Academic Rigor. Spiritual Formation. Creative Ministry.


Those words define ESR's educational mission, and by extension our curriculum. We provide students a holistic approach to learning that addresses the mind, spirit, and personal leadings to minister to the world.

Our curriculum is designed to meet a specific set of educational goals that challenge and nurture students, and satisfies the requirements of ATS, our accrediting body. We meet these goals by offering structured curricula that provide both broad-based learning, and focus on specialized areas of interest. Classwork, worship, and community offer students varied, but equally important places to learn, pray and discern.

"We hold that Christ is Present, guiding and directing our lives, and that we can know and obey Christ’s will." The ESR Credo reminds us of the theological context in which we offer our curriculum, and the requirement that a seminary education stimulate the intellect and the spirit. We are drawn to that question from George Fox: "what canst thou say?" which directs us to listen to the Inward Teacher who sifts through with us the information and ideas gained to guide us into knowledge and action. These experiences – steeped in study, worship, and discernment – give the ESR education a distinctly Quaker character.

ESR and BTS Curricula

Curricular offerings listed include both ESR and Bethany courses. All courses are open to students from both schools, with the exception of Ministry Formation courses at Bethany and Supervised Ministry at ESR.

Bethany and ESR share a similar numbering system for their courses, though each remains distinct in designating areas of study. (for example, "BS" for Biblical Studies at ESR and "B" for Biblical Foundations at Bethany.) The numbers for both Bethany and ESR reflect the following assumptions:

  • 100 level courses are foundational and are required for advanced courses
  • 200 level courses are open to beginning and advanced students and may be taken at any time
  • 300 level courses are advanced courses that have one or more prerequisites
  • 400 level courses are independent study courses
  • 500 level is used for M.A. thesis work

Course descriptions ending with -O are courses offered online; -T as a two-week intensive; -W as a weekend intensive.

Download the ESR Course Catalog (2020-2021) here