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Continuing the Heritage of Bethel Seminary

Colleagues:

Two years ago, the Board of Trustees re-iterated the university’s commitment to Bethel Seminary and the seminary’s important place in fulfilling Bethel’s mission. Since that time, the seminary faculty has done exemplary work including program changes to ensure our degrees are affordable and accessible for our students and to offer select degrees entirely online. We have linked administrative areas for the College of Adult & Professional Studies and Graduate School with Bethel Seminary to create efficiencies through one organizational structure. The next step in the process is to move the St. Paul seminary from its Lake Valentine location to the Anderson Center. As announced at the May Community Gathering, plans are underway to make that move this summer.

I am thankful for Bethel Seminary and the foundation it set for Bethel University. I look forward to the next chapter of ministry effectiveness. Bethel University began in 1871 as a seminary in Chicago and moved to St. Paul in 1914. From a land-locked location on Snelling Avenue across from the Minnesota State Fairgrounds, Bethel Seminary moved again in 1965 to the current location in Arden Hills in what we call “the miracle on Lake Valentine.” The location, with its views of Lake Valentine, offered a peaceful academic space for classrooms, offices, a library, and a chapel, as well as residential space for seminarians and their families.

However, one thing has become very clear in the last few decades: seminarians no longer re-locate their families to complete a full-time, on-campus degree. Instead, they continue to work in ministry roles and often prefer to complete degrees online or in hybrid programs, coming to campus when necessary. The new space for Bethel Seminary St. Paul at the Anderson Center will provide well for this new model of seminary education, with ample parking and a convenient location to major highways in the Twin Cities.

Current plans build out a space on the first floor of the Anderson Center for Bethel Seminary. It will provide a view of the pond and walking trails, offering a similar pastoral feeling that has been enjoyed at its current Lake Valentine location. We also plan to include a chapel, creating a spiritual community not only for our seminary students and colleagues, but for the entire Bethel community at Anderson.

We believe that God will continue to fulfill His mission for Bethel Seminary as we embrace a living orthodoxy that engages the world’s most challenging problems, to God’s glory and our neighbors’ good.

Serving together,

Jay