Wednesday, March 26, 2008

New orientation increases accessibility for Bethany Connections.

A new orientation structure has been approved for Connections, Bethany Theological Seminary’s distance education program for the master of divinity degree. The move will greatly reduce the initial time commitment at the campus in Richmond, Ind., for students pursuing graduate studies from a distance. An intensive weekend retreat, followed by Bethany’s two-day orientation, will replace the two-week August class that previously served as entry into the program.

The new weekend retreat will serve as the first class session of the hybrid weekend intensive course “Exegeting the Call and Culture of Ministry.” This year, the retreat will take place Aug. 22-24, followed by new student orientation on Aug. 25-26. The second weekend session of the course will be held Dec. 5-6.

The change also eliminates the previously required two-week August intensive, opening up an additional elective class option in the academic programs of those participating in Connections. “This is an exciting opportunity for new students,” said Enten Eller, director of Distributed Education. “Not only does the shift from requiring two full weeks down to a retreat weekend and orientation make participation significantly easier, it sends the clear signal that Bethany is serious about reaching out to distance students. Additionally, this step will help unite our student body, as now both distance and local students will share in the same orientation.”

Connections students complete the master of divinity degree without relocating to Bethany’s Richmond campus through a mix of online courses, hybrid online and weekend courses, or on-campus intensives that meet for either several weekends or a two-week block. Currently 25 students from eight states are enrolled in Connections.

The application deadline for Bethany’s fall 2008-09 semester is July 31. Visit for more information about Bethany and the Connections program, or contact Enten Eller at or 800-287-8822 ext. 1831, or interim director of Admissions Elizabeth Keller at or 800-287-8822 ext. 1832.

--Marcia Shetler is director of Public Relations for Bethany Theological Seminary.

Source: 3/26/2008 Newsline

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