By Jenny Williams
When fall semester classes at Bethany Theological Seminary (Richmond, Ind.) began on Aug. 30, nine new students joined the seminary community. Four are entering the Master of Divinity program, two are entering the Master of Arts program, and three are pursuing a Certificate in Theopoetics and Theological Imagination.
The students come from the Atlantic Northeast, Southern Pennsylvania, and Illinois-Wisconsin Districts as well as Ekklesiyar Yan’uwa a Nigeria (EYN, the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria) and from the Universalist Unitarian, Episcopalian, Mennonite, and nondenominational traditions.
The second year of Bethany’s Pillars and Pathways Residency Scholarship also began this fall. A cooperative effort between the student and the seminary, the scholarship gives recipients the opportunity to complete their seminary studies without incurring additional educational or consumer debt. In addition to maintaining eligibility for the Academic Excellence Scholarship, the recipients commit to living in the Bethany Neighborhood, engaging in group reflection and campus activities, volunteering in the Richmond area, earning a set amount through employment and/or work study, and living within their means.
Karen Duhai, director of student development, notes that Bethany has six Resident Scholars this fall. “The recipients are working at building community both within and outside of the Bethany Neighborhood,” she said. “From our Monday morning breakfasts when we eat and fellowship together to their weekly volunteer placements, these first weeks of the semester are a time to explore what it means to be in community and to begin to create the kind of neighborhood they want to be a part of.”