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New Students Welcomed for Fall 2013

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On August 26 and 27, Bethany Seminary welcomed its new students to orientation for the 2013-14 year, twelve just beginning their seminary journey and four having begun classes in the spring and summer of 2013. The Seminary is especially pleased to welcome Alexandre Goncalves from Brazil, who after many months has been able to join the Bethany community to follow his call. Goncalves is a pastor in the Church of the Brethren in Campinas, Sao Paulo, and has served as a director of nonprofit organizations.

The new class is diverse in experiences and perspectives. Second-career students will study alongside a new college graduate. Several are in Brethren ministry and denominational service; another is exploring seminary study following military service. Those with Brethren connections are joined by sisters and brothers from Quaker, Presbyterian, and nondenominational traditions. Education, technology, insurance, and community service are fields of expertise within the group. Ten students are enrolled in the master of divinity program, one is enrolled in the master of arts program, and five are working toward a Certificate of Achievement in Theological Studies (CATS).

New fall 2013 students











Back Row:
Don Fecher, MDiv – Elgin, IL
Arion Lillard, MDiv - Dayton, OH
Shayne Petty, MDiv – Yellow Springs, OH
Brody Rike, MDiv – West Alexandria, OHStudent in chapel
Graham Melendez, MDiv – Indianapolis, IN
Alexandre Goncalves, MDiv - Sao Paulo, Brazil
Corey Gray, CATS – Richmond, IN
Tracy Perkins-Schmittler, CATS – Richmond, IN

Front Row:
Sue Smith, CATS – St. Petersburg, FL
Beth Middleton, CATS – Boones Mill, VA
Becky Ullom Naugle, MDiv – Elgin, IL
Tabitha Hartman Rudy, MDiv - Roanoke, VA
Patricia Edgecomb, MDiv – Elmira, NY
Jill Long, MDiv – Orland Park, IL
Paul Eckert, MA - Richmond, IN

Not Pictured:
Catherine Thomas, CATS - Mobile, AL

Student group







Amy Gall Ritchie, director of student development, leads new students in a time of sharing.

Matt Wollam-Berens
(MDiv Connections)

MattIsaiah 55:1-3
"Everyone who thirsts,
come to the water . . .
Why spend your money
for what is not bread,
and your labor for that
which does not satisfy?"

For me, discovering Bethany was like finding a stream of living water in the desert. Jesus walked out of the desert after being baptized by his cousin John and proclaimed, "Reform your lives, the Kingdom of God is here!" And then he called his first disciples. He did not first make them recite a creed, he did not give them dogma, or theology. He simply said, "Follow me."