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Whole & Holy

Bethel Seminary has launched a new podcast to provide engaging, biblically relevant content to pastors and ministry leaders.

By Michelle Westlund '83, senior content specialist

September 26, 2019 | 2:30 p.m.

Whole & Holy

Bethel Seminary’s new podcast features trustworthy voices discussing larger issues of interest to the church.

While some things are new at Bethel Seminary—most notably its dean, Peter Vogt, and its space at Bethel’s Anderson Center—the seminary’s mission and vision remain its unchanging foundation. Part of that mission is to “develop and equip whole and holy persons to serve and lead.” Now there’s a new tool to help in that process—a podcast, appropriately named “Whole & Holy.”

“Despite some changes,” says Vogt, “Bethel Seminary is as relevant as ever, and fully committed to serving the church and its leaders.” Vogt recalls his own time as a pastor, when he faced issues and decisions that weren’t always covered in seminary. “Things like finances for pastors, human resources issues in church administration, or even responding to a shooting in the local community—these are issues faced by pastors where we can provide some counsel.”

Drawing on the resources and expertise of Bethel Seminary faculty—as well as alumni, outside experts, and the larger Bethel University community—“Whole & Holy” aims to be a brand pastors and ministry leaders recognize as  trustworthy and biblically based. “There are so many voices these days,” says Vogt. “How do you know who’s telling the truth? Bethel faculty and staff are experts in their fields, and they bring a grounded, Christian perspective to the discussion. We hope it benefits our students, alumni, and local pastors who know us, but also that we can serve and equip the larger church and ministry leaders. That’s part of our mission too.”

“Bethel faculty and staff are experts in their fields, and they bring a grounded, Christian perspective to the discussion.”

— Peter Vogt, Bethel Seminary dean

The podcast benefits from its grounding in the firm foundation of the seminary—which has been emphasizing biblical and theological training, spiritual and personal formation, and transformational leadership for years. The only change is the way information is delivered. “This is how people consume media now,” says Vogt. “The average U.S. commute is 27 minutes, so we’ve targeted our podcast length at 25-30 minutes to allow for completing it during a commute.”

In addition to being accessible, the podcast format allows Bethel Seminary to rapidly speak to immediate concerns, like a high-profile leadership failure, an act of violence, or a hot-button ministry topic that emerges seemingly overnight. “We can quickly address what people are thinking about at the moment,” says Vogt, “and provide content that’s most helpful to them in that moment.”

So far, “Whole & Holy” has tackled topics like social media and relationship health; children’s ministry in the church; what’s new in New Testament studies; and evangelical leaders questioning their faith. Every episode provides Show Notes highlighting resources mentioned in the conversation for listeners who want to do a deeper dive.

Upcoming episodes cover leadership, hiring and terminations in church ministry, and finances for pastors. Topics under consideration for future podcasts include choosing a Bible translation; addiction; immigration; clergy sexual abuse; ministry to kids with special needs; and pastoral self-care. Feedback and suggestions for topics are welcome too. “We’ll talk about anything,” says Vogt, “but we’ll advocate for the right things and realize we won’t please everyone as we do that.”

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