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Extended Community

Bethel College is proud of its extended community of learners, graduates from the Biblical Studies Program. We consider all to be a part of our family, a community committed to faithful interpretation of Scripture in service of the ministry of Christ's church. After graduating, many continue to follow God's calling through involvement in full-time ministry or to pursue graduate school in preparation for ministry as pastors or teachers. Here are some comments from our graduates about the Bethel they experienced as student learners:

Shawn Maust

"The experience that I had at Bethel College was one that transformed my life. One of the most significant things that I learned was the importance of developing my mind in service to the Lord. It was at Bethel that I was able to learn to be a more critical thinker and gain a better understanding of what I believed and why. The faculty at Bethel had a tremendous impact on me during this time. Not only were they scholars, but they were approachable and desired to have an impact on their students. In talking with many of them, I sensed that they took a real interest in who I was and what I was going through. Life was more than just the classroom, and they understood this. Many of them had been pastors or leaders in the local church, and in so doing had gained experience and wisdom that they could pass on to their students. Currently, I am employed with Scataglini Ministries, helping out with music and youth at a church plant in Middlebury, IN, and preparing for graduate studies here in the M.A. in Theological Studies at Bethel College."

Matt Eaton

"My time at Bethel was unique, exciting, and challenging. If I was to sum my experiences at Bethel with one word, it would be "balance." The reason for this is entirely due to the experiences I had with the students and professors at the school. The environment at Bethel fostered great opportunities to seek spiritual growth, academic excellence, and many enjoyable times with friends. While my experiences may not be the same for all, I found Bethel a great place to grow in all areas of my life.

My major, Biblical Literature, provided a secure basis and a great start for future studies in the area of biblical interpretation. My classes spanned the breadth of the Old and New Testaments, and introduced me to the study of Greek and Hebrew. My education at Bethel has proved an invaluable asset in the ministry opportunities I have had, such as teaching and preaching within the church, and has given me a solid footing for graduate studies in the biblical texts.

My interaction with the faculty at Bethel was and continues to be fantastic. My professors showed a good interaction of strong faith and academic integrity. Their passion for serving the body of Christ through the scholarly study of scripture has influenced my own faith and study of the scriptures in an amazing way. At the end of my time at Bethel the biblical texts had been opened to me in ways I never thought existed, and I had a good understanding for the further amount of work that I need to do in order to understand the scriptures.

Outside of the classroom however, proved to be just as fruitful as within it. My professors dedicated much personal time to me, ensuring my own growth as both a believer and a scholar. I was given personal attention, received constant encouragement, and even found myself many times at the homes of my professors enjoying their company. So, by interacting with my professors at both the formal and the personal levels, my own patterns of life were greatly influenced.

I am currently working on a Master of Arts degree in Old Testament Archaeology at Wheaton College in Wheaton Illinois. My future plans, God willing, are to pursue a Ph.D. in Ancient Near Eastern Languages and Cultures, with the goal of being able to teach Old Testament, Ancient Near Eastern Studies, and Semitic Languages at the college level."

James Carlson

"My experience at Bethel College was both spiritually enhancing and academically challenging. I was touched spiritually by the mere content of my courses, but more so by the passion with which my professors taught the Word, coupled with a commitment to a Christian lifestyle that they modeled. Their academic commitment to the Bible is what affected me the most, however. My knowledge of Scripture increased immensely at Bethel, largely due to their emphasis on the exegetical work involved in analyzing the Bible in its original languages. The Bible knowledge I received from my experience at Bethel more than adequately prepared me for seminary study.

I especially enjoyed my Old Testament and Hebrew classes. My success in Hebrew was in large part due to the informed instruction I received and supportive interaction with members of the faculty. Many Bethel professors were involved in my life inside and outside the classroom. I continue to enjoy their company when we periodically get together to study Hebrew informally, along with other Bethel alumni.

Overall, my experience at Bethel College was rewarding. I graduated from Bethel College with a B.A. in Biblical Studies in the spring of 1999. I graduated from the Associated Mennonite Biblical Seminary (AMBS) with a M.A. in Theological Studies in the spring of 2001. I hope to begin work on a Ph.D. in Bible beginning the fall semester of 2003. My goal is to follow in the footsteps of my mentors at Bethel and become a professor of New Testament."