Introduction to Bethlehem College and Seminary
- What is Bethlehem College and Seminary?
- Where is Bethlehem College and Seminary located?
- What does it mean that Bethlehem College and Seminary is a “church-based” program?
- What is Bethlehem Baptist Church?
- Does one need to be a member of Bethlehem Baptist Church to attend Bethlehem College and Seminary?
- Do students have to attend Bethlehem Baptist Church?
- Why church-based?
- What does it mean that Bethlehem College and Seminary is a “cohort-based” program?
- What is “mentored-ministry” in the seminary?
- What is “integrated curriculum” that is taught in the CWIC program?
- What is our Affirmation of Faith?
- What degrees do you offer?
- How many students are enrolled in Bethlehem College and Seminary?
- Is Bethlehem College and Seminary accredited?
- Will I be able to find a job with a degree from a non-accredited BCS?
Applying to BCS
- How does one apply for the Bethlehem College and Seminary degree programs?
- Do you admit international students?
- Will Bethlehem College accept transfer credits for their degree programs?
- Does Bethlehem College and Seminary offer online courses?
- What are your admissions policies?
- What does the Admissions Committee look for in a college application?
- Which test should I take, ACT or SAT?
- What ACT/SAT scores are acceptable?
- Do you accept transfer students in the Spring semester?
- Do you accept PSEO, CLEP, or AP credits?
- Is it worthwhile to take PSEO classes if I'm coming to BCS?
- Is there financial aid or VA benefits?
- Can I sign up for a class visit?
- When will the Bethlehem College B.A. in History of Ideas be launched?
- When will the BATS Cross-Cultural Ministry Concentration be launched?
- What is the admissions process like?
Life at BCS
- What is the campus like?
- Where do students live?
- Is safety an issue, with your location so close to neighborhoods that struggle with crime?
- Do students need a car?
- What do I need to know if I bring a car?
- Can I work while I am a student?
- Where can I find employment?
- How much time is spent on homework per week?
Administration, Employment, Governance
Introduction to Bethlehem College and Seminary
What is Bethlehem College and Seminary?
Bethlehem College and Seminary is a small, Christ-centered college and seminary affiliated with Bethlehem Baptist Church. Bethlehem College and Seminary grew out of The Bethlehem Institute, which has been a higher education ministry of Bethlehem Baptist Church for many years. See our Mission and Vision.
Where is Bethlehem College and Seminary located?
Bethlehem College and Seminary is located on the Downtown Campus of Bethlehem Baptist Church on the corner of 8th Street and 13th Avenue in Minneapolis. Bethlehem Baptist Church has been on this corner since the 1880s.
We are on the edge of the Elliot Park Neighborhood—an inner-city neighborhood that is economically and ethnically diverse. Our classes and offices are just a 15-minute walk away from the center of the city and just several blocks from the Mall of America Field, where the Vikings play.
Just a few blocks south is the Philips Neighborhood, the most ethnically diverse and economically challenged neighborhood in Minneapolis. We are also a ten minute bike ride to the University of Minnesota campus with its 50,000 students and thousands of international students. What an awesome place for ministry training.
What does it mean that Bethlehem College and Seminary is a "church-based" program?
Our classrooms and offices are located on the Downtown Campus of Bethlehem Baptist Church, but being church-based is much bigger than just our location. Being church-based means that we strive for mutual accountability for theological and doctrinal fidelity with the church, and gladly submit to its council of elders for governance. Students, both undergraduate and graduate, will be folded into the life of the church, using their gifts to benefit the body, and benefiting from the gifts of others in the body.
Read more here.
What is Bethlehem Baptist Church?
Bethlehem Baptist Church is a fellowship of several thousand believers who meet for worship in three locations: downtown Minneapolis, Mounds View, and Lakeville, Minnesota. We are old and young, married and single, urban and suburban, growing in ethnic and economic diversity, and we exist to spread a passion for the supremacy of God in all things for the joy of all peoples through Jesus Christ.
If you would like to learn more about our church, you can find more information here.
Does one need to be a member of Bethlehem Baptist Church to attend Bethlehem College and Seminary?
No. In general, however, we believe that it is a good idea to become a member of the church you attend. We realize, though, that there may be good reasons to keep your membership elsewhere, so we do not have a policy regarding membership at Bethlehem Baptist Church.
