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Student Information

Commencement Application

All students must complete their Commencement Application. The deadline for May 2020 D. Min. applications will be October 1, 2019, all other students have until February 1, 2020.


Your regalia (cap, gown and any other applicable items) will be ordered on a separate website through our regalia provider. Ordering instructions are sent to your Bethel email after your application has been approved. You have the option of shipping your regalia to your home address, or to the Campus Store. If you select the Campus Store option, the commencement coordinator will let you know when your regalia is ready to be picked up from the Campus Store. It must be picked up by May 26. After May 26 at 5 p.m. your regalia will be moved to the Graduate Lineup on Saturday, however your regalia will not be ironed for you and every effort should be made to pick it up prior. Hoods and honor cords will be distributed at Graduate Lineup on Saturday.

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 for undergraduate students and on the left side for graduate students. Bethel-approved honor cords are the only ornamentation to be worn on top of your gown. Corsages, boutonnieres, 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 the commencement coordinator at 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 of $765 for Doctor of Ministry students will be charged to your student account, which includes your thesis fee. Undergraduate and Masters students do not have a graduation 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 Counseling (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.


Photography and videography are permitted in Benson Great Hall for brief timeframes. Quickly return to your seat after taking photos of your graduate to free up the aisle for other guests. Tripods are not allowed; monopods are permitted. A professional photographer will take individual photos of graduates as they receive their diploma cover on stage during the ceremony. To order your photo, visit (event name is "Bethel") or call 651.426.0232.


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