Bethel Bible Series

Bethel Bible Series LogoThe Bethel Bible Series is a two-year in-depth study of the Old and New Testaments that makes use of forty colorful pictures that communicate the main themes of the Scriptures.

Seminar in small or large groups

Styles of Learning
Seminar, Research, Visual Aids (one image for each week), Memorisation of Scripture, leadership development.

Number of sessions
42 – six seven week blocks. Participants can start the course at the beginning of any of the six blocks.

Length of sessions
2 1/2 hours

The mission of the Bethel Series is to lead members of a local church into disciplined study of Scripture in such a way that they encounter the Living Christ.

Theological Perspective
Conservative Evangelical

Age Group

Where to purchase
Directly from Bethel in USA or from Graeme MacRobb in Australia (see below)

See web site for catalogue.

Specific leadership requirements
Before the program can be presented to the leaders of a congregation, the minister or another staff member attends an Orientation and Training Clinic. Ideally a member of staff does the training and comes back to take congregational leaders through the course over two years. After two years those lay leaders lead other members of the congregation in the Bethel Series.

Country of origin
United States

Available in languages other than English
Korean, Japanese, Russian, Spanish, German, and soon Chinese

Resources provided
Bethel Bridge Illustration Teacher/discipleship training set with Old Testament & New Testament binders, Extra assignments, Set of large posters, Pocket picture/concept cards, Bulletin covers, Administrator’s manual and video for congregational phase, Bible Tutor CD Rom, Christian History Tutor CD Rom, Bethel Series PowerPoint on CD Rom, Overhead Transparency Set, Paul’s Journeys on Overheads, Personal Map Set. The resources have been updated in the last five years.

Technology needed
Overhead Projector for transparencies, Computer & Projector if using PowerPoint.

Web site

Bethel Contact for Australia
Adult Christian Education Foundation of Australia
Bundaberg Queensland
E-mail: warren.darnley@bigpond .com
Phone: 0418191375

Uniting Church Congregations that have used the Bethel Bible Series
Aitkenvale used Bethel in the 1980s
Glebe Rd used Bethel in the 1990s
Robina Surfers Paradise


Old Testament:

Creation and its Concepts
Divine Intentions
Pronouncment of a Destiny
Ardent Dream of a Destiny
United for a Destiny
An Emerging Nation
A Destiny Ensured
Empowered for a Destiny
The Conquest
Judges Forestall Threats
The Philistine Menace
The United Kingdom
Recalling a Destiny
The Crumbling North
The Crumbling South
Pointing Ahead
The Exile
History is the Judgment of God
The Restoration

20 thoughts on “Bethel Bible Series

  1. Graham Beattie

    Yes Duncan, I used the Bethel Bible Series in the mid 1980s when I was at Griffith in NSW, Australia. We had about 40 people doing it over 2 courses, one day group and one evening. However, I haven’t used it since so would not be familiar with recent updates.

    We found it great, particularly in helping folk gain a perspective on the Old Testament and especially its teaching and history. In my opinion Bethel’s strength lay in providing an historical window into scripture particularly against the backdrop of the course’s central theme of ‘blessed to be a blessing’. As a byproduct, it also helped people gain some confidence in sharing their ideas in a group context.

    However, I found Bethel not to be as helpful when addressing the New Testament, particularly outside the Gospels and Acts. The style of Bethel doesn’t seem to work as well with Paul’s writings and other scriptures that are more abstract than story based.

    The course is quite rigorous and in my view would only be suitable for those prepared to put in the ‘hard yards’. There’s considerable memorisation (at least in the original version)and reading required.

  2. Graham Slaughter

    I did Bethel about ten years ago and found it tremendously helpful at the time. Because of its style, I say it’s definitely for folk who are in it for the long haul and may be difficult for people to commit to given people’s increasingly busy lifestyles. It’s an in depth study of the Bible and I still remember some of the concepts when I come across them such as “Blessed to be a blessing” as per the Genesis reading set down for this Sunday. Bethel is an overview of the Bible and for that reason helps participants make sense of Biblical history as it unfolds throughout the various books of the Old and New Testaments. Because of the amount of homework, depth and style of learning that’s required, plus the degree of commitment needed, Bethel at either of its two levels wouldn’t be for everyone.

  3. Jenny Brecknell

    I would agree with everything the two Grahams say. I did Bethel in the 1980s – Chapel Hill UC had a Bethel program going all through the 80s – and found it provided an excellent knowledge base for everything I’ve done since, through its overview of the whole of the Scriptures. But it’s not for the faint-hearted!