Do students have to attend Bethlehem Baptist Church?
Not necessarily. However, because our degree programs are designed to be church- and cohort-based, we usually only admit students who intend to be part of the Bethlehem community during the course of their studies.
College is a time when many students leave the church. We believe that the advantages of a church-based college program are many:
- Daily reinforcement that serious biblical, theological, and world studies matter in real church life and ministry
- The opportunity to develop a discipling relationship with an experienced mentor whom they can observe and assist on a regular basis
- The opportunity to see how a distinctive theology and philosophy of ministry impact the day-to-day ministry of the local church
- Regular opportunities to live out what they are learning in the context of their ministry focus in and beyond the church
- The opportunity to learn and apply theology in the context of inner city life where there is cohesiveness in where the apprentice lives, studies, worships, and ministers
- A World Christian mindset, which sees the local church as a seedbed for missions, permeating the entire program
What does it mean that Bethlehem College and Seminary is a "cohort-based" program?
This means that a limited number of students are admitted to each program (usually 8-20 people in a single cohort), and students pass through the carefully sequenced curriculum together. This facilitates in-depth interaction and in-depth relationships by going deep into the subject matter and its relevance for real life.
What is “mentored-ministry” in the seminary?
Mentoring is primarily teaching by word and deed in the context of relationship. The pastors of Bethlehem have a strategic opportunity, and are committed to significantly invest in a select number of gifted men through BCS. The desire and intent is to follow Jesus’ example of discipleship through doctrinal instruction, ministry modeling, and ministry partnership.
What is “integrated curriculum” that is taught in the CWIC program?
The Christian Worldview Integrated Curriculum (CWIC) is a 49 credit undergraduate program of courses designed to be taken sequentially over the first two years of a student's undergraduate course of study. These courses are concentrated around five key disciplines: History, Theology, Philosophy, Literature, and the Sciences. The CWIC program is designed to meet the distribution requirements for undergraduate general education in an integrated and cross-disciplinary delivery model.
By 'integrated curriculum', we mean that students do not take separate courses in history, philosophy, Bible, theology, logic, composition, and literature. Instead, the students participate in one program, in which all of these disciplines are woven together along the historical timeline. This means that students are able to see the connections between various areas of study as they develop throughout history, and most importantly, recognize how everything relates to Christ.
In addition, the program is not limited to the classroom. Students study the Scriptures together, pray together, participate in field trips and experiential learning opportunities together, as well as learn practical life skills, all as an expression of a holistic Christian worldview.
What is our Affirmation of Faith?
You can find our Affirmation of Faith here.
What degrees do you offer?
Associate of Arts in Christian Worldview (CWIC); Bachelors of Arts Biblical and Theological Studies (BATS), with a Cross-Cultural Ministry Concentration beginning in 2013; Bachelor of Theology (an undergraduate Degree Completion Program) which allows students to finish their undergraduate degree through classes meeting one night a week.
The Graduate Certificate in Worship Leadership is a 24 credit program offered in a modular format. If, at a later date, male students desire to complete their M.Div. - Worship Concentration, they must go through the normal seminary admissions process.
The Certificate in Theological Studies is a 32 credit program in conjunction with the DCP Program. If, at a later date students desire to complete a B.Th. at BCS, they must obtain the required amount of transfer credits to join the Degree Completion Program, and go through the DCP admissions process.
How many students are enrolled in Bethlehem College and Seminary?
We expect approximately 200 students for the 2012–13 school year. Cohort sizes range from 8–16 people.
Is Bethlehem College and Seminary accredited?
Not yet. We are currently moving towards accreditation through the Association of Biblical Higher Education, and hope to finish that process within a few years. Although we are not currently accredited and our credits will not always transfer to other colleges or universities, we have agreements with several other accredited institutions who will accept our credits prior to our accreditation.
Bethlehem College and Seminary holds applicant status at the Undergraduate and Graduate level with the Commission on Accreditation of the Association for Biblical Higher Education, 5850 TG Lee Blvd. Suite 130, Orlando, Florida 32822, Ph. (407) 207-0808. Applicant status is pre-membership status granted to those institutions that meet the ABHE Conditions of Eligibility and that possess such qualities as may provide a basis for achieving Candidate status within four years.
Further information regarding our accreditation can be found here.
Will I be able to find a job with a degree from BCS, since it is not yet accredited?
