Spring Church and Ministry courses at AMBS
God’s Shalom and the Church’s Witness CHM500
Annual — Three hours — David Miller
This course invites students to develop an integrated theology of mission and peace. The course deals with the biblical, theological, and historical understandings of peace (shalom), and the teaching and work of Jesus Christ, in terms of the practical problems Christians face as they inculturate the gospel of peace and participate in God’s mission to the world.
Spiritual Practices: Discernment CHM591
Discernment is both a spiritual discipline as well as a fruit of other spiritual disciplines. Students will explore and engage in a variety of practices to increase their capacity to discern the mind and purpose of God. The seminar will examine both personal and communal/corporate practices of discernment. Topics for discernment will include vocation, mission discernment (what is God doing in the world), "testing the spirits," and the interplay of Word and Spirit. Discernment practices from various traditions will be considered and tested (e.g. Ignatian, Quaker, Anabaptist, Pentecostal).
Foundations of Worship and Preaching CHM511
Annual — Four hours — Rachel Miller Jacobs and Allan Rudy-Froese
This course teaches students skills for preaching as well as planning and leading in congregational worship. Various actions and elements of worship are studied. Students develop a working theology of congregational worship. Half of the course focuses on sermon preparation—moving from biblical exegesis to the steps of sermon delivery. Each student participates in a preaching and worship lab.
Pastoral Care Case Colloquium CHM528
Annual — One hour per semester — Daniel Schipani
The course is designed as a setting for presentation and analysis of pastoral care situations in the manner of “case consultation.” The focus of the case can be a personal, family, or congregational crisis, or counseling challenges such as those related to loss, conflict, discernment, and guidance. Special attention is given to enhancing both caregiving skills and pastoral-theological reflection. Students in the MDiv PCC concentration will have priority registering for this colloquium, followed by those enrolled in the Pastoral Ministry Program. Prerequisite: a Pastoral Care course or having had supervised pastoral ministry experience, or permission from the professor.
Mission Colloquium CHM529
Each semester — One hour — Ted Koontz
An informal setting open to members of the AMBS community interested in working through intercultural issues. The agenda is set by the participants with emphasis in the Fall on the overseas setting, and in Spring on the North American setting. Students must register to receive credit, but students
may attend without registering. (This colloquium may run jointly with the Peace Colloquium.)
Principles of Pastoral Care CHM532E (online)
Annual — Two hours — Daniel Schipani
This course begins with a biblical and historical survey of pastoral care. It explores theory and practice and encourages students to develop their own theological understandings of this field and a model of pastoral care. Pastoral care is considered in various circumstances and contexts. Attention is paid to communication and listening skills, interpersonal relationships, helping relationships, and interventions that facilitate healing and growth.
Christian Formation in the Congregation CHM541
Biennial — Two hours — Rachel Miller Jacobs
This course on the ministry of Christian formation in congregational life examines two central questions: How is faith nurtured to maturity in the midst of congregational life? How are leaders equipped to guide the congregation in its growth? Focusing on three essential and interrelated arenas of congregational life—worship, community, and mission—the course explores key biblical-theological foundations for Christian formation and introduces practical leadership tools for stimulating and nurturing growth in faith.
Faith Formation and Spirituality of Youth and Young Adults CHM546-2
Biennial — Two hours — Andy Brubacher Kaethler
Faith formation and spiritual maturation in youth and young adults are connected with both developmental capabilities and the congregation’s ability to nurture growth. This multi-disciplinary course focuses on developing an understanding of adolescent and young adult faith formation and descriptions of their spirituality in order to nurture Christian faith more effectively and authentically.
Spirit World and the Global Church CHM556
Occasional — Three hours — James Krabill
This course will explore the biblical foundations of the spirit world and trace how these understandings have been both applied and challenged throughout the history of the Western Church. From there we will examine how the conversation is expanding as Western Christians encounter spiritual realities present in the rapidly growing churches of the global south (Africa, Asia and Latin America). Particular themes will include the Pentecostal appeal among struggling social classes, the language of “spiritual warfare” and peace theology, and case studies of North American congregations and church leaders dealing with difficult “hard cases” involving spiritual dimensions.
Understanding the Church's Contexts CHM569
Three hours — Lois Barrett
This course will examine the contexts of the missional congregation or other church institution—its immediate environs as well as the larger political, cultural and global milieu—for the purpose of the church engaging those contexts with the gospel. The course will apply the same sociological, anthropological, and theological analyses in North American cultures that have been used in understanding contexts around the world.
Conflict, Communication, and Conciliation CHM633
Biennial — Three hours — Pries, Betty
This course explores approaches to conflict management and conciliation skills from the perspective of communication theory and the dynamics of interpersonal and intra-group conflict. Training in basic mediation skills is included.
Christian Practices in a Technological Culture CHM642
Occasional — Three hours — Andy Brubacher Kaethler
Technology is the single greatest identified of the character of contemporary western culture. It has so permeated our thoughts and actions that it shapes the very meaning of our existence and the very nature of our relations with Creator, creation, and other human creatures. Yet we are only superficially and dimly aware of technology's rule. The class will combine lectures, seminars, and practical disciplines to provide a language, concepts, and habits with which to develop an Anabaptist theology and practice regarding technology.
Church and Ministry Practicum CHM694
Two hours — Rachel Miller Jacobs
Over one or two semesters, students will gain supervised experience in worship, teaching, or faith formation in congregational, school, or specialized ministry settings. They will create learning goals appropriate for their level of experience and ministry site; receive regular supervision from a qualified pastor, teacher, or other supervisor; meet regularly with the faculty supervisor and an interdisciplinary practicum group; and complete written assignments reflecting on readings and/or specific ministry experiences. One semester involves 265 hours of work, which includes supervision and practicum group meetings. The course may be taken twice.
Pastoral Counseling Practicum: Advanced Theory and Practice CHM684
Three hours each semester — Daniel Schipani
This practicum provides opportunity for the practice of pastoral counseling under supervision and to further connect theory with experience. Students engage in the ministry of counseling by drawing on insights from the field of psychotherapy as they relate to pastoral care and by giving special attention to the unique resources of the gospel and the church for guidance, support, and healing. Theory and practice are integrated through focusing on particular problems, such as crises, loss, and abuse, and by learning specific counseling methods. Prerequisites: Human Development and Christian Formation; Principles of Pastoral Care; Religious and Psychological Assessment; and Pastoral Counseling and Theology.
Spiritual Guidance Practicum CHM686
Biennial — Two hours each semester — Daniel Schrock
The first semester concentrates on the literature of spiritual guidance and initial steps in providing guidance. The second semester concentrates on supervised practice. Issues considered along the way include discerning the presence of God in multiple contexts, connecting guidance to the mission of God, shaping guidance in various ecclesial and ethnic contexts, and offering guidance across the adult lifespan. Prerequisites: Human Development and Christian Formation; a pastoral counseling course; a spiritual disciplines course or seminar; active local church involvement; regular practice of spiritual disciplines; experience in receiving spiritual direction for at least a year; and instructor’s permission. Other recommended prerequisite courses: Psalms; History of Christian Spirituality.