Bethel’s Online MDiv gains recognition

Our Bethel Seminary Online Master of Divinity degree has been highlighted as one of the best online MDivs at TheBestSchools.org. Here’s the article that highlights our program and puts us in the top 20 online MDivs:

Bethel University had its birth as a seminary in 1871 in Chicago. Founded by Christian sea captain John Alexis Edgren, the Baptist Union Theological Seminary was established as a means to train Swedish pastors for congregations of Baptist immigrants fleeing persecution by the state church in their Scandinavian homeland. While Bethel relocated several times, it nevertheless remained a part of the University of Chicago’s divinity school until in 1914. That year, churches of the Baptist General Conference acquired and moved it permanently to St. Paul, where it joined with a Baptist high school to form Bethel Seminary and Academy. In 1947, its sister school became a 4-year college, and together they were known as Bethel College and Seminary. Bethel Seminary is accredited by the Association of Theological Schools, the Higher Learning Commission, and other accrediting groups depending on program needs.

The Master of Divinity at Bethel Seminary can be completed fully online. It consists of a total of 78 credits, which the student can completed in four to five years. Bethel’s MDiv will prepare the student for vocational ministry, chaplaincy positions, and for further doctoral studies. Classes the student will take for their MDiv include Old and New Testament Survey, Hermeneutics, Systematic Theology, Church History, and more.

Alongside classes in the Center of Biblical and Theological Foundations, Bethel University also offers the student opportunities to take classes in a variety of other disciplines. The student can take classes in Children’s and Family Ministry, Christian Thought, Church Planting, and Transformational Leadership.

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Why do Bible translation committees continue to meet?

This is a question I often get from people interested in the Bible and its translation. The flip side of this question is: If you get Bible translation right the first time, why should you have to continue to translate? At the center is the issue of the necessity for ongoing Bible translation. A great answer is provided by the staff at Biblica, the organization that sponsors the work of the Committee on Bible Translation (CBT)–the NIV translation team. (I am honored to be a part of this team and that work.) They have drawn examples from our NIV work to answer this important question.

 

 

The Satisfying Feeling of Completing Writing Projects

I’ve recently completed two writing projects: a commentary of Matthew (with Kyle Roberts) and a book on relational integration between psychology and theology (with Steve Sandage). Being a high-J on the Myers-Briggs, there’s nothing quite like finishing a major writing project (or two!), even if I know it will come back to me (us) for a final review. Being a high-J, it is also interesting to me that both of these have been interdisciplinary, collaborative projects. My personal-type tends to like the expected and longs for control, so co-writing is not the most obvious choice for me. Yet I’ve learned along the way that co-writing helps that curious side of me reach into areas in which I’m not particularly expert (theology and psychology, respectively). And co-writing offers a relational challenge and reward that is difficult to attain with solitary writing projects.

In the end, I think I like both challenges–writing on my own and writing with others. But when I think about what might last the test of time and be the most helpful contribution to the present academic context, I wonder if collaborative, interdisciplinary writing (with friends who are trustworthy) might be the offering that endures.

Preaching Helps for Upcoming Lectionary Texts

My commentary on upcoming 1 Peter lectionary texts is now available at WorkingPreacher.org. I’ve appreciated and enjoyed the opportunity to contribute to this valuable project and have provided commentary on Matthew, Luke, and 1 Peter. If you’re preaching through the lectionary or are wanting to hear what biblical scholars might offering into any passage you are preaching on in coming weeks, I’d encourage you to access this website resource.

“The Least of These”-In the News Again

The “Least of These” is in the news again–and specifically the contested question of their identity in Matthew (Matt 25:31-46). I was tapped to weigh in on this question a couple of years ago. In that blog post for Biola’s Center for Christian Thought, I pressed against a reading that downplayed “the least” as physically impoverished: “Where Did the Poor Go?”

This week, I was asked for comment by Jerry Adler for a Yahoo news post, “‘The least of these’: Meals on Wheels, the Trump budget and the struggle over Matthew 25:40.” As I noted in my conversation with Adler, “There’s a tug of war over this text, who gets to own it.” I hope that this contest over “the least” might push us back to the text itself, to read it and to listen again for its messages for us today.