Seminary St. Paul Student Information

Congratulations to all graduating students! Your commencement is an important capstone to a great deal of academic effort and hard work. It is also an exciting event to celebrate with family, friends, and seminary colleagues. Direct your commencement guests to guest information.

Communion Service

Saturday, May 24
7 p.m. | Doors open at 6:15 p.m.
Benson Great Hall

This service is for the graduating class, their guests, and seminary employees. You do not wear regalia, and you may sit with your guests wherever you wish.

Commencement Ceremony

Sunday, May 25
7 p.m. | Doors open at 6 p.m.
Benson Great Hall

All graduating students are expected to participate. If you are unable to attend, email before April 1 to avoid a late-change fee.

Graduate Lineup

There is no rehearsal. Instead, important instructions will be given at lineup. Arrive on campus at 6 p.m. and report to the Seminary Chapel at 6:15 p.m. Wear your regalia. A valuables check (for purses, phones, etc.) will be available.

Marshals will lead the graduating class in two lines to Benson Great Hall. This walk is outside along the lake path. If you are unable to walk this route, email Meg Thorson at to arrange accommodations. 

If a rain plan is called, lineup will take place in the Robertson Center Gym. Look for exterior signs announcing this location change when you arrive.

Guest Seating in Benson Great Hall

Your guests do not need tickets. Seating is on a first-come basis. Because the service and ceremony are formal and the acoustics in Benson Great Hall are lively, encourage your guests to make other arrangements for babies and young children. Direct your guests to guest information for additional details, including accessible seating.

Commencement Reception

A reception for you and your guests will take place in Brushaber Commons following the ceremony. Hallway hosts will direct everyone to the reception. Tell your guests to meet you at the reception. Signs identifying specific degree programs will be posted throughout the reception area as gathering points for grads, guests, and faculty. Some degree programs will gather in the Underground, and some in Monson Dining Center. Refreshments will be available.

Before leaving campus, return your gown and hood to the Campus Store.


Your regalia will be ordered for you. Before commencement day, pick up your gown, cap, and tassel in the Campus Store during regalia pickup hours. Bring your student ID. If you qualify for honor cords, you will receive them then. You will receive your hood during lineup on commencement day. If you have questions about regalia, email Brenda Edinger at

Press your gown with a cool iron before commencement. Recommended clothing to wear under regalia include a dress shirt and tie with dark slacks and dark shoes for men, and dress clothing and dark shoes for women. Your cap is to be worn level, not tilted to the side or to the back, with the tassel on the left. Bethel-approved honor cords are the only ornamentation that may be worn on top of your gown. Corsages, heritage stoles, jewelry, or other ornamentation may NOT be worn over your gown during the ceremony; you may wear these at the reception, however.

After the reception and before leaving campus, return your gown and hood to the Campus Store.

If you want to purchase regalia for future personal use, order it online from Willsie Cap and Gown. To order the correct hood color, specify Bethel Seminary and your degree name. For the commencement ceremony, you must use Bethel-assigned regalia (not any regalia you decide to purchase). Please email if you have questions.

Diploma Requirements

You will receive a diploma cover at commencement. You will NOT receive your actual diploma. When you have met all academic requirements and other obligations to the seminary, the Office of the Registrar will post your degree to your transcript and mail your diploma to your address on file. Allow 4 weeks for your diploma to arrive once your degree has been posted.

Obligations include final payments or arrangements for tuition and fees, Campus Store charges, library charges and loans, parking fines, etc. For master’s candidates, a graduation fee of $50 will be charged to your student account in the spring term. For Doctor of Ministry candidates, a graduation and thesis fee of $750 will be charged. Plan now to fulfill these obligations.

Your diploma will bear your name as shown on the Intent to Graduate Form you submitted. If you have questions about diploma requirements, if you plan to change your name shortly before commencement, or if your address has changed, email

Graduation Announcements

If you would like Bethel to send a news release to your hometown newspaper announcing your graduation, submit a request with the Office of Communications and Marketing.

About 4 weeks before commencement, you will receive a set of 10 free announcement cards for mailing to family and friends. Email to purchase additional announcements.

Ceremony Photos

A professional photographer will take individual photos of graduates as they receive their diploma cover on stage. To view your photo, visit and use the search word “Bethel”. You may order your photo via the website or call Picture Place at 651.426.0232.

A class photo with faculty will be taken before the recessional. This photo is a Bethel Seminary tradition that began in 1871.


Direct your commencement guests to guest information. If you have questions, email Meg Thorson at