Scott Holland awarded professor emeritus status at Bethany Seminary, continues to teach theopoetics

Scott Holland has been awarded professor emeritus status at Bethany Theological Seminary in Richmond, Ind., as of July 1. Now in semi-retirement, he is continuing to teach the core courses in the seminary’s groundbreaking theopoetics program that he helped to develop. He also continues to represent the seminary and the theopoetics program “on the road” as a preacher and guest lecturer.

Holland has served as Slabaugh Professor of Theology and Culture at Bethany and spent 23 years directing the seminary’s Peace Studies program, in a position endowed by the Baker Peace Studies Endowment. In the latter role, he has organized the Jennie Calhoun Baker Peace Essay Contest for many years, and he has worked with the World Council of Churches as drafting editor of the Ecumenical Call to Just Peace, published in 2011. He first joined the Bethany faculty in 1999 with an invitation to focus on public theology.

He was instrumental in starting the theopoetics program that began as a five-course certificate program, and then evolved into a full master’s degree program in partnership with Earlham School of Religion (ESR). Bethany now offers both the Certificate in Theopoetics and Theological Imagination, and the Master of Arts in Theopoetics and Writing. This unique program has attracted many new students from a variety of faith and professional backgrounds to both Bethany and ESR, including published authors.

Scott Holland presents at a Presidential Forum at Bethany Seminary. Photo by Cheryl Brumbaugh-Cayford

Please pray… For Bethany Seminary’s students, faculty, and staff as they begin this new academic year.

The seminary has announced new faculty hires who will be teaching in their disciplines and also in the area of theopoetics including Joelle Hathaway (theology), Maggie Elwell (peace studies), and Tamisha Tyler (Louisville Institute post-doctoral fellow in theopoetics), with Ben Brazil of the ESR faculty continuing to teach writing and theopoetics in the joint program.

In addition to his service at Bethany, Holland has pastored Church of the Brethren and Mennonite congregations. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Malone University in Canton, Ohio; a master’s from Ashland (Ohio) Seminary; and a doctorate from Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, Pa. He has written numerous essays and articles, has edited the journal CrossCurrents, and in 2006 published the book How Stories Save Us. His current writing project is a textbook on theopoetics.

“By studying both sacred and literary texts, and by listening to one another, we begin to see artful ways to seek peace,” he said about the intersections of his work at the seminary, in an interview in Bethany’s Wonder & Word magazine. “When people remember my work at Bethany, I hope they will remember me as having a worldview, and a view of the ‘other,’ that is generous, hospitable, inclusive, and expansive. I hope that they recall that I went beyond borders and boundaries always—always–looking beyond the first range of hills and excited about the adventure of learning.”

Find out about Bethany’s theopoetics program and more at


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