    I’ve also done the Disciple Bible Study course, which also provides a good overview of the Scriptures and a sound knowledge of the flow of Biblical history, without being quite so demanding. Where Bethel requires a two-year commitment, the foundational Disciple course requires only one.

    The approaches are different. Bethel has a strong emphasis on learning “about” the Scriptures, ie, gaining a strong knowledge base, and it involves a lot of memorisation of concepts, texts, etc. The emphasis is deliberate & comes out of a belief that sound knowledge is the basis for good praxis. Disciple seeks more intentionally to integrate learning “about” the text and getting “involved with” the text, and constantly challenges to live out what is learned. The last two sessions of the foundational course focus on identifying the participants’ gifts and the areas of the life of the church where they might consider offering to serve. It’s a lovely time – some really discerning affirmations come out of it, as the participants encourage one another.

    Another difference: While the foundational Disciple course is not as thorough or demanding as Bethel, the Disciple course has three other levels (one year each) which you can go on to if you want to, and by the time you’ve done them all, you’ve studied just about every book in the Bible in depth. There’s also a youth version of the basic course. And very soon – in the second half of this year – there will be two new introductory courses, each eight weeks long, on the OT and NT, so people can get a taste before they make the commitment to the whole year course.

    Both courses are excellent and make a great contribution to growing a more biblically literate church.

  4. Graeme MacRobb

    Another Graeme – Graeme MacRobb now in charge of the Bethel Bible Series in australia. We have just completed an exhustive upgrade and improvement of the Old Testament Bethel program for use in australia. Next month we start on the equally exhaustive upgrade of the New Testament year. I agree with theose who mentioned the limitations in the New Testament section – these problems are already being addressed.

    ACEF Australia, distributors of the Bethel Series in Australia and New Zealand now has anew National Office and Distribution Centre at Warragul in victoria. The number of churches around australia has doubled in the past year and we look forward to that happening again in the next.

    If you have been aBethel teacher we would love to hear from you and keep in touch (ring (03)5623 4654 or email me If you would like to know more about running the Bethel Series in your church contact us and we will help you get ti going and give you support as you run the program.

    I look forward to heaaing from you.

    Graeme MacRobb
    Hon. National director
    ACEF australia

  5. frank niero

    dear director

    thank you for conducting the Bethel course, I am a seasoned Christian and doing it at the FULL BLESSING CHURCH IN FRANKSTON VICTORIA with rev. BOB PAYNE, he is wonderfully equipped and I am enjoing it immensly, please see my web site if you wish in the back of my book I make reference to 2 CHRISTIAN COURSES – BETHEL AND ALPHA, PLEASE is there a church finder for bethel so that I can include it on my reference…. thank you and GOD BLESS..your brother in christ frank niero.

  6. suzanne popp

    I have the illustrations to the Bethel Bible series and will be taking them to Zambia for an adult literacy class. I have never taken the class and would appreciate any instruction or advice as I am leaving this July 27th for Africa.
    Description of Illustrations
    Lessons pertaining to each.
    Easy guide to leave with the bible teacher at our mission school. Thank you and God bless you.

  7. Luke Bell

    I did Bethel under the leadership of Canon Graeme MacRobb in Victoria Australia. I was encouraged then, that was two years ago, and now i am at a Bible college in Perth and Bethel has been a good foundation of my understanding in my college training. Bethel has brought such an insight to the life of Jesus that we miss at church and home groups, it took me through many ah ha moments which brought excitement into reading the scriptures through. my understanding had increased and the wisdom that came through Canon Graeme MacRobb will continue to enhance my understanding in the future of what the Bible means and the themes that are sometimes lost or misunderstood into a open understanding. If you have ever wondered about Bethel, stop wondering and enroll. it will change your life forever and excite you about the Bible and the life we live in our Lord Jesus Christ.

  8. Graeme MacRobb

    A brief additional note to the bit above in my name that I submitted about four years ago. The complete revision of the Bethel Course in Australia is now complete and the very inproved New Testament materials (with a wide supplementary resource provided for teachers in that area) is completed and has been enthusiastically received and the number of churches all around Australia taking up the Bethel program is increasing every month. We are also about to publish in Australia the course in Chinese and we are a part of a team introducing the course in Mainland China and reintroducing both the Chinese and English language courses in other Asian countries.

    I have asked, to no avail, that the Uniting Church might change the above summary information. We have lost contact with many people who have done Bethel because they have believed the message that the program is only available through ACEF in America.

    We are a grateful offspring of the USA Bethel program but we have grown up and am not attached to Mother’s apron strings (but we keep in touch and are working with them to provide this material for China – the first Bethel training Clinic for Pastors is happening right now – Nov 2008 in Beijing).

