Seminary for Everyone Launches this Spring

Bethel Seminary’s newest program is for everyone who wants to learn about relevant topics from a theological perspective. These online classes will cover everything from portrayals of Jesus in film, racial justice, and co-leadership between women and men.

By Katie Johnson ’19, content specialist

December 14, 2021 | 9 a.m.

Seminary for Everyone courses are all offered online, so individuals can access materials across the country from the comfort of their favorite study spots.

Seminary for Everyone courses are all offered online, so individuals can access materials from the comfort of their favorite study spots across the country.

Starting January 2022, Bethel Seminary is launching a new program called Seminary for Everyone, which has been intentionally designed for, well, everyone. 

The program so far consists of three classes offered next spring, which will all take place online and are available for academic credit if one so chooses. During the month of January, Bethel Seminary New Testament Professors John Dunne and Jeannine Brown will teach Jesus, Now Playing—a class focused on how Jesus has been portrayed in film over the last century compared to the Gospels’ distinct tellings of his story. Guest lecturers will include Helen Bond, head of the School of Divinity at the University of Edinburgh; Nicholas Perrin, current president of Trinity International University; Mark Goodacre, professor of religious studies at Duke University; and Chris Hewitt, film critic for the StarTribune.

“Our desire in developing Seminary for Everyone is to provide accessible education that inspires people to grow in their faith regardless of whether they are a seminary student or whether they have any intention of pursuing pastoral ministry,” Dunne and Brown say about the program as a whole. “The content of our courses isn't just for pastors; it's for everyone.”

The program’s second course—Race, Justice, and the Kingdom of God—will also be offered both during January as a non-credit option and then during spring semester for Bethel Seminary credit. Instructors David Clark, Bethel Seminary professor of theology, and Melvin Miller, pastor of Progressive Baptist Church in St. Paul, Minnesota, are looking forward to leading honest and civil conversations about race with people connected in the Christian faith but diverse in their life experiences and political instincts. The course will survey the history of race in America and reveal opportunities for Christian engagement in racial reconciliation.

Offered during the month of February, Mutuality and Shared Leadership: Women and Men Leading Well Together is meant for anyone invested in collaborative leadership in the church, nonprofits, and the marketplace. The instructors are Andy Rowell, assistant professor of ministry leadership at Bethel Seminary, and Stephanie Williams O’Brien ’05, S’12, lead pastor of Mill City Church, Minneapolis, and author of Stay Curious and Make a Move. Participants will explore examples of women and men leading well together in scripture, interview experienced leaders, and talk about practical ways to thrive in leadership positions while honoring personal strengths and callings.

“As a professor, I'm excited to be able to connect with leaders who want to make a difference in their communities by taking next steps in their own growth and learning—this program will truly make that possible for everyone!”

— Stephanie Williams O’Brien '05, S'12

While these classes are all offered this spring, Seminary for Everyone is just getting started. This program is meant for anyone wondering if it’s the right time to go back to school, curious about what Bethel Seminary is like, interested in learning more about these relevant topics, or looking for more opportunities to grow in one’s faith. “Growing in our relationship with Jesus means knowing Him and His word better, and that takes intentionality,” says Peter Vogt, dean of Bethel Seminary. “Seminary for Everyone makes high quality course material available so that everyone can experience transformation and growth and, in turn, be better equipped to live out their calling to advance Christ’s Kingdom.”

Seminary for Everyone

These Bethel Seminary courses cover a variety of relevant interests and passions suited for those who want to grow in their faith. Internationally renowned instructors are excited to share their perspectives on topics close to their hearts through these flexible, easily-accessible opportunities. With choices related to both credit seeking and non-credit seeking endeavors, you get to decide what level of investment suits your life, goals, and learning style.

Learn more