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Seminary

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The Work with Purpose Initiative exists to help the Church embrace an integrated, kingdom vision of work, vocation, and economics. Here are some of the ways we serve pastors, students, workers, lay leaders, and congregants alike as they come to see work through the eyes of faith.

Within the Community

Seminary and Public Events

Work with Purpose provides access to some of the brightest minds in the faith-work conversation. We host lunches, public lectures, seminars, online forums, conferences, and more. And while some of these events are designed for our Seminary community, outside guests can attend for a nominal fee. Recent keynote speakers include:

  • Amy Sherman, author of Kingdom Calling
  • Ken Blanchard, author of Lead Like Jesus
  • Steven Garber, author of Visions of Vocation
  • Tom Nelson, pastor and author of Work Matters

Check out our video and audio archive recordings of past events, and then view our events calendar to see what’s coming next.

Within Bethel Seminary

100,000 Hours Colloquy

The 100,000 Hours Colloquy student reading group brings motivated Seminary students in St. Paul and San Diego into lively and transformative interactions around the concepts of faith, work, vocation, and economics. The St. Paul Colloquy also invites students from Bethel University’s MBA and MASL programs to join the conversation. Interested students can learn more and apply online.

Online Sessions

These 60-minute sessions engage the Bethel Seminary community in the Twin Cities, San Diego, and across the U.S. to consider the meaning of work and how vocation is tied to ministry no matter your occupation. Check out our video and audio archive recordings of past sessions and view our events calendar to see when the session is happening. 

Faculty Idea Grants

The Faculty Idea Grant program invites Bethel Seminary faculty members to develop classroom learning opportunities ranging from class assignments to entire teaching units. The grants allow integration of work, vocation, and economics with classical theological disciplines and contemporary leadership theory. Interested faculty can learn more and apply online.

Seminary Courses

Since the launch of Work with Purpose, and thanks to numerous Faculty Idea Grant awards, dozens of courses at Bethel Seminary have incorporated teaching units, modules, lessons, and projects that increase students' capacity and vision for faith-work integration. In addition, the Initiative has contributed to the development of the following whole courses as part of the Seminary curriculum:

  • Christian Social Ethics for the Workplace 
  • Ministry Models for Sustainable Community Development 
  • Theology of Leadership and Vocation
  • Work, Economics, and The Church: A Practical Theology 

Within Local Churches

One-on-One Pastor Conversations

We offer personalized conversations to help pastors and ministry leaders consider ways in which to conceive, implement, and integrate whole‐life discipleship concepts of faith, work, vocation, and economics into their church community. To schedule a conversation and get started, contact:

Pastors Gatherings

This ongoing series of events is designed to give pastors and ministry leaders the opportunity to learn from one another as we seek to develop whole-life disciples in our church communities. Each gathering focuses on a different topic and is facilitated by pastors who have especially considered how the topic shapes their approach to pastoring. View our events calendar to see when the next gathering is happening. 

Sermon Competition

In early 2017, we concluded our first-ever Work with Purpose Sermon Competition. We partnered with the Made to Flourish pastors' network to award a prize of $500 to the best sermon on faith and work integration. Learn more about the competition and our winning pastor, Erik Dunkin, College Pastor at Prairie Lakes Church in Cedar Falls, Iowa. 

Church-Based Courses

We have developed a series of practical, 6-week courses on topics related to faith-work integration. The courses are ideal for church-based education classes, small group studies, or even personal study. There are three courses for adults and one designed specially for youth. The material combines personal reflection, biblical and theological exploration, and perspectives from Christians throughout church history. Learn more and purchase copies online.