Seminary reports highest enrolment in 14 years

Eleven graduate students attended an on-campus orientation in August 2023. Front (l. to r.): Kandace Boos of Kitchener, Ontario, Canada; Teresa Martin of Norman, Oklahoma; DJ Polite of Columbia, South Carolina; Hasset (Joy) Shimeles of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia; Clare Krabill of Goshen, Indiana. Back (l. to r.): Kandace Helmuth of Akron, Pennsylvania; Brian Johnson of Missoula, Montana; Daniel Nugroho of Ungaran, Central Java, Indonesia; Kyle Schlabach of Goshen; Christian Nawai of Ndjamena, Chad; Andrew Zetts of Souderton, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Brittany Purlee)

Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary (AMBS) in Elkhart, Indiana, is celebrating its fourth consecutive year of growth in student numbers this fall, with a total enrolment of 189 students (157 in 2022) as of Sept. 11, 2023.

From postman to pastor

Ian Funk, pastor of Langley Mennonite Fellowship, recently graduated from AMBS. (Photo by Amy Rinner Waddell)

After eight years of study, Ian Funk was thrilled to finally receive his Master of Divinity degree in May, albeit in absentia.

Funk, pastor of Langley Mennonite Fellowship, completed his MDiv courses from Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary (AMBS), located in Elkhart, Indiana, through the seminary’s distance education program, which combines online and hybrid classes.

AMBS reports growth in student numbers

Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary (AMBS) in Elkhart, Ind., is reporting a growth in student numbers this fall, with total enrolment increasing from 145 students in 2021 to 157 this year. Of these 157 students, 16 are participants in the undergraduate level nondegree Journey Missional Leadership Development Program. The other 141 students constitute the largest graduate student body AMBS has enrolled in 12 years. Scott Janzen, AMBS’s assistant dean, registrar and director of retention, says students from outside the United States and Canada are driving AMBS’s enrolment growth.

AMBS scholarship supports visual arts

Elkhart, Ind.—Kajsa Herrstrom is the latest recipient of a scholarship that supports seminary studies integrating spirituality and visual arts. The Worship Arts Scholarship is offered by Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary (AMBS), one of its 100 endowed scholarships. Herrstrom, a masters of divinity student from Champaign, Ill., says, “I have been on a lifelong artistic and spiritual journey.

Rituals for reconnecting as we emerge from the pandemic

‘Classic’ rituals like baptism, communion, weddings and funerals, while important, don’t exhaust the need for ritual action, so students are asked to create new rituals that emerge at the intersection of a biblical text and powerful emotions. (AMBS photo)

Each year in the Christian worship: Theory and practice class at Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary, students spend a couple of weeks considering rituals.

MWC and AMBS partnership opens access to Anabaptist education

César García, MWC’s general secretary (left) and David Boshart, AMBS's incoming president (right)

Mennonites around the globe yearn for Anabaptist theological education, identity formation and leadership development, but attending an Anabaptist-related college, university or seminary has not been possible for Mennonites in many countries. A new partnership has been designed to respond to this need.

!Explore nurtures youth who are passionate about the church

Participants in the 2019 !Explore program during the Group Experience in Elkhart. (AMBS photo)

In the midst of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary (AMBS) leaders of !Explore: A Theological Program for High School Youth are planning for a robust opportunity for teens to deepen their faith, expand their soul and imagine their place in God’s kingdom in the summer of 2021. 

AMBS doubles church matching grants

ELKHART, IND.—Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary (AMBS) is doubling its dollar-for-dollar church matching grant from $1,000 to $2,000 per academic year, beginning in the 2020-21 school year. The grant matches contributions that congregations, conferences and regional churches make toward a student’s tuition costs for graduate-level study at AMBS. Through the church matching grant, full-time admitted students will be able to receive up to $2,000 per academic year, depending on the amount of need-based financial aid they are awarded.

Is technology on ‘Team Human’?

Osheta Moore, a blogger and speaker, presented a workshop at 'Shaping faith in a digital culture,' held at Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary. (Photo by Annette Brill Bergstresser)

Elkhart, Ind.—In an age when people turn instinctively to Siri for directions, Mennonite church leaders and educators found that Divine Lady Wisdom’s words from Proverbs have an amazing wealth of guidance for navigating digital culture.

Seminary short course offers congregations tools for engaging conflict

Betty Pries, a conflict management specialist based in Waterloo, Ont., leads an online short course of Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary as a sessional faculty member. (Photo courtesy of

Betty Pries, a conflict management specialist based in Waterloo, Ont., provides mediation, coaching and consulting services for businesses, nonprofit organizations, governments and congregations. For six weeks each year, she also leads an online short course of Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary (AMBS) as a sessional faculty member.

Boshart next AMBS president despite expressed concerns

David W. Boshart, pictured with his wife, Shana Peachey Boshart, has been appointed the next president of AMBS. (AMBS photo by Melissa Troyer)

David W. Boshart, Ph.D., of Wellman, Iowa, has been appointed the next president of Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary (AMBS), Elkhart, Ind., effective Jan. 1, 2020, following a period of “extended discernment” that included “outreach to and listening sessions with the AMBS community,” according to board chair Bruce Baergen of Edmonton. 

