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Bethel Style Guides


Top 10 Things to Know about Bethel Style

1.    Academic degrees
2.    Academic departments
3.    Apostrophe
4.    Hyphenation
5.    Numbers
6.    Offices
7.    Places
8.    Plurals
9.    Time
10.  Titles

1.    Academic degrees

  • Capitalize full official degree names (M.A. in Organizational Leadership, Bachelor of Arts in Reconciliation Studies, Master of Arts in Children’s and Family Ministry).
  • Official degree names always include the specific degree either spelled out (Bachelor of Arts, Master of Arts) or abbreviated (B.A., M.A.).
  • Lowercase program names when they are used less formally. (“He studied organizational leadership.” or “The reconciliation studies program is the first of its kind.”)
  • Lowercase degrees in informal use without full official degree name (master of arts, bachelor’s degree, doctorate, bachelor of science, master’s degree, etc.) except when abbreviating: M.Div., Th.M., M.A., M.S., Ph.D., M.F.A., M.D., B.A., B.S., J.D. Note that the seminary degree M.A.(T.S.) is a special case and uses parentheses as indicated. This also applies when the degree is spelled out: Master of Arts (Theological Studies). Also note that the Master of Business Administration is also a special case and is abbreviated MBA using no periods.
  • Avoid using “Dr.” before a person’s name, which can refer either to a medical doctor or someone with a Ph.D. If you must include a person’s degree, follow his/her name with the abbreviated version set off by commas (“John Doe, Ph.D., is a professor of psychology.”).
Academic degrees offered (with abbreviated versions in parentheses)
College of Arts & Sciences: (See catalog for a detailed listing.)
  • Associate of Arts (A.A.)
  • Bachelor of Arts (B.A.)
  • Bachelor of Science (B.S.)
  • Bachelor of Music (B.Mus.)
  • Bachelor of Music Education (B.Mus.Ed.)
Bethel Seminary St. Paul:
  • Master of Arts in Christian Education (M.A.C.E.)
  • Master of Arts in Children’s and Family Ministry (M.A.C.F.M.)
  • Master of Arts in Christian Thought (M.A.C.T.)
  • Master of Arts in Community Ministry Leadership (M.A.C.M.L.)
  • Master of Arts in Global and Contextual Studies (M.A.G.C.S.)
  • Master of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy (M.A.M.F.T.)
  • Master of Arts in Transformational Leadership (M.A.T.L.)
  • Master of Arts (Theological Studies) [M.A.(T.S.)]
  • Master of Divinity (M.Div.)
  • Certificate in Biblical Studies
  • Certificate in Lay Ministry
  • Certificate in Theological Studies
  • Post-Graduate Certificate in Marriage and Family Therapy
  • Doctor of Ministry (D.Min.)
Bethel Seminary San Diego:
  • Master of Arts in Christian Education (M.A.C.E.)
  • Master of Arts in Marital and Family Therapy (M.A.M.F.T.)
  • Master of Arts in Transformational Leadership (M.A.T.L.)
  • Master of Arts (Theological Studies) [M.A.(T.S.)]
  • Master of Divinity (M.Div.)
  • Doctor of Ministry (D.Min.)
Bethel Seminary of the East:
  • Master of Arts (Theological Studies) [M.A.(T.S.)]
  • Master of Divinity (M.Div.)
  • Certificate in Theological Studies
College of Adult & Professional Studies:
  • Associate of Arts (A.A.)
  • Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Business Management
  • Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Christian Ministries
  • Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Communication Studies
  • Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Human Resource Management
  • Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Organizational Leadership
  • Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Nursing
Graduate School:
  • Master of Arts (M.A.) in Communication
  • Master of Arts (M.A.) in Counseling Psychology
  • Master of Arts (M.A.) in Ethnomusicology
  • Master of Arts (M.A.) in Gerontology
  • Master of Arts (M.A.) in Literacy Education
  • Master of Arts (M.A.) in Nursing
  • Master of Arts (M.A.) in Organizational Leadership
  • Master of Arts (M.A.) in Teaching
  • Master of Business Administration (MBA)
  • Master of Education (M.Ed.) in Education
  • Master of Education (M.Ed.) in Special Education
  • Master of Education (M.Ed.) in Special Education: Learning Disabilities
  • Master of Education (M.Ed.) in Special Education: Emotional/Behavioral
  • Disorders
  • Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) in Educational Administration

2.    Academic departments

  • Official name is capitalized and always preceded by “Department of . . .”: Department of Education, Department of Biblical and Theological Studies, etc. Lowercase education department, biblical and theological studies department, etc.

