Bethany Theological Seminary is the graduate school and academy for the theological education of the Church of Brethren, a historic peace church. It was originally located in Chicago where it stayed from 1905 to 1994. The Seminary transferred to Richmond, Indiana and affiliated with the Earlham School of Religion. The latter was a Christian graduate school of the Quaker tradition which made the affiliation relevant, both being conscientiously opposed to any form of war. Together, they formed an educational program which placed academic excellence, spiritual depth and ministerial competence as priority goals.
The academic programs of Bethany Theological Seminary includes an array of program tracks including the Master of Divinity Degree, Master of Arts Degree, Certificate of Achievement in Theological Studies, Brethren Academy for Ministerial Leadership, Training in Ministry, Education for Shared Ministry and the Academy Certified Training System. The Master of Divinity Program is designed specifically for the preparation of church-related ministries requiring ordination.
The seminary has a fully accredited distance education program. The program requires students to complete one third of the class courses on the main campus. Assistance is offered to students towards this end by means of the Connections Program which enables the completion of face-to-face hours through hybrid courses, weekend intensives and two-week intensives. This is done in combination with online learning.
Tuition for a Connections Program’s 12-hour semester load is approximately $ 4,400.00 with a one-time application fee of $ 50.00, registration fee of $ 230.00 and technology fee of $ 100.00. Applicable scholarship or grant amounts are deducted from the total cost. Bethany Theological Seminary offers two specialized programs — the Peace and Cross Cultural Studies and the Institute for Ministry with Youth and Young Adults. The students also benefit from the knowledge of scholars of the three peace churches – the Church of Brethren, the Quakers and the Mennonites.