So far, in the life of BCS and TBI, our graduates have had high success rates in finding employment in their field after graduation.
Applying to BCS
How does one apply for the Bethlehem College and Seminary degree programs?
Do you admit international students?
No. BCS currently does not have the government recognition required to provide I-20 form that international students are required to have in order to apply for a student visa.
Will Bethlehem College accept transfer credits for their degree programs?
Not usually. Because we only offer cohort-based undergraduate programs, and the curriculum is integrated, students will normally only be admitted if they intend to go through the entire program. There are, however, a few exceptions.
Does Bethlehem College and Seminary offer online courses?
We currently do not offer online courses. Our programs are designed to be completed in a church- and community-based context, so online courses do not fit well with the goals for our programs.
What are your admissions policies?
View our admissions policies here.
What does the Admissions Committee look for in a college application?
We would like our students to...
- be highly-motivated, with a deep love for Christ and a strong commitment to the life of the mind
- have good test scores – although they are not determinative
- have a love for the local church
- show evidence of discipline and intentionality in their schoolwork, and be eager to take on the challenge of rigorous learning
- enjoy interacting with and learning from others
Honest assessments from trusted teachers and mentors are crucial in this process. Ultimately, we put our trust not in polished essays or impressive transcripts, but in a God who is sovereign and guides both applicants and admissions committees.
Which test should I take, ACT or SAT?
Either, but we are currently only registered with ACT, and our school code is 5537. We accept SAT scores, but they cannot be sent to us automatically.
What ACT/SAT scores are acceptable?
Do you accept transfer students in the Spring semester?
No. Because we are cohort-based, we can only accept new students in the Fall.
Do you accept PSEO, CLEP, or AP credits?
Is it worthwhile to take PSEO classes if I'm coming to BCS?
Here are two other reasons we think PSEO could be helpful beyond BCS:
- If you think you may transfer to another university after the completion of the CWIC program (2-year degree).
- PSEO is a great opportunity to learn about areas of interest, even if the credits do not apply to your degree.
Is there financial aid or VA benefits?
Can I sign up for a class visit?
When will the Bethlehem College B.A. in History of Ideas be launched?
Our aim is to launch the B.A. in History of Ideas in the Fall of 2013.
When will the BATS Cross-Cultural Ministry Concentration be launched?
Our aim is to launch the concentration in the Fall of 2013.
What is the admissions process like?
After potential students’ applications have been evaluated, viable applicants will be interviewed by a member or members of the Admissions Committee. Based on the evaluation of the application, and the results of the Admissions Committee interview, students will receive either an acceptance or rejection letter.
What sort of student should apply for the M.Div. Apprenticeship Program?
The Bethlehem Seminary Board is looking for:
- A man who aspires to leadership in the church and in Christ's mission at the level of elder;
- One whose character and lifestyle is increasingly reflecting the elder qualifications of 1 Timothy 3:1-7;
- One who is joyfully committed to the authority and inerrancy of Scripture;
- One who has successfully completed a year of Greek (two semesters or three quarters of formal or informal study), and hungers to grow in his ability to study God's Word in the original languages;
- One who is drawn to the theological and ministry ethos of Bethlehem Baptist Church and to its mission to spread a passion for the supremacy of God in all things for the joy of all peoples through Jesus Christ;
- One who is glad to live in accordance with the lifestyle implications of the Bethlehem Baptist Church covenant which read as follows: “I engage to walk circumspectly in the world; to be just in my dealings, faithful in my engagements, and exemplary in my deportment, to avoid all tattling, backbiting and excessive anger; to seek God's help in abstaining from all drugs, food, drink, and practices which bring unwarranted harm to the body or jeopardize my own or another’s faith.”;
- One who is able to make the time and energy commitment necessary to fully participate in the M.Div. Program;
- One who is able to afford (by God's gracious provision through one’s own savings, and/or the gifts of family, friends and church) the tuition, books and living expenses required by the M.Div. Program without going into excessive debt [Note: Students are encouraged not to be employed more than 10 hours per week during the 4 years (not including summer) of their apprenticeship.];
- One who is strongly recommended by his pastor, professor, and friend as a man of godly character and of significant leadership potential;
- One who has completed an undergraduate degree (B.A. or B.S.);
- (For Worship Pastor Concentration applicants) One who demonstrates a proficiency in at least one applied worship leading area (voice, piano, guitar).
