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Seminary Saint Paul Student Information

Note: Seminary does not hold Winter Commencement ceremonies, the following information is for Spring 2016 graduates.


Your regalia (cap, gown and any other applicable items) will need be ordered on a separate website through our regalia provider. Ordering instructions are sent to your Bethel email after you have applied to commence and are accepted.

Press your gown with a cool iron before commencement. Your cap is to be worn level, not tilted to the side or to the back, with the tassel on the right side. Bethel-approved honor cords are the only ornamentation to be worn on top of your gown. Corsages, boutinears, leis, heritage stoles, jewelry, or other ornamentation may NOT be worn over your gown during the ceremony.

Recommended attire is dark formal dress clothes for under your gown and dress shoes.

Graduate Lineup

There is no rehearsal for the commencement ceremony. Instead, you will receive important instructions at graduate lineup. Please arrive on campus at 6 p.m. and report to the Seminary Chapel at 6:15 p.m. with your regalia on. A valuables check for purses, phones, etc. will be available. You will be assigned to a specific row and place in line. Marshals will lead the graduating students from Seminary Chapel to Benson Great Hall along the lake path. If you think you are unable to walk this route, email Laura Harville at laura-harville@bethel.edu to arrange accommodations.

You will be seated in the center section on the main floor of Benson Great Hall. At the end of the ceremony, marshals will dismiss platform personnel and faculty first to come join graduates on the main floor for the Class Photo. This photo is a Bethel Seminary tradition since 1871. Marshalls will then dismiss program personnel, faculty, and then graduates to the reception. Guests will be dismissed last and directed to Brushaber Commons for the reception.

Graduation Fees

A graduation fee will be charged to your student account. $50 for master’s students. $750 for Doctor of Ministry students, which includes your thesis fee.

Diploma and Academic Requirements

Your diploma will bear your legal name (your name on the date of commencement). There are no exceptions. If you plan to change your name shortly before commencement, contact the Office of the Registrar. 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 university, the Registrar will post your degree to your transcript and mail your diploma to your permanent address. Allow 4 weeks for mailing after your degree is posted.

Obligations include:

  • Final Payments
  • Campus Store Charges
  • Library charges
  • Parking Fines
  • Loan Exit Counceling (if applicable): About 1 month before you graduate, the Office of Financial Aid will send you details about your borrowing history, repayment options, and specific exit instructions. In the meantime, you can visit the National Student Loan Data System, which will provide you with information on your federal student loans.

Class Photo

Just before the recessional, faculty, and program personnel will join the graduates and marshals on the main floor of Benson Great Hall for a photo. This photo is a Bethel Seminary tradition that began in 1871. The recessional order is opposite the processional under direction of the marshals.

Ceremony Photos

A professional photographer will take an individual photo of each graduate as you receive your diploma on stage during the ceremony. To order your photo, visit www.pictureplace.com (event name is "Bethel") or call 651.426.0232. A videographer will record each ceremony. You can order a copy online for $10 each.


Formal commencement announcement cards are available for purchase in the Campus Store.


Email Laura Harville at laura-harville@bethel.edu