It was 139 years ago when Christian sea captain John Alexis Edgren founded a small seminary to train Baptist pastors for immigrants fleeing persecution in their Scandinavian homeland.
Today, Bethel Seminary—a school of Bethel University—is among the 15 largest accredited seminaries in the United States. Nearly 1,400 seminary students are enrolled through our campuses in St. Paul and San Diego. Why do they choose Bethel? We think it has something to do with our focus on developing whole leaders who are prepared to serve wherever they're called.
Programs and Affiliation
Our academic programs allow students to pursue their passion for ministry. Through master's, doctorate, and certificate programs, students can choose a deeper emphasis of study ranging from youth ministry, to pastoral care, to urban community leadership.
For most of our history, Converge Worldwide has supported our mission and employed many of our graduates. However, we partner with other denominations and parachurch organizations, including Young Life and Campus Crusade for Christ.
Students from all denominations are welcome. And women may prepare for all forms of ministry, including pastoral ordination.
Mission and Doctrine
Our passion is to advance the gospel of Jesus Christ among all people in culturally sensitive ways. As a Spirit-empowered, biblically grounded community, Bethel strives to develop and equip whole and holy persons to serve and lead, so that churches and ministry agencies can become all they are called to be and do all they are called to do in the world, for the glory of God.
We are orthodox and evangelical, with roots in pietism—guided by a high view of Scripture and a focus on obedient, personal faith. We're also characterized by an irenic spirit—united on core doctrines but tolerant of differing evangelical viewpoints on lesser issues.
Through a philosophy we call the three centers, we prepare well-rounded ministry leaders. All programs focus equally on helping students acquire:
- Sound biblical/theological foundation
- Leadership strength
- Strong personal/spiritual character
This transformational philosophy develops graduates with better potential for enduring success in ministry.