By Maddie DeBilzan
A Monday-morning email from Bethel University President Jay Barnes announced the discontinuation of Bethel University Seminary in San Diego, effective after this year. The move was recommended by several working groups tasked with making decisions to make up for this year’s budget shortfall.
The decision was made based on the preference students have shown towards online Seminary classes as opposed to face-to-face degrees.
Last year, the email said, Bethel Seminary launched five fully online programs. 96 new students chose the online programs, while 87 new students chose the programs’ face-to-face counterparts.
According to Suzanne McInroy, Bethel’s Director of Communications, there are four full-time faculty members, about 10 staff members and 165 degree-seeking students at the Seminary in San Diego.
All of the staff positions at the San Diego locations will be eliminated after this year, according to the email. Full-time faculty and some adjunct faculty members will be invited to teach online Seminary programs. Students currently enrolled in a face-to-face degree at the San Diego location will be able to finish their degrees through a teach-out program.
“The decision to close the BSSD campus has been one of the hardest decisions I have made during my time as president of Bethel University,” Barnes’ email said. “The vision and plan we have for the future of Bethel Seminary provide some comfort, but it grieves me to close the campus in San Diego.”