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Pastoral Presence Program

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The Pastoral Presence Program at Bethany Theological Seminary is a unique continuing education opportunity for Church of the Brethren pastors, designed to encourage interaction between pastors and the Seminary.

Through the Pastor-in-Residence track or the Pastoral Sabbatical track, participants can avail themselves of Bethany facilities and engage in Seminary life. Access to Lilly Library’s resources at Earlham College is available, including Bethany’s archived special collections of more than 5000 rare and valuable Bibles, hymnals, and theological works.

While Bethany can provide space for education, research, and retreat, pastors can also make important contributions to the life and educational context at Bethany. Thus, both Bethany and pastors who participate in the program have something to gain and something to give.


Both tracks provide a setting for focused, purposeful study through the following activities:

  • meeting with professors and students
  • attending classes
  • participating in chapel services, forums and lectures, and other campus events
  • pursuing research and writing projects

The Pastor-in-Residence track includes the understanding that the participant will spend significant time interacting with the Bethany community as a resource person through participation in specific courses and conversations with students and faculty in the classroom and other settings.


It is expected that those in the Pastoral Presence Program will

  • complete a formal application, including an 800-1,000 word description of the intended research project, activities, and purpose of the time spent in the program;
  • reside at Brethren House for at least two weeks;
  • preach or make a presentation at a Seminary chapel or forum;
  • complete an evaluation of the program.


Pastors participating in the program will stay at Brethren House, the Seminary's guest house, located across the street from the Bethany Center. Brethren House has a kitchen, dining room, and living room on the first floor, and three bedrooms on the second floor. Lodging cost is $25 per night, or participants can choose to serve as the host for other Brethren House guests for a reduced rate. Hosting responsibilities include cleaning, laundry, and keeping the pantry stocked for continental breakfast.


Pastoral Presence Program participants will be given a temporary library card and research and meeting space in Lilly Library, located on the adjacent Earlham College campus and serving the college, Bethany, and Earlham School of Religion. Facilities of the college and seminaries will be accessible. A short-term membership at the college Wellness Center may be obtained for an additional fee.


In addition to lodging costs and the optional Wellness Center fee, program participants will pay a $200 fee for use of facilities and access purposes.


Interested persons should complete the online application.


For more information, contact:

Shaye IsaacsShaye Isaacs, Executive Assistant to the President
     isaacsh@bethanyseminary.edu      765-983-1803


Brian Mackie
Master of Divinity '07

BrianSometimes it takes looking back to see God's leading in life. I graduated from Bethany in May 2007 and realized that God led my entire theological training. In the summer of 2002, however, it was a little tougher to see where it was going.

I realized my call to full-time ministry and knew it was to journey into the educational training part of my call. My campus pastor and I had several conversations about this next step. I fasted and prayed and sought the Lord but had no clear answer by the end of the fast. As I was preparing to break my fast, the Lord asked me, "What is the desire of your heart?" I replied, "Oral Roberts University."