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An Advent Message from the President

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In Dante's poem "The Inferno," the pilgrim confesses:Ruthann Johansen
    "Midway on our life's journey, I found myself
    In dark woods, the right road lost."


All of us as individuals may resonate with experiences of losing our way.  Institutions, even faith communities, can lose their way from time to time.

In this season of Advent, I invite us to reflect on the way of love incarnated in Jesus Christ. Deeply rooted in scripture and since its founding in 1708, the Church of the Brethren has boldly declared that war and other acts of violence are contrary to the nature and will of God. We believe that threats of direct or structural violence, whether political or churchly; conditions like poverty, racism, or sexism; and attitudes that breed hatred and intolerance toward individuals or groups all deny God's spirit of reconciling love

I therefore invite the church to reflect on lost paths and to join Bethany Theological Seminary, as an educational institution serving the Church of the Brethren, in seeking ways to embody the fullness of God's shalom—mishpat (justice), shalom (peace), hesed (compassion/loyalty)—and Christ’s peace in our households, our congregations, throughout the denomination, and in the world.

Sue Ross
Master of Arts '08

SueAbout eight years ago, everywhere I turned, I felt a nudge and heard a voice to study and learn about God. I would hear it in discussions with friends, in sermons, in song, in prayers, and in silence. I wanted to ignore that voice because I had a full-time job in the business world that I enjoyed. However, God's voice never stopped, so I enrolled at Bethany Theological Seminary. It all started as a very personal reason with no expectation of using a degree but simply a way to experience God.