintain residency in the Bethany Neighborhood for the remainder of the academic semester

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

Click the button below for the application for BOLD and details about deadlines and process.