Wenger Shenk concludes nine years of service at AMBS

Sara Wenger Shenk retired from her role as president of Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary (AMBS), Elkhart, Ind., on June 30, after nine years in the role. Since beginning in the fall of 2010, she provided strong direction for the seminary’s future, overseeing changes such as transitioning the institution’s name from “Associated” to “Anabaptist” in 2012, renovating the Chapel of the Sermon on the Mount in 2011-12, and degree program revisions that included the creation of a distance-friendly master of divinity program in 2013.

AMBS celebrates the Class of 2019

The 2019 graduating class of Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary: (front, left to right) Renee Epp Reimer of Sioux Falls, South Dakota; Dustin Finch of Jonesboro, Arkansas; Margaret De Jong of Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada; Tesfaye D. Robelle of Oromia Regional State, Ethiopia; Benjamin Isaak-Krauss of Bammental, Germany; (middle, left to right) Yukino Ohyama of Sapporo, Hokkaido, and Tokyo, Japan; Suzanne Engle Ford of Fort Collins, Colorado; Peter Digitale Anderson, originally from Bremen, Indiana; Naún Lucoer Cerrato of Goshen, Indiana; Nel Warkentin of Elkhart; (back, left to right) Grant S. Miller of Danvers, Illinois; Brian Miller O’Leary of Goshen; Pratik Bagh of Kutela-Raipur, Chhattisgarh, India; James Longley of Sydney, Australia; Scott Micheal Litwiller of Delavan, Illinois. (Not pictured: Jeremiah Buhler of Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada; Barbara Krehbiel Gehring of Manhattan, Kansas; Sungbin Kim of Seoul, Kyunggi, South Korea; Anne Perkins Munley of Mundelein, Illinois; and Joel Ray Schroeder of Newton, Kansas.) (AMBS photo by Steve Echols)

GOSHEN, Indiana — Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary (AMBS) celebrated the achievements of 20 graduates earlier this month at its 73rd commencement service.

AMBS launches new online MA in theology and global Anabaptism

ELKART, IND.—Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary (AMBS) is launching a new fully online master of arts degree in theology and global Anabaptism. The 46-credit-hour interdisciplinary academic degree program—which can be completed over four years on a part-time basis—builds on the seminary’s historic Anabaptist identity and longstanding peace studies program to prepare scholars, teachers, pastors and leaders to integrate Anabaptist understandings of Scripture and theology with service in their current and future communities.

AMBS trains Sudanese-Canadian to make a difference

Rebecca Riek (second row, second from left) and Rebecca Yoder Neufeld (next to her) stand among fellow participants at the September 2018 Journey Weekend Learning Event at Amigo Centre in Sturgis, Michigan. (Jason Bryant)

Thousands of miles from their homeland, a group of about 30 South Sudanese women gathers on Tuesdays in Kitchener-Waterloo, Ont. Meeting in each other’s homes, they pray for their war-torn country and its people, share about their lives and study the Bible together. Rebecca Riek, who came to Canada from South Sudan 16 years ago, helped start the group in 2007 and continues to lead it.

AMBS president to resign next June

Sara Wenger Shenk, president of Anabaptist Biblical Seminary (AMBS), has announced her retirement, effective June 30, 2019. She has served in this role since the fall of 2010. Bruce Baergen of Edmonton, board chair of AMBS, expressed gratitude for Wenger Shenk’s gifts in fostering team spirit and collegiality as new faculty and staff members have come on board, and for her “realistic, yet calm and encouraging” leadership in times of financial stress. Wenger Shenk has brought to her role as president her experiences as a missionary, church planter, teacher and administrator.

Rooted and Grounded speakers call for changed worldviews

Ken Quiring, pastor of Grace Mennonite Church in Brandon, Man., and a member of the Network of Biblical Storytellers, give a presentation on biblical storytelling and creation care stories, and presented Scripture for a number of the worship sessions during AMBS’s Rooted and Grounded conference. (Photo by Perdian Tumanan)

Randy Woodley, distinguished professor of faith and culture and director of intercultural and Indigenous studies at George Fox University/Portland (Oregon) Seminary, gives a keynote address on ‘Resurrecting ancient wisdom and worldview.’ (Photo by Perdian Tumanan)

Karenna Gore of Union Theological Seminary in New York City gives a keynote address on ‘A moral framework for concern about climate and related environmental issues.’ (Photo by Perdian Tumanan)

Valerie Bridgeman, dean and vice-president for academic affairs at Methodist Theological School in Ohio, give a keynote address entitled ‘If only: Learning from creation.’ (Photo by Perdian Tumanan)

As the floodwaters of Hurricane Florence crested in South Carolina in late September, three keynote speakers at this year’s Rooted and Grounded conference on land and Christian discipleship at Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary (AMBS) told participants that shifts in the dominant western belief systems and priorities would be needed for people to live in right relationship with God’s creati

AMBS grads encouraged to fulfill ‘other half’ of Jesus’ mandate

Palmer Becker gives the address at the 2018 commencement ceremony of Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary in Elkhart, Ind. Also pictured is AMBS president Sara Wenger Shenk. (AMBS photo by Jason Bryant)

Palmer Becker of Kitchener, Ont., told Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary graduates that, as followers of Jesus, they have not only been given a mandate to teach, but also to cast out broken and evil spirits.


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