A Prayer for Our Bell Tower


What’s your name? Where are you from? How did you learn about us? Why are you here?

These four questions I have asked of every Bethlehem College & Seminary student that I have met since joining our staff and faculty, last year. Their answers are most revealing.

The students have many different names, of course. You may be surprised, however, to learn that they hail from all over the country, some relocating from many miles away even to undertake our degree completion programs. Yet from all the compass points, they come with something in common; Tom Steller, our academic dean, said it best recently when he observed, “They all come having tasted something of ‘Christian Hedonism,’ that God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in him.”

At this formative stage of our school’s existence, 100% of the students come having first had some exposure to the teaching of John Piper and the ministry of desiringGod.org:

“I heard him speak at Passion,” an Atlanta-based youth conference where Pastor John has keynoted for 20 years.

“My youth pastor led us through a study of Don’t Waste Your Life.”

“I listened regularly to Ask Pastor John, and read the stuff on the desiringGod website.”

There is, at this point, a common indicator on their radar screens.

It won’t always be this way, nor should it. Bethlehem College & Seminary is in no way John Piper’s school. It’s God’s school. Indeed, John Piper would have it no other way. In time, as God may will and we may serve, our students and constituents will likely no longer associate Bethlehem College & Seminary so immediately and commonly with its founding chancellor, but rather all and only with the sovereign God it exults and the book God wrote.

In the meanwhile, the conspicuous presence of John Piper’s teaching, his books, his speaking engagements, and the expansive reach and extensive resources of desiringGod.org continue to stir the affections of young men and women to come to Bethlehem College & Seminary to be equipped to spread a passion for the supremacy of God in all things for the joy of all peoples through Jesus Christ.

We don’t have a bell tower at Bethlehem College & Seminary that calls our students daily to devotion, study, and worship. We do have, through the work of a techy elder sibling, an amazing website that attracts 35 million visitors a year, trumpets Bethlehem theology, and chimes clearly, every day, 24,000 miles in every direction.

DesiringGod.org is the bell tower of Bethlehem College & Seminary.

At this season, Desiring God is asking God for his gracious provision of $625,000, before June 30. This amount will help the organization to finish this year strong and propel it into a new year of ministry over the summer months. We hope you won’t consider it irrational or presumptuous that we might use this channel to seek your prayers for Desiring God’s need. Though we are separately organized and funded, we are “woven together” with this web ministry, as we are with you, in a multi-faceted, multi-front movement for God’s glory.

You may contribute online to Desiring God at desiringGod.org/donate.

The school, of course, continues to have needs of its own. We thank God for your continued generosity with yours prayers and treasure.

His srvnt & yrs,


Rick Segal
Vice President of Advancement
Distinguished Lecturer of Commerce and Vocation

Please pray that:

  1. DesiringGod’s $625,000 year-end need will be met by June 30.
  2. Plans for the 2015–16 Serious Joy Scholarship Campaign will come together in time for our September launch.
  3. God will sense our deepest, heartfelt thanksgiving for the way he has met our every need in the school year now closing, and…
  4. Students, faculty, students and friends of Bethlehem College & Seminary will all be made ready for what God will do in and among us in the school year ahead.