New Urban Ministry Course Offered

A new partnership with a nonprofit in Atlanta, Georgia, is giving Bethany students a unique ministry opportunity. From January 2-12, 2018, the new course entitled A Place of Refuge: Ministry in an Urban Context will take students to Atlanta to explore both the complexities of ministry with marginalized communities in urban areas and options for addressing the issues.

Designed as an immersion experience, the course will comprise both practical engagement and reflection. City of Refuge Ministries©, located in one of Atlanta’s most impoverished neighborhoods, is the primary partner organization and will involve the students directly in its various programs, giving them hands-on experience. The group will also work with other faith-based ministries, exposing them to a variety of styles, strategies, and ministry niches employed in working with marginalized populations.

More information about City of Refuge –  View Video 

In studying various approaches to urban ministry, students will also be introduced to networking structures and processes that make ministry partnerships possible. This will include exploring the collective impact when three major sectors of society—nonprofit, public, and government—collaborate to support and assist the voiceless and, more specifically, how the church can have an effective role.

“This course combines evangelical gospel witness with a deep concern for social justice in an urban context,” says Steven Schweitzer, academic dean at Bethany. “We desire to bring together students and practitioners for diverse perspectives on effective urban ministry.”

The partnership began when Jeff Carter, president of Bethany, made the acquaintance of pastor Bruce Deel, founder and CEO of City of Refuge. When representatives from Bethany visited the organization to explore connections with the Seminary, Church of the Brethren staff David Steele, general secretary, and Josh Brockway, director of spiritual life and discipleship, joined them by invitation. From vocational training to care for trafficking victims, the varied programs at City of Refuge became the foundation for both a Bethany course and a Brethren Academy course. Information about the organization can be found at

Anyone with a passion for urban ministry and a desire to impact their community is encouraged to enroll in A Place of Refuge: Ministry in an Urban Context. Room and board and a voucher for travel to Atlanta are included in the cost of registration for both course levels. Students currently in the TRIM program can enroll for ministry studies, Bethany experience, or ecumenical event credit.

Graduate-level course
Instructor: Dan Poole, coordinator of ministry formation at Bethany
3.0 CEUs
Application deadline: November 21
For information and to enroll: or 800-287-8822

Academy-level course
Instructor: Josh Brockway, director of spiritual life and discipleship for the Church of the Brethren
2.0 CEUs
Application deadline: November 1
For information and to enroll: or 800-287-8822