Seminary courses are available in the central Kansas area of Newton and Wichita through Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary–Great Plains Extension. AMBS–Great Plains is the only accredited seminary program in central Kansas, and it provides a wide range of seminary classes for people in Wichita, Newton and the surrounding region who are pursuing a seminary degree or who are interested in beginning theological studies or ministry training.
Students at AMBS–Great Plains may pursue any of the degree programs offered by AMBS in pastoral ministry, theology, pastoral counseling, spirituality and other areas of theological and ministry studies. A range of courses is offered in central Kansas each semester, as well as during Interterm and summer, for both full-time and part-time students.
- Foundational, introductory ministry and theology courses;
- Other required courses for seminary degree programs;
- Courses in the ministry formation and assessment sequence;
- Supervised Ministry Experience and
- Other more specialized courses for electives in a degree program or for continuing education.
Foundation Program of Study
AMBS–Great Plains offers a foundational program of study for ministry with 27 credit hours. Western District and South Central conferences of Mennonite Church USA strongly encourage participation of pastors in bivocational ministry and pastors seeking ordination (if they have no other seminary training). All credits in this program can be taken at AMBS–Great Plains.
Pastors and other church leaders are encouraged to take AMBS–Great Plains courses for continuing education. Auditors as well as credit students are welcome in most classes. AMBS–Great Plains also sponsors occasional continuing education events for pastors for CEUs, rather than academic credit. Contact the AMBS–Great Plains office for more information.
Faculty typically have doctoral degrees and teach in their areas of study and research. In addition to the director, who has faculty status, four core adjunct faculty members teach, plan curriculum, and advise students. Additional faculty are recruited as needed.
- AMBS–Great Plains students have access to three libraries:
- The AMBS library in Elkhart, Ind. Some books and journals can be read online. Books also can be mailed to students.
- The Bethel College libraries in North Newton, Kansas, including the Mennonite Library and Archives. AMBS–Great Plains is regularly adding books to the Bethel College collection. Students may check out books, use the AMBS–Great Plains reserve shelf, or request books through inter-library loan.
- The Conference Resource Library in North Newton, Kansas, located at 2517 Main.
Location of Classes
Most classes are held at the 2500 Place building in North Newton, Kansas. Some classes are taught in Wichita or Hesston, as well as in other church locations in Newton. On occasion, classes may be held in other Mennonite centers in the area served by Western District Conference, South Central Mennonite Conference, and Central Plains Mennonite Conference.
Admission, Tuition, and Financial Aid
AMBS–Great Plains welcomes students from Mennonite and other Christian faiths, full time and part time, who want training for church leadership in various ministry settings. Policies for admission, tuition, and financial aid are the same on the main campus and at the Great Plains Extension. Students who plan to pursue an AMBS degree or take more than two classes for credit must complete the regular AMBS application for admission. In addition to financial aid offered by AMBS, students should investigate conference, congregational, and other sources of aid.
More information on AMBS–Great Plains is available from:
2505 Main Street
PO Box 306
North Newton, KS 67117
AMBS–Great Plains is under the governance of AMBS. In addition, a regional Great Plains board serves in an advisory capacity. Most members of the Great Plains board are appointed by the Western District Conference, South Central Conference, Bethel College, Hesston College, and the AMBS board.
AMBS–Great Plains board members
- Brett Dewey, Wichita, Kansas
- Sara Dick, Newton, Kansas
- Tom Harder, Wichita, Kansas (chair)
- Mark Jantzen, Newton, Kansas
- Tim Lichti, Hesston, Kansas
- Douglas Miller, Hillsboro, Kansas
- John Murray, Hesston, Kansas
- Jim Ostlund, McPherson, Kansas
- Clarence Rempel, North Newton, Kansas
- Alice Suderman, North Newton, Kansas
- Kathy Neufeld Dunn, McPherson, Kansas
- Bill Zuercher serves as recorder.
Lois Barrett and Rebecca Slough are ex officio members.