United Methodist opportunities at AMBS

Are you sensing a call to ministry?

United Methodists in northern Indiana and southern Michigan are invited to study at AMBS through a partnership with Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary (G-ETS) in Evanston, Illinois.

The University Senate of The United Methodist Church has approved AMBS as a seminary to educate United Methodist candidates for ordination, and has endorsed the G-ETS/AMBS partnership, which supplements AMBS coursework with specific courses in United Methodist studies.

The partnership between AMBS and Garrett-Evangelical combines the strengths of both seminaries in preparing students to lead congregations and serve God’s people.

Accreditation and history

Garrett-Evangelical, founded in 1853, is a graduate school of theology related to The United Methodist Church. Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary is a seminary of Mennonite Church Canada and Mennonite Church USA with more than 60 years of experience educating leaders for God’s reconciling mission in the world. Both seminaries are accredited by the Association of Theological Schools and Higher Learning Commission – North Central Association.

Master of Divinity for United Methodist students

  • Program of study. United Methodist students who want to prepare for licensing follow an 80-credit-hour program of study through AMBS that includes five courses (15 credit hours) from Garrett-Evangelical. These courses constitute a United Methodist Certificate and focus on mission, evangelism, worship and United Methodist history and theology. They are frequently taught online or as short-term intensives.
  • Financial aid. You’ll pay tuition and fees to each institution from which you are taking classes. AMBS offers generous need-based financial aid and will award you the maximum amount for which you qualify based on the combined load from both seminaries.
  • Scholarships. AMBS has established a scholarship specifically for United Methodists. Each year, up to two UMC students can receive a scholarship of $3,000 per academic year. Apply by April 1. Learn more

Peace Studies concentration for United Methodist students

  • Master of Divinity students at Garrett-Evangelical can complete a concentration in Peace Studies at AMBS, taking a minimum of five courses that are part of the AMBS Peace and Justice Studies program. Courses are offered in a mix of online, intensive and regular semester courses on the AMBS campus in Elkhart, Indiana. Details are available on a page about this specific concentration.
  • Students in this concentration are considered guest students at AMBS. They don’t need to apply to AMBS, nor are they eligible for AMBS scholarships or financial aid.

Benefits of study at AMBS

Being part of AMBS’s learning community offers students opportunities to work at integrating academics, spiritual formation and practice — and a wealth of resources:

  • Proximity: You can study at a UMC-approved seminary without relocating. 
  • Faculty: Professors combine scholarship with experience in ministry as they teach and mentor students.  
  • Students: The student body includes international students and people from various Christian traditions. Learning opportunities reflect the worldwide Christian church.
  • AMBS Library: The library offers an extensive collection of books, journals and electronic resources that focus on pastoral ministry. It’s also the first theological library to receive Gold Certification from the United States Green Building Council.
  • Worship and prayer: Chapel services and smaller prayer groups regularly invite the community to experience God’s presence.
  • Emphasis on building intercultural competence and undoing racism: AMBS uses various resources to help students strengthen this leadership skill set.

Image: UMC student Rev. Debbie Smith (MDiv 2015) of Fort Wayne, Indiana, and a fellow student, Ryan Harker (MDiv 2015), now of Waco, Texas, converse in an AMBS class in March 2015. (Credit: Jason Bryant)

Apply now

To apply for study at AMBS, United Methodists complete the U.S. admissions application.

Download a brochure for prospective UMC students

United Methodist student scholarship

AMBS has established a special for UMC students. AMBS will select up to two award recipients to each receive a scholarship of $3,000 per academic year. Find out more.

UMC alumni reflections

“Through AMBS I could get my MDiv within a reasonable commute from Grand Rapids, Michigan (not an option for me at G-ETS with two little boys in the fold). 
    What I really feel most grateful for is the ‘Anabaptist experience’ I fell in love with at AMBS. Everyone I met went out of his or her way to find out my name and try to understand my faith perspective — with utmost respect. Yes, I am a United Methodist, but my heart beats to the Anabaptist drum of peace, justice and reconciliation as real possibilities in our broken world.  I thank God that I am an AMBS graduate.”
Rev. Martha Beals (MDiv 2008), UMC minister in the Greater Grand Rapids, Michigan, area

“What I found most meaningful during my AMBS experience is how God prepared me for my new assignment (before I even knew what it would be) through the classes I took, especially Church and Race, since my church assignment is a multi-ethnic congregation.”
Rev. Debbie Smith (MDiv 2015), pastor, Trinity United Methodist Church, Ft. Wayne, Indiana

“I chose to attend AMBS for two reasons. It was close to my home, so I could work full time while attending class, which allowed me to graduate debt-free. Second, AMBS provides a very good education. The diversity of the denominational and cultural background of the student population at AMBS helps prepare United Methodist students for our mission of Making Disciples of Jesus Christ for the Transformation of the World.”
Rev. Tom Thews (MDiv 2004), pastor, St. Paul’s Memorial United Methodist Church, South Bend, Indiana