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Application Essay Instructions

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Writing, reflecting and researching are essential aspects of a theological education. These essays will be evaluated for your admission to Bethany, as well as your eligibility for scholarships.

At Bethany, we welcome theological diversity, and strive to create a respectful and caring learning environment for all. Please note that your essays will NOT be judged or critiqued for their adherence to a certain theological perspective.

Essays should be typed and double-spaced, with one-inch margins, using Times New Roman 12 point font. Include a title with your name and date at the top.


Essay #1: Vocational Intentions (one page only)

For this short essay, please address your sense of call to ministry/vocation, your unique gifts for this ministry/vocation, and how a Bethany education will assist you in meeting these vocational intentions.

This essay will also be evaluated for the Church Service Covenant Grant.


Essay #2: Theological Reflection (two pages only)

Chose one of the following questions to address for the theological reflection essay:

1. Define a significant theological term (i.e., atonement, brokenness, salvation, grace, forgiveness, sin, etc.). While drawing upon credible resources to define this term, also reflect your personal understanding. Feel free to utilize poetry or parable, story or song, metaphor or myth to enhance how you define this term.

2. Bethany's mission states that God's shalom and Christ's peace are central to the message and ministry of Jesus. In what ways is this statement true or not true? In what ways does Jesus call us to peace-making and shalom-seeking in the 21st century? What concerns and cares of peace and justice (i.e., poverty, war, famine, sexism, racism, etc.) most speak to you and your ministry? Is Jesus central to the understanding of your mission, if so, how so?

3. Identify and describe a biblical character that connects and/or emulates your journey into ministry. How does s/he connect? In what ways are your stories dis/similar? How does God speak through this character and through you? How might this story prepare you for theological education at Bethany?

This theological reflection essay must include at least one citation or reference from an academic source. Biblical references may be used in addition to the academic citation. Citations from websites are not acceptable for this essay. Provide full citation information for any sources you reference, including the Bible, following one of the standard formats, e.g., MLA, Chicago, Turabian.

This essay will also be evaluated for the Academic Excellence Scholarship.


Submission of Your Essays
Email your essays as attached files in Adobe Acrobat (pdf) format to admissions@bethanyseminary.edu. The following file formats will also be accepted: MS-Word (.doc or .docx), Open Office (.odt), or Pages (.pages).



For further assistance, contact:

Tracy PrimozichTracy Primozich, Director of Admissions
     admissions@bethanyseminary.edu      (765)983-1832     or    (800)287-8822   x1832

Matt Boersma
Master of Arts

MattMy thesis began its journey while learning Hebrew at the University of Notre Dame, back when I was an employee in the Information Technology department. Among the many Hebrew texts read, it was the Song of Songs in particular that caught my attention. I knew that historically it had been interpreted as an allegorical text exploring God's love of Israel (or the church), but I had not encountered the deeply sensual nature of the images and the erotic tone of the text. Reading through the book, the unabashed sexuality of the words struck me as completely different than how the rest of the Bible treats sex. During the previous semester we had read selections of Ezekiel, where sex and female desire is cast as idolatrous and evil. In the Song, it is unashamed and extolled.