Academics at AMBS

Beverly Lapp, academic dean

A word from the Academic Dean

At AMBS, students engage deeply in the study of theology alongside a supportive community of scholars. You will be able to design, with your advisor, an academic program that is relevant and experiential in preparation for the contexts of your future ministries.

Our graduates are sharing God's reconciling mission as pastors, teachers and leaders in congregations, non-profit and faith-based organizations, peace and justice work, international development, academic settings, and more. We are eager to have you join this distinctive and vibrant learning community. — Beverly Lapp, EdD


"What stands out for us [about AMBS] is the way we learned and were taught — as part of a learning community." — Mark (MAPS 1987) and Mary (MACF 2008) Hurst

Master of Divinity programs

In the Master of Divinity Campus (MDiv Campus) program, you are fully immersed in worship, study and relational life in our learning community in the city of Elkhart. This plan of study requires 80 credit hours, all taken on our beautiful campus. Majors: Pastoral Ministry; Chaplaincy; Christian Faith Formation; Theological Studies: Bible; Theological Studies: History, Theology and Ethics; and Theological Studies: Peace Studies.

The Master of Divinity Connect program allows you to access the best of our learning community from a distance. Study includes a combination of online-only courses (53 credit hours) and hybrid courses (mostly online with a visit to campus, 27 credit hours). Majors: Pastoral Ministry; Chaplaincy.

The Master of Divinity for United Methodists combines 15 hours of United Methodist courses from Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary in Evanston. Illinois, with 65 hours of AMBS courses to prepare United Methodists for ordination. The G-ETS/AMBS partnership has been approved by the University Senate of The United Methodist Church. This plan of study requires 80 credit hours.

Master of Arts programs

The Master of Arts in Christian Formation (MACF) program prepares students for ministry in spiritual formation and guidance, teaching ministry and worship. The 60-credit hour plan of study equips students with tools to study and engage the ministries of personal and congregational formation. This degree is not intended to prepare people for independent ministerial leadership of a congregation.

The Master of Arts: Theology and Peace Studies (MATPS) program prepares students interested in careers and scholarship at the intersection of theology and transformative peacebuilding. In the 60-credit-hour program, students combine academic study with sustained engagement in the field. Concentrations: Primary program, Conflict Transformation, International Development Administration, Environmental Sustainability Leadership.

Graduate Certificate programs

AMBS Graduate Certificates provide professionals, congregational leaders and bivocational pastors with a theological, biblical and spiritual foundation to integrate their faith into their work and ministries. The 27-credit hour programs include a Graduate Certificate in Theological Studies and a Certificate in Christian Spiritual Formation.