I began teaching full-time at Bethlehem College & Seminary in 2009, the year my oldest son was born. Recently he said to me: “Dad, I totally want to go to BCS! It’s a good Christian school, with great teachers and a great president … and you work there.” Having completed all requirements for the second grade and read The Chronicles of Narnia and some lesser literary achievements like the Magic Treehouse and Boxcar Children series, my boy has begun planning his future. Whether he ends up playing second base for the Twins, owning an ice cream shop, or becoming an archaeologist (or some combination of these current vocational goals), JJ aspires to study at Bethlehem College & Seminary.
My eight-year old has never read one of my Greek syllabi and is still a few years away from worrying about the ACT or SAT. But my children already know a lot about Bethlehem College & Seminary. They love having students and their families in our home for meals and small group meetings. Some of their favorite friends are the kids of faculty and seminary students. Their beloved first babysitter just graduated with her B.A. degree in May, and two of her siblings are current students. My three-year old faithfully comes to chapel (usually dressed in his Randy Moss Vikings jersey) and considers it a highlight of his week (especially if there are cookies at the school lunch after chapel).
Bethlehem College & Seminary may be a small school that doesn’t feature prominently on the national lists of top schools, but my kids are already seeing firsthand what an education in serious joy looks like. They know that the professors love Jesus and care deeply about their students. Over the coming years I pray that they will grow in understanding how a big view of God fuels worship and impacts all of life and that they will be excited to study great books and the greatest Book with pastor-scholars.
In roughly four weeks, we will welcome dozens of new college and seminary students to campus for orientation and various kick off events. As we make preparations for the class of 2021, I’m mindful that the class of 2031 is taking notes.
- Pray that God would lead the right men and women to apply to our non-traditional Bachelor of Theology degree completion program in Minneapolis and at our extension site in the Memphis area. The deadline for applications is August 1.
- Pray for new students and their families who are moving from around the country—and the world—to begin their studies at Bethlehem this fall.
- Pray for the newest members of our faculty—Dr. Chris Bruno, Dr. Brian Hanson, and Dr. Rick Shenk—as they prepare to devote themselves full-time to teaching and mentoring students.
- Pray that God will provide generous donors to provide a Serious Joy Scholarship for every resident student and to fully support the Alex Steddom International Student Fund so that new seminarians from El Salvador and Myanmar can receive an education in serious joy.