Bethany Seminary Board Considers Student Profile, Increases Tuition

The Bethany Theological Seminary Board of Trustees gathered for its semi-annual meeting Oct. 27-29 at the school’s campus in Richmond, Ind. Main items of business included a report of statistics about the student body, an increase in tuition, and a new financial aid program to serve the student profile.

The board’s Academic Affairs Committee reported that Bethany’s full-time equivalency for the 2006-07 session one is 54.54, up from 46.81 in 2005-06. The committee noted that student statistical reports now include a comparison to the student profile benchmarks developed by the board. Other statistics about the seminary’s student body were shared by the Student and Business Affairs Committee: new students at Bethany include 10 Master of Divinity local students, 12 occasional students, and six Master of Divinity Connections students. The Connections students and six others who previously were admitted to that program comprise this year’s cohort.

The board approved a recommendation from the Student and Business Affairs Committee to set tuition for the 2007-08 year at $325 per credit hour, a $29 increase. Bethany’s tuition continues to be below the average rate of comparable peer institutions. The board also authorized the administration to move forward in development of a new financial aid program that supports the student profile.

In other business, the board approved the 2005-06 audit; authorized the administration to continue exploration of a contractual relationship with Professional Staff Management, a professional employer organization based in Richmond that would manage insurance and human resource matters for the seminary; approved several updates to the seminary’s bylaws; and approved a recommendation to change the nomenclature of the Master of Arts in Theology degree (M.A.Th.) to Master of Arts (M.A.), which more closely conforms to the standards of accrediting bodies the Association of Theological Schools in the US and Canada, and the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools.

At a dinner event, the board recognized with appreciation the service of Dena Pence Frantz as professor of Theology and director of the Master of Arts in Theology program. She has accepted an appointment as director of the Wabash (Ind.) Center for Teaching and Learning in Theology and Religion, effective Jan. 1.

The board also welcomed new members Betty Ann Cherry of Huntingdon, Pa.; Jonathan Frye of McPherson, Kan.; Rex Miller of Milford, Ind.; and Rhonda Pittman Gingrich of Minneapolis, Minn.

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–This report comes from a Bethany Seminary press release by Marcia Shetler.


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