Master of Divinity Connect
MDiv Connect is a distance program that combines online and hybrid courses. With this program of study, the best of what AMBS offers comes to you, wherever you are.
Two annual weeklong visits to campus provide opportunities for formation and vocational discernment and integrate students into the AMBS community. This program has been approved by the Association of Theological Schools. To find out where AMBS has authorization to offer a distance degree program, visit the state authorization page for preliminary information and contact the Admissions Office.
MDiv Connect is designed for:
- People who are not able to move to Elkhart for ministry and theological study
- People transitioning into ministry or who want to deepen their understanding of how they can contribute where they are
- People who want to develop leadership abilities with a Christian perspective for their current vocations — leadership that reflects the Anabaptist tradition.
Courses in this program are available to guest students who are studying at other seminaries and are looking for specialized graduate-level courses.
Also, AMBS and Conrad Grebel University College in Waterloo, Ontario, have a collaborative arrangement in which Canadian students earning a Master of Theological Studies (MTS) degree can also earn an MDiv degree through AMBS.
The MDiv Connect program requires a total of 80 credit hours:
- 53 hours of fully online courses
- 27 hours of hybrid courses, combining online work with weeklong sessions on campus (in August, February or June)
Current majors include:
- Pastoral Ministry
- Christian Faith Formation.
- Earn a Master of Divinity degree without moving to campus
- Develop an identity as a leader with skills to set vision and enable others
- Integrate rigorous study with ministry practice through internships and ongoing ministry in the student’s context
- Complement day-to-day ministry with disciplined study and deep spiritual formation
- Orient learning and formation with an Anabaptist vision
- Discern God’s call with mentoring by faculty
- Share practices of spiritual formation and explore spiritual disciplines
Participating in an online course requires equipment and a discipline of study that is different from those of a face-to-face course.
For a three-credit hour course, students are expected to spend a minimum of 10 hours each week in activities related to the course, for a total of 140 hours for the duration of the course. This includes time spent reading, writing, posting work online and completing assignments. For two- or one-credit-hour courses, the expectation is adjusted proportionally.
During campus sessions of hybrid courses, students should expect to spend most of their time on course activities. Classes will meet for eight 150-minute sessions beginning Monday afternoon and concluding Saturday noon. In addition to academic work, on-campus weeks include practices for spiritual formation, such as community worship, morning prayers, community meals and group meetings for vocational discernment.
In addition to regular tuition and fees, MDiv Campus students may wish to plan for the following fees:
- On-campus lodging: $24 per night
- Transportation from and to South Bend airport: $50 one way (For other transportation needs — Amtrak, Greyhound, United Limo, etc. — contact the AMBS receptionist.)
MDiv Connect students taking at least 12 credit hours per academic year will be deemed intended pace and considered full-time for need-based financial aid purposes. (During their first year of study — when the two-credit-hour orientation course is required — 11 credit hours will meet this requirement.) See the Financial aid page for more details.
MDiv Connect students can complete the program of study in six years by taking 13-14 credit hours per year through courses in three terms: Semester One, Semester Two and Intensive Term in summer.
|Aug. 3, 2020||Semester One (hybrid courses only):
Leadership Education in Anabaptist Perspective (LEAP -- the orientation course) and other hybrid courses begin early with online coursework.
LEAP and other hybrid courses meet virtually (due to the pandemic).
|Sept. 1 - Dec. 11||Semester One (campus/videoconference and online):
Students continue the hybrid course(s) they started in August and take online or videoconference courses.
|Jan. 5 - April 30, 2021||Semester Two: Students take both hybrid and online courses.|
|Feb. 1-6||Hybrid courses meet on campus (TBD in light of pandemic issues).|
|May 10 - July 23||Students take an Intensive Term Hybrid Session course, meeting on campus June 7-12.|
Students may take an Intensive Term Campus Session course.
LEAP (Leadership Education in Anabaptist Perspective) is the foundational course of the MDiv Connect program. It is offered each August as a hybrid course. MDiv students should either begin their program with LEAP or take no more than two courses before taking LEAP.
Canadian students may enroll in MDiv Connect; AMBS has approval for international students to enter the U.S. for this low-residency program. Contact the Admissions Team if you have questions.
“Even though I completed my degree through the MDiv Connect Program, which was largely on- line, I have developed relationships with the faculty, staff and students. I attribute that to the fact that everyone from the AMBS community is wholly invested in the mission and ethos of the institution." — J. Joel Beachy (MDiv 2020), Kalona, Iowa