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Pastoral Presence Program Application

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The purpose of the Pastoral Presence Programs is to encourage direct conversations between Church of the Brethren pastors and Bethany Theological Seminary. Pastors have something to contribute to the life and educational context at Bethany, and Bethany has something to provide pastors in their ongoing education and their need for a space to retreat. Thus, both Bethany and pastors who participate in these programs have something to gain and something to give for mutual benefit. For more detailed information on the programs, visit the Pastoral Presence Programs page.

Contact Information
Program Information

Dates to be on campus:

Proposed Project, Research, Activities and Purpose During Program:

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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.