In 1994 Bethany Theological Seminary and the Earlham School of Religion (ESR) joined hands to do something new by forming an affiliation. Together they provide an education for students that features academic excellence, spiritual depth, and ministerial competence. A common campus, a joint curriculum, a shared library, and several joint administrative positions are all part of the covenantal partnership between the two schools. As noted in the ESR catalog, this covenant has spiritual, educational, economic, and cultural dimensions: “In the spiritual dimension, the covenant means faithfulness to our respective traditions; in the educational, it means the symbiosis of our teaching and curricula; in the economic, it means cooperative stewardship of time and resources; in the cultural dimension, it means self-awareness and sensitivity to differences.”
The following seminaries and graduate schools have a cross-registration agreement with Bethany and the Earlham School of Religion:
The Susquehanna Valley Ministry Center (SVMC) on the campus of Elizabethtown College (Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania) is a center for theological, ministerial, and leadership education related to the Church of the Brethren. It is a partnership between Bethany Seminary and five Church of the Brethren districts: Atlantic Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, Middle Pennsylvania, Southern Pennsylvania, and Western Pennsylvania. Classes are taught on the campuses of Elizabethtown and Juniata Colleges.
Graduate-level seminary courses offered by SVMC qualify as credits toward a degree from Bethany Seminary (or other accredited seminaries in the area: Lancaster Theological Seminary, Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg, or Evangelical School of Theology at Myerstown). SVMC also has cross-registration with the Eastern Mennonite Seminary-Lancaster campus. Accreditation of all graduate courses taken at SVMC is provided by Bethany Theological Seminary.
SVMC also offers certificate training programs for laity and licensed ministers of the Church of the Brethren seeking to meet minimal standards for ordination. This is done through the Brethren Academy for Ministerial Leadership. Church of the Brethren students in the Academy’s Training in Ministry program may also enroll for certificate or Academy courses. Continuing education programs provide training opportunities in leadership, ethics, and decision making for ministers in the five-district area and beyond.
To enroll in any SVMC education program or for further information, contact Donna Rhodes, executive director, or Karen Hodges, program coordinator:
Susquehanna Valley Ministry Center
One Alpha Drive
Elizabethtown, PA 17022