Bethany Seminary Receives Grants for Events and Programs


Martin Marty (top right) greets students at Bethany Seminary’s 2010 Presidential Forum. The seminary has received a $200,000 grant to endow the forums. Photo courtesy of BethanyIn other news from Bethany, president Ruthann Knechel Johansen has been named the Church of the Brethren representative to the International Ecumenical Peace Convocation in Jamaica next year–the culminating event of the Decade to Overcome Violence. She is shown below speaking at the 2010 Annual Conference. Photo by Glenn Riegel

Bethany Theological Seminary in Richmond, Ind., has received a $200,000 grant from the Arthur Vining Davis Foundations for financial support of its Presidential Forum. The grant will be used to establish an endowment to create perpetual funding for this event.

The Arthur Vining Davis Foundations are a national philanthropic organization established through the generosity of the late American industrialist, Arthur Vining Davis, and provide grants for private higher education, religion, secondary education, health care, and public television.

The Presidential Forum, established by Bethany president Ruthann Knechel Johansen at the beginning of her tenure, brings noted speakers to campus for in-depth study and discussion of current topics. Previous years’ forums have focused on scriptures of peace from various faith traditions, the intersection of wisdom and the arts, and hospitality.

Johansen noted that in awarding the grant, the Arthur Vining Davis Foundations board recognizes the excellent education that is carried out at Bethany and the high quality of the forums that have been offered. “This gift will permit Bethany Seminary to carry its witness to the church and society forward for years to come,” she said.

The seminary also has received a $25,000 grant from Barnabas Ltd. to reactivate its Exploring Your Call (EYC) program for high school juniors and seniors. Barnabas Ltd. is an Australian foundation founded by the parents of current Bethany Board of Trustees member Jerry Davis. More than 50 youth attended EYC events at Bethany during the first half of the last decade, and several current seminary students report that EYC was an important catalyst in their decisions to pursue ministry. Russell Haitch, associate professor of Practical Theology and director of the Institute for Ministry with Youth and Young Adults, will direct and staff the program. The next EYC is scheduled for June 17-27, 2011.

— Marcia Shetler is director of public relations for Bethany Theological Seminary.