Community Over Cost

The following post was written by a talented photographer who spent time recording life at Bethlehem College & Seminary.

Towards the end of April and into May, I spent a bunch of time observing and documenting student life at Bethlehem College & Seminary. My main purpose was to photograph real student life. What Bethlehem College & Seminary lacks in fancy facilities they make up for with community. I like the phrase ‘community over cost’ and think it accurately describes my experience on this project. I visited classrooms where students sit round-table style, encouraging conversation and interaction. I visited a professor’s home and ate with all of the sophomore class, that’s invited for a monthly meal. I studied with seminary students at a local coffee shop, where a lot of other Bethlehem College & Seminary students work, then walked to class with them, and was deeply moved as they sang and worshipped in Hebrew. Freshman prayed for one another as the year drew to a close, and later we grilled out. I observed studying at the nearby library as heavy construction equipment readies the city for the new Vikings stadium. One morning, a handful of students gathered to pray and worship in housing provided by the school. Afterwards, everyone contributed in helping make a meal we all enjoyed. There were times of teaching, encouragement, and worship during chapel and church on Sunday. I chatted with many students from all over the country and world who ended up at Bethlehem College & Seminary because they wanted an education different than the norm. They found this place and experience a closeness and community like no where else. For me, a lot of these images hold more weight because I know about the students themselves and part of their story. I’m really thankful to the faculty and students at Bethlehem College & Seminary who helped on this project and let me photograph some pretty amazing stuff.

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