3.    Apostrophe

  • Singular and plural nouns ending in “s” take only an apostrophe. (“girls’ basketball” or “the hostess’ uniform”)
  • Words that are already plural receive ’s. (“women’s choir” or “men’s basketball”)
  • Avoid using possessives in reference to the institution.

    • Correct: (“The campus of Bethel Seminary is quite beautiful.”)
    • Incorrect: (“Bethel Seminary’s campus is quite beautiful.”)
  • Possessives are sometimes negated as to avoid placement of ownership. For example, in “Youth Pastors Forum” and “Parents Weekend,” neither the youth pastors nor the parents have ownership of the event. In these cases, the proper noun is used to describe; thus the possessive is not necessary. Following are unique Bethel terms with proper use of the apostrophe.
Apostrophe No Apostrophe
President’s Club
President’s Scholarship
Provost’s Associate
Dean’s list 
Dean’s Scholarship
Director’s Circle
Regent’s Circle
Youth Pastors Forum
Parents Weekend
Royal Investors Dinner

4.    Hyphenation

  • Use hyphens to avoid confusion and in compound modifiers when they precede a noun, unless the modifiers end in –ly.

    • (“Part-time students are required to live off campus.”)
    • (“On-campus housing is a benefit of attending Bethel full time.”)
    • (“Genetics is a highly complex subject.”)
  • Avoid using hyphens with prefixes (pre-, multi-, extra-, etc.) unless the prefix ends with the same vowel that begins the following word or when the word that follows the prefix is capitalized. See exceptions “pre-law, pre-medicine, pre-nursing, and pre-professional programs” under “P”.

    • (“The registration fee must be paid during the pre-enrollment period.”)
    • (“Multitasking is the key to this woman’s success.”)
    • (“Being involved in extracurricular activities makes college life fun.”)
    • (“It would be anti-American to not eat apple pie on July 4.”)

5.    Numbers

  • Spell out numbers less than 10 or if they begin a sentence (“I have read this book three times.” or “Twenty years ago we lived in Montana.”). In all other cases, use the numeral (“We checked out 15 books at the library.”). This is true even when a sentence contains both a number under 10 and a number over 10 (“He has six children and 10 grandchildren.”).
  • Never begin a sentence with a numeral or a year. Spell out numerals and rewrite sentences to avoid beginning them with a year.

    • (“Fourteen students visited the museum.”)
    • (“The Civil War ended in 1865.” not “1865 was the year the Civil War ended.”)
  • Use a comma with numbers in the thousands and up (“5,000” or “1,325,000”).
  • When large numbers are written in text, use the same “less than 10” rule as for small numbers: spell out numbers less than 10 or if they begin a sentence (“one million”; “nine billion”) and in all other cases, use the numeral (“10 million”; “15 billion”).
  • Spell out fractional numbers when they are less than one (“Minnesotans make up two-thirds of our student body.”). If combined with a whole number, use numerals (“Ivory soap is 99 94/100 pure.”). Use decimal numbers when possible (“The account earns 7.5 percent annually.”). Always use numerals before the word percent.
  • Spell out historical periods for the first through ninth centuries (“Life on earth in the eighth century was very different from today.”). Use numerals for historical periods from the 10th century on (“Milton was a major influence on 17th century literature.”) unless the historical period begins a sentence (“Nineteenth century literature is a reflection of the American Renaissance.”). Do not hyphenate (“19th century poem” not “19th-century poem”).

6.    Offices

Official names of Bethel offices are as follows:
  • Office of Academic Affairs
  • Academic Enrichment and Support Center
  • Office of Admissions
  • Office of Alumni and Parent Services
  • Athletics Office
  • Audiovisual Department
  • Bethel Foundation
  • Office of Business Affairs
  • Business Office
  • Office of Campus Ministries
  • Campus Services
  • Campus Store
  • Office of Career Services
  • Child Development Center (located on campus in seminary village)
  • Office of Church Ministries
  • Office of Communications and Marketing
  • Counseling Center
  • Office of Development
  • Enrollment and Information Services
  • Facilities Management
  • Office of Formation, Supervised Ministry and Placement (located at the seminary)
  • Health Services
  • Office of Human Resources
  • Information Technology Services
  • King Family Foundation Child Development Center (located off campus in Frogtown
  • neighborhood)
  • Office of the President
  • Office of the Provost
  • Print Services
  • Purchasing Office
  • Office of the Registrar
  • Office of Residence Life
  • Office of Security and Safety
  • Office of Student Life
  • Support Services
  • Telecommunications
  • Office of University Financial Aid