    Feel free to ring me on (03) 56234654 or email me on and I will ring you right back to see how we can help your Church in these and other areas related to “becoming a Church like Jesus”.


  9. Glen C0nnor

    I did the Bethel course when I was 13 years old and found it enormously helpful. At the time I wasn’t very theologically reflective and I do not know what the theology of the course is like. But for me it laid a foundation in knowing the content of the Scriptures and where to find things. As a younger learner it was the memory work that I really latched onto and that is still helping me today as I teach the Bible in a Bible College.

  10. Ray

    Graeme, could you tell me how I can purchase the Bethel Bible Series in the USA? My dad’s a missionary in South Africa and he’d like to use the Bethel Series Teacher/discipleship training set with Old Testament & New Testament binders as well as the Bethel Series PowerPoint on CD Rom. I am leaving for South Africa in a week, so please leave a reply comment as soon as possible. Thank you.

  11. Eunice

    I did a Bethel Course with Barbara McKay in the early to mid 1990’s. It was such a thorough learning experience and Barbara was an excellent guide/teacher. It would be good to do the course again especially in this era with the troubles between Israel and Palestine.

  12. Pastor Larry San Pedro

    Dear Bethel Series Administrator,
    I was 18 years old when i first got hold your book Bethel Series, it gave me great interest to study the Word of God since i was a already an active member of our Church back then. I remember i was asked to clean the stockroom of our church, and i saw your book, its colorful posters attracted me and the pastor gave it to me, and i studied it myself. Praise the Lord for the learnings He gave me through the book. I even had it with me after my seminary, i kept the book with me, and i became a pastor of a small church here in Manila, then have my own family, But the book was totally destroyed last 1997 when our house went under flood because of strong typhoon, along with my other precious book it was all destroyed.
    Now may i request for a copy of the book, even old ones. I am planning to use the Bethel Series for our Christian Workers Leadership Course.
    I hope and pray that you can help me about this.
    Thank you and God bless you all! More power!

  13. Greg Muller

    We used the Bethel Series in the 1980s when pastoring the Samford Church of Christ QLD. We did the Intensive Level first (very rigorous) with at least 10 hours of time needed per week. This was followed with the Congregational level and Youth Level (about 4 hours and 2 hours of time needed weekly). All Levels were great to give new Christians a workable overview of the Bible. Interestingly, many of the approximately 40 people have become church leaders. It was evangelically conservative but encouraged people to read through the Bible, remember it and then go on growing. I found that it did a great job of putting the Bible together in historical perspective and in a way that I could remember it, even more so than Bible College had done for me.

  14. Judith Martin

    New Orleans, Louisiana: Mom and I had just begun studying the Bible Series, Old Testament, in August, 1986, when Dad passed away. It surprised the other church members in the group when we showed up the next week, ready to continue in the study. We stuck with the series right through to the end in 1988. — From then on, in any discussion of the Bible, you can be certain that we were not bashful about putting in a quote or an idea from Bethel. — Mom passed away in the post-Hurricane Katrina floods here. But, I carry on remembering what I learned those few decades ago, and do not rue spending those evenings, when my mind was opened to a whole new way to understand what the Bible is saying.

  15. Alyce A Schaffer

    Where in Tacoma is there a Bethel Series in process. How may one access this?

  16. Warren Darnley

    Bethel Bible Series is now under new management.
    Please contact me (Warren Darnley)
    Phone 0418191375 or warren.darnley@bigpond .com

    God and every exciting issues. plus new teacher notes to assist with teaching.
    Please make contact
    Blessed to be a blessing!

  17. Pamela Sieverin

    Good day,

    I live in Centennial, Colorado and took a Bethel Bible study several years ago. I would like to know if there is any other place in this area that is teaching it…or where can I take classes to learn how to teach it myself so others can benefit from such a wonderful experience?

    I appreciate any help you can give me.

    Thank you,
    Sincerely Yours in Christ,
    Pam Sieverin

  18. Suzan Winch

    I am interested in the cost of The Bethel Series. I would like to recommend it to the church I attend.

  19. Susan

    Can anyone tell me where in the Cleveland Oh area this course is being taught? I am presently taking the course in Collumbus, OH but have anot interested friend in Cleveland. I enthusiastically recommend this courselves to anyone
    Interested in or actively studying the Bible.

  20. John Hellstern

    Could you tell me who was the instructor teaching persons to lead the Bethel Series in Madison? I was an Air Force Chaplain at the time and was sent for the instruction then used it at my next base in 1977 to 1980. I would appreciate knowing for the sake of memoirs I am writing. He had a great sense of humor in his teaching. Also during the training a choir was formed quickly which was a joy to share in.

    Appreciate your answer please.

    Dr. John R. Hellstern

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