What are your Admissions Policies?
View our Admissions Policies here.
Do you accept women into the Seminary programs?
No. Our understanding of the Biblical teaching on this matter is that God has ordained distinct, complementary roles for men and women in the church and that men, not women, bear the responsibility of the office and function of elder. For this reason, we do not accept women into the seminary-level programs.
What is the Seminary admissions process like?
The BCS Board makes the final admissions decisions after viable candidates have been interviewed by a member or members of the Admissions Committee. All applicants receive letters of acceptance or rejection.
How much will the Bethlehem College and Seminary degree programs cost?
The per credit hour cost for our undergraduate degree programs was $170 in 2012-13.
At the seminary, we do not charge per credit, but instead have a program cost. For those beginning in the 2012-13 school year, our program cost is $18,000 to be paid over 4 years. The program cost does not include fees, conferences, etc.
Our prayer and desire is to be able to provide both undergraduate and graduate degree programs at a fraction of what most institutions of higher learning charge. Read more about this desire here.
When is tuition due each semester?
We offer two options:
- Lump Sum: Tuition for the semester is due on the first day of classes each semester.
- Four-Payments: Tuition for the semester is broken down into four payments with 25% due on Day 1, Day 30, Day 60, and Day 90 of the semester.
*Important: Students must have a zero balance at the end of each semester in order to be registered for the following semester's courses.
Life at BCS
What is the campus like?
Classes are held at Bethlehem Baptist Church, and our offices are located there as well. The church building is shared with all of the church staff and events, with faculty offices and one classroom located in a building across the street. There are thousands of church events held in the church every year, so it is an active, vibrant place for our students to learn and see the everyday life of the church.
Where do students live?
BCS does not own any housing units, so students are free to live anywhere in the Twin Cities area. Because classes are held at the Downtown Campus of Bethlehem Baptist Church, most students live nearby.
Is safety an issue, with your location so close to neighborhoods that struggle with crime?
First, we want you to know that we love being in the heart of the city. We are aware that our surroundings give some people reason to pause in their consideration of BCS, but we see our location as an opportunity to reach the nations – these neighborhoods are some of the most diverse in the U.S.
The safety and stability of the surrounding neighborhoods have been on the rise for several years despite the typical and continued struggles of the area. Many of our Pastors, Staff, and Faculty have lived in these neighborhoods for years. Even so, we do take precautions – we want our students to be safe. Freshmen students are housed with Bethlehem families who have lived in the neighborhood for a number of years, and if students go out after dark they are required to go out in pairs or larger groups.
Do students need a car?
No. There are several means of public transit within blocks of the Downtown Campus, and Minneapolis is known as one of the best biking cities in the United States. Students are allowed to bring cars, but keep in mind that driving and parking on narrow streets in the winter can be both challenging and costly.
What do I need to know if I bring a car?
For those who choose to bring a car, there is daytime parking available through a student permit across the street from the Downtown Campus, and students may also purchase parking permits which make it very easy to park in the neighborhoods nearby. During the winter, students will need to watch for alerts regarding restrictions on street parking.
Can I work while I am a student?
Yes, but we recommend that if you must work, you wait until at least the second half of your first semester to look for a job. Here are some important things to consider before deciding to find a job.
- You have only one option for your class schedule. Your work schedule will have to be structured around your class schedule, not the other way around.
- Our program is rigorous. Many students find it difficult to work part-time due to the time required for course-work.
Where can I find employment?
How much time is spent on homework per week?
Students should expect their time in class and on homework to be the equivalent of a substantial full-time job (45-55 hours per week).
Administration, Employment, Governance
How is Bethlehem College and Seminary governed?
BCS is governed by the Bethlehem College and Seminary Board which meets quarterly. The Board is overseen by the Bethlehem Baptist Church Council of Elders.
Who administrates, teaches, and mentors at Bethlehem College and Seminary?
The administrators, teachers, and mentors at Bethlehem College and Seminary are men and women who gladly embrace the Bethlehem College and Seminary Affirmation of Faith, members of Bethlehem Baptist Church or other like-minded congregations, and gladly subscribe to the Bethlehem College and Seminary Community Declaration.
All faculty must have a least a graduate level degree. Our desire is that all our faculty have or are working towards a terminal degree in their field of study.
I'm interested in working at BCS. How do I inquire about openings?