7.    Places

Proper names for unique Bethel places are as follows:
  • Academic Center (AC)
  • Arden Village East Residences
  • Arden Village West Residences
  • Baptist General Conference History Center—Bethel’s archives, located at seminary
  • Benson Great Hall
  • Bethel Office Center (not Arden Office Center)—off-campus location of CAPS, the
  • Graduate School, development, and other Bethel offices
  • Bodien Residence
  • Bremer Field
  • Chalberg Residence
  • Clauson Center (CC)
  • Danielson Residence—seminary
  • East Parking Lots
  • Eastlund Room
  • Edgren Residence
  • Eugene and Leona Olson Gallery
  • Eugene Johnson Gallery of Art
  • Getsch Residence
  • Hagstrom Student Services Center (HC)
  • Heritage Hall Residence
  • Heritage Parking Lot
  • Hargis Park
  • Lundquist Community Life Center (CLC)
  • Lundquist Library—located at seminary
  • Nelson Residence
  • Ona Orth Athletic Complex
  • Post Office
  • Robertson Physical Education Center (RC)
  • Robertson Center gymnasium (RC gym)
  • Royal Stadium
  • Scandia Chapel
  • SOHO Parking Lot
  • Sports and Recreation Center (SRC)
  • Townhouse H: Health Services
  • Turnwall Residence—seminary
  • Uppsala Room
  • Wessman Residence—seminary
  • West Parking Lot
  • Widen Residence—seminary
  • Wingblade Residence—seminary

8.    Plurals

  • In most cases, form a plural by adding “s” to the end of the word. Add “es” to words ending in “s” (sign, signs; dress, dresses).
  • Words ending in “is” often become “es” (thesis, theses).
  • Words ending in “us” often become “i” (alumnus, alumni).
  • Words ending in “on” and “um” often become “a” (criterion, criteria; curriculum, curricula).
  • In a compound word or phrase, the most significant word (usually a noun) receives the plural (“sisters-in-law”).
  • Numbers and letters, including abbreviations, receive a single “s” with no apostrophe (ABCs, 1980s, RAs, TAs, As, Bs, Cs).

9.    Time

  • If possible, use only the hour to specify a time (5 p.m. not 5:00 p.m.)
  • Use a hyphen, not a word, to separate time periods (8:30-10 a.m. not 8:30 to 10 a.m.).
  • Use “a.m.” and “p.m.” when necessary to clarify times, but do not repeat them in the same reference (11 a.m.-1:30 p.m. but not 10:30 a.m.-11:30 a.m.).
  • Use “noon” rather than “12 p.m.” to specify the noon hour (“The meeting will be held from noon-2 p.m.”).
  • Use “midnight” rather than “12 a.m.”
  • Use lowercase letters separated by periods for abbreviating ante meridiem (a.m. not A.M.) and post meridiem (p.m. not P.M.).

10.  Titles

  • Dr. Avoid using “Dr.” before a name; when necessary, add the degree following a name (Bob Smith, Ph.D.).
  • President, Provost, Dean, Professor, etc. Capitalize titles that come before a name (President George K. Brushaber); lowercase titles that come after a name (George K. Brushaber, president of Bethel University) in text. In lists of names and titles only (for example, in a commencement program), titles may be capitalized following a name.
  • Program titles are not capitalized within text (unless the official degree name), but acronyms referring to a program are always capitalized.

    • (“Bethel’s nursing program attracts many students each year.”)
    • (“Our growing marriage and family therapy (M.F.T.) program incorporates the latest counseling methods.”)
    • (“The Master of Arts in Communication is offered through the Graduate School at Bethel University.”)
  • Use italics (not underlining) to identify titles of books, magazines, and newspapers; pamphlets and booklets; movies and plays; paintings and sculpture; long musical compositions (operas, oratorios, etc.); individual audio and video recordings; and computer programs.
  • Use quotation marks to identify magazine articles; book chapters; names of radio and TV programs; song titles; sermon titles; and poem titles.
  • Do not italicize or put in quotation marks the following: series and editions of books (Christian Leadership Series, edited by Lyle Schaller); and short musical compositions (Sonata in E-flat).
  • In titles of articles, capitalize all nouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs, and the first word following a colon. Lowercase all articles (“a,” “an,” “the”) and prepositions (“in,” “of,” “between,” etc.) unless they are the first or last word of the title. For compound words, capitalize both words (“A Celebrated Drunk-Driving Conviction” or “Narrowing the Scholar-Preacher Gap”).
  • Some article titles may use a style in which only the first word and proper nouns are capitalized. This is at the editor’s discretion and should not be considered Bethel’s primary style for article titles.