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AMBS appoints two faculty members

Mary E. Klassen

January 17, 2014

Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary has appointed two new faculty members, Malinda Berry, PhD, to begin in summer 2014; and Janna Hunter-Bowman, PhD candidate, to begin in summer 2015.

Malinda Berry Berry currently is assistant professor of theological studies and director of the MA program at Bethany Theological Seminary, Richmond, Ind. Hunter-Bowman is completing a PhD program at the University of Notre Dame and serving as a teaching assistant there.

“What a happy day for AMBS and for the church!” Sara Wenger Shenk, AMBS president, said. “It is rare in my experience of seminary faculties to observe a faculty so united and enthusiastic at the conclusion of a search process. In Malinda and Janna we have two exceptionally dynamic, intellectually creative witnesses to God’s reconciling mission in the world.”

Berry will begin serving as assistant professor of theology and ethics in July. In addition to her current teaching role, she is editor for the Prophetic Christianity Book Series of Eerdmans Publishing Company and she chairs the board of Mennonite Education Agency. She has been a visiting scholar at Goshen (Ind.) College, a columnist for Sojourners, interim minister for Manhattan Mennonite Fellowship, New York, N.Y., and associate director of Mennonite Voluntary Service, Elkhart, Ind.

Berry earned a PhD and a Master of Philosophy from Union Theological Seminary in New York, a Master of Arts: Peace Studies from AMBS, and a Bachelor of Arts from Goshen College. She is coeditor of Prophetic Evangelicals: Envisioning the Just and Peaceable Kingdom (Eerdmans, 2012), and coeditor of Wrestling with the Text: Young adult Perspectives on Scripture (Cascadia, 2006), in addition to numerous book and journal articles.

“I am thrilled that this next step in my teaching career is bringing me to AMBS, a place that has been so instrumental in shaping my theological perspective,” Berry said. “I look forward to joining others at AMBS in framing the pressing theological and ethical questions that face the church and its emerging leaders in our day and age.”

Janna Hunter-BowmanHunter-Bowman will begin as assistant professor of peace studies and social ethics in July 2015. She is focusing her PhD study on integrating moral theology and peace studies with John Paul Lederach as one of her adivsers. She has served in several roles with Justapaz in Colombia, supported by Mennonite Central Committee. From 2006 to 2010, she served as documentation and advocacy program director of Justapaz and from 2002 to 2004 as education and advocacy director. Between these terms she worked with Witness for Peace in Washington, D.C., focusing on grassroots organizing around issues related to Colombia.

She earned a Master of Arts: Peace Studies from AMBS and a Bachelor of Arts from Goshen College. Hunter-Bowman was an adjunct professor at Goshen College in fall 2010 and helped to facilitate a May-term course in 2003 in Bogotá, Colombia. She coauthored an entry on theology and peacebuilding for the Oxford Handbook on Religion: Conflict and Peacebuilding (Oxford Press, 2013), and “Building Peace: Religious Leadership in Divided Communities,” in Religious Leadership, A Reference Handbook, (SAGE Publications, 2013), along with other book and journal articles. In addition, she has been a guest lecturer at AMBS, Goshen College, Eastern Mennonite University and the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies.

“I am thrilled to join AMBS. I am grateful for this opportunity to draw on peacebuilding practice and interdisciplinary scholarship to serve the church and to impact the world,” Hunter-Bowman said.

Berry and Hunter-Bowman will join the AMBS faculty as two long-term professors retire: Ted Koontz, PhD, professor of peace studies and ethics; and Gayle Gerber Koontz, PhD, professor of theology and ethics.