The AMBS-Great Plains extension site is changing. It will continue to offer master's-level courses, but fewer. In addition, AMBS is getting counsel from a regional advisory group for how we can continue to provide resources to the area not only through courses, but also through continuing education events and collaborating with other organizations in the region.
Summer classes will run, as announced on the website pages. Offerings for the 2014-15 year are still being determined.
Students in the plains region 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, taking advantage of courses offered in the Newton area as well as those offered for distance students and for students on the Elkhart campus.
Courses offered in central Kansas include:
- 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.
Year of the Bible scholarships for Bible courses
Year of the Bible is a ministry of the Western District Conference of Mennonite Church USA. The conference is encouraging congregations and individuals to immerse themselves in the Bible through study, prayer, conversations, storytelling, the arts and many more activities.
As part of this effort, Western District Conference is offering 20 scholarships of $200 each to people in the conference who want to take a Bible course at AMBS or the AMBS–Great Plains extension. Anyone who is a member of or who attends a Western District Conference congregation may request a scholarship. For information, read the brochure or contact the conference office, [email protected].
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. The AMBS catalog gives details of this program of study on page 63.
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:
E-mail: [email protected]
AMBS–Great Plains extension site 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
- Sara Dick, Newton, Kansas
- Katherine Goerzen, North Newton, Kansas
- Tom Harder, Wichita, Kansas (chair)
- Mark Jantzen, Newton, Kansas
- Anita Yoder Kehr, Newton, Kansas
- Tim Lichti, Hesston, Kansas
- John Murray, Hesston, Kansas
- Becky Nickel, Peabody, Kansas
- Jim Ostlund, McPherson, Kansas
- Clarence Rempel, North Newton, Kansas
- Kathy Neufeld Dunn, McPherson, Kansas
- Bill Zuercher, North Newton, Kansas
Dorothy Nickel Friesen and Rebecca Slough are ex officio members.