Experience ESR

BTS Partnership

In 1994, the Earlham School of Religion, founded in 1960, and Bethany Theological Seminary, founded in 1905, began a new relational journey. These two independent seminaries entered into a covenantal partnership and began a path toward full interdependence.

The main Bethany campus moved from Oak Brook, Illinois, to Bethany Center on the northeast corner of the Earlham College campus where it sits adjacent to the ESR Center and the Barclay Center. Years of planning have produced these architecturally hospitable and efficient teaching and office facilities. While the two schools are separate institutions, this partnership affiliation allows expanded course offerings, enhanced administration, enriched worship, and sharpened identity for all concerned.

The great gift that these two historic peace churches offer this needful world is a continuing witness to the peace found in Christ. Friends and Brethren seek to create a Christian spiritual center that closely monitors the search for a more humane world.

New dimensions of opportunity are achieved in this relationship. In the spiritual dimension, the covenant means faithfulness to our respective traditions; in the educational, it means the symbiosis of our teaching and curricula; in the economic, it means cooperative stewardship of time and resources; in the cultural dimension, it means self-awareness and sensitivity to differences. Together the two schools provide students with an education that features academic excellence, spiritual depth, and ministerial competence.

Those who study here will enter a community designed to enhance the distinctive identity and mission of each school. You will find ESR at work and study in the manner of Friends. You will see Bethany living out the beliefs and practices of the Church of the Brethren. In addition you will discover ecumenical students representing a wide variety of other religious traditions. Yet the one Spirit of Christ is our shared foundation.