September 19, 2013 | 3:57 p.m.
By Suzanne McInroy, Director of Communications
Classes started earlier for Bethel Seminary this year as they transitioned from quarters to a semester calendar. Classes for Bethel Seminary St. Paul, Bethel Seminary San Diego, and Bethel Seminary of the East all began on September 3.
“Genesis,” a new student orientation, was held on the St. Paul campus on August 29 and included an address by Bethel Seminary Vice President and Dean David Clark, a time of worship, break-out sessions, and tours of the facilities. “We had around 63 full-time students beginning in the traditional and SemPM programs, but around 55 more new students in our InMinistry program will come to campus at the end of October for their first intensive class,” says Rebekah Eller, program and services coordinator for Bethel Seminary.
After the orientation, new students joined returning students, faculty, and staff for the All-Seminary Retreat, designed to give new students a taste of all departments, explains Eller. “It included worship, an address by Professor David Howard, break-out sessions with various faculty from different departments to give new students a taste of different concentrations or ‘tracks,’ and finished with a picnic lunch,” says Eller.
A welcome event was also held this summer for seminary students and their families. “We held the New Student Welcome outside on the seminary’s patio. We had a grill out, lawn games, root beer floats, and a gift for all students who attended,” says Jen Niska, associate director of admissions for Bethel Seminary. About 35 people attended the three-hour event, which also gave students an opportunity to sign up for classes if they had not already done so.
Joseph Dworak, director of admissions for the seminary, welcomed the new students and their families. Mary Jensen, seminary associate dean of academic affairs, discussed how the seminary prepares well-rounded ministry leaders through a three-centered approach: a sound biblical and theological foundation, leadership strength, and strong personal and spiritual character. Finally, Clark discussed the overarching theme of the seminary, the services that are provided, and what outcomes students can expect.