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Presidential Search Announced

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The Bethany board of trustees announces a search for a new president to succeed Ruthann Knechel Johansen upon her retirement June 30, 2013.

The Presidential Search Committee invites inquiries, nominations, and applications for this position. The new president will assume office in July 2013.

The Seminary seeks a president who carries knowledge of theological education, a passion for teaching and research, and a deep love for Christ and the church, bringing a vision for Bethany's future. He/she should possess a terminal degree (either a PhD or a DMin), and strong skills in administration, communication, cooperative leadership, and fund-raising as well as the ability to engage others in effective planning and implementation of priorities.

Founded in 1905, Bethany Theological Seminary seeks to equip spiritual and intellectual leaders with an Incarnational education for ministering, proclaiming and living out God's shalom and Christ's peace in the church and world. Bethany's educational program bears witness to the beliefs, heritage, and practices of the Church of the Brethren in the context of the whole Christian tradition. Set in partnership with Earlham School of Religion and the Susquehanna Valley Ministry Center, Bethany embodies ecumenical cooperation in the Anabaptist and Pietist tradition and innovation in programming, curriculum design, and economic stewardship. Bethany is fully accredited by The Association of Theological Schools in the United States and Canada and by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools.

Review of applications will begin this summer and will continue until an appointment is made. Interested individuals should provide a letter outlining their interest in and qualifications for the position, a curriculum vitae, and the names of and contact information for five references. Applications and nominations may be submitted electronically or by mail to:

Rhonda Pittman Gingrich, Chair
Presidential Search Committee
Bethany Theological Seminary
615 National Road West
Richmond, IN 47374-4019

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.