One-course options

Want to explore seminary study without applying?

At AMBS, students may take up to two courses without having been admitted to one of the seminary's degree or certificate programs, with a limit of one course per term. A nonadmitted student's first AMBS course is 50 percent off of regular tuition rates. 

The Semester One courses listed below are well suited to students who are exploring seminary studies.

  • On-campus face-to-face courses meet for the equivalent of 14 weeks on the AMBS campus in Elkhart. Classroom sessions have accompanying assignments outside of each class session. While these courses have online requirements, classroom learning is a central element of the course.
  • Online courses that earn three credit hours have the equivalent of a 14-week duration with asynchronous learning so that students can participate at different times that suit their individual schedules and needs. (Some courses may require occasional synchronous learning sessions that require students to be online at the same time at a given point in time during the semester.) All course activities are mediated through an online course management system. Students may interact with professors and peers through course discussion boards, email, video chats, Google hangouts or other means. These courses are planned for the duration of a regular semester. 
  • Hybrid courses that earn two or three credit hours have the equivalent of a 14-week duration with asynchronous and synchronous learning. Hybrid courses begin and conclude with online assignments and interactions. Students are expected to be on campus for one scheduled week during the course for face-to-face interactions with other students and faculty. More than 50 percent of the course’s directed face-to-face learning is done during the week on campus. 

Questions? Contact the AMBS registrar.

Semester One, 2017–18

Campus 

Sept. 5 – Dec. 15, 2017
Tuition due: Aug. 29, 2017

Three hours  — Loren Johns & Safwat Marzouk
By reading material from the Old and New Testaments, students will come to understand better the scope of the Bible and its contents and background in conversation with thoughtful critical scholarship. After an orientation to the world and the structure of the Bible, students will sample biblical texts and themes, including narrative texts, prophetic writings, Pauline writings, wisdom literature, the Historical Jesus, creation, and eschatology.

Three hours — Ben Ollenburger 
The English text of the entire book will be read and studied with a view to its theological coherence and its relation to both diverse historical circumstances and the rest of Scripture. Individual texts will be studied in detail, with an interpretive approach appropriate to both theological reflection and preaching. Particular attention will be given to Isaiah’s creative use of Zion as a symbol of judgment, hope, and transformation and to issues of conflict and migration. 

Three hours — Jamie Pitts
A descriptive and analytic study of the settings, ideas, and personalities that shaped Anabaptism within the context of early sixteenth-century church and society. Bearing in mind the social and political setting, the course will highlight doctrine, ethics, mission, sacramental life, and spirituality in various streams of Anabaptism, noting their common and contrasting characteristics. The relevance of this heritage for contemporary ecumenical, doctrinal, congregational, and personal life will be assessed.

Three hours — Lois Barrett
The church and politics in North American societies will be the focus of this course in the context of the broader stories of Canadian and U.S. churches and movements. Although the course will cover about 400 years of history, a heavier emphasis will be placed on the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. There will also be opportunity to discuss the church in relation to contemporary political issues.

Three hours — Malinda Berry
How should Christians respond to violence, health care and creation care issues? What choices face us regarding sexuality and systemic racism? Using case studies approach to deepen students‘ ability to think ethically, this course also outlines several major approaches to ethics from Christian stance: social ethics, duty ethics, consequentialist ethics and virtue ethics. Working from an Anabaptist-Mennonite framework called “shalom political theology,” students will also integrate three theological motifs with the various forms of ethical reasoning and reflection: scriptural authority, christology, and ecclesiology.

Three hours — Andy Brubacher Kaethler
This course gives students both tools and impetus to reflect on their own Christian formation and human development as well as the impact of Christian formation and human development in ministry with others by 1) understanding human development and Christian formation in an interdisciplinary perspective; 2) identifying and working with issues and experiences from the past which may hinder human development and Christian formation; 3) exploring the role of spiritual disciplines in fostering ongoing Christian formation; and 4) reflecting theologically on Christian formation and human development in culturally sensitive and nuanced ways.

Two hours — Allan Rudy-Froese
This course explores the role of rituals in congregational life. It equips leaders in planning and leading in a variety of rituals in ways that enrich the congregation’s experience of God, foster unity in the body of Christ, and strengthen the church’s witness in the world. Special attention is given to life cycle rituals, such as weddings and funerals; ongoing rituals in congregational life, such as baptism and communion; as well as rituals of healing and reconciliation.

Two hours — Allan Rudy-Froese
Building students’ confidence in their voices is the main focus of this course. Through voice exercises and short oral performances, students will explore the range and registers of their speaking voices, and develop increased vocal flexibility and expressiveness. We will be working primarily with Kristin Linklater’s theory and method.

Online

Online: Sept. 5 – Dec. 15, 2017
Tuition due: Aug. 29, 2017

Three hours  — Loren Johns & Safwat Marzouk
By reading material from the Old and New Testaments, students will come to understand better the scope of the Bible and its contents and background in conversation with thoughtful critical scholarship. After an orientation to the world and the structure of the Bible, students will sample biblical texts and themes, including narrative texts, prophetic writings, Pauline writings, wisdom literature, the Historical Jesus, creation, and eschatology.

Three hours — Laura Brenneman (description to come)

Three hours — Jamie Pitts
This course offers a critical survey of the history of Christianity, from roughly 1300 to the present, comparing the legacies of Byzantium and Rome, and assessing the varieties of Reforming movements (Lutheran, Reformed, Anabaptist, Anglican, Roman Catholic; pietist, charismatic, liberationist, etc.). Students will explore major changes and continuities within Orthodoxy, Catholicism, and Protestantism in the context of nation formation, and the development of a globally dispersed and diverse Christianity. Students are further expected to draw conclusions from their study of the past for the church’s present faith, ministry, and mission.

Three hours — Andy Brubacher Kaethler
This course gives students both tools and impetus to reflect on their own Christian formation and human development as well as the impact of Christian formation and human development in ministry with others by 1) understanding human development and Christian formation in an interdisciplinary perspective; 2) identifying and working with issues and experiences from the past which may hinder human development and Christian formation; 3) exploring the role of spiritual disciplines in fostering ongoing Christian formation; and 4) reflecting theologically on Christian formation and human development in culturally sensitive and nuanced ways.

Hybrid

Hybrid: Aug. 7 – Dec. 15, 2017
Hybrid week on campus: Aug. 21–26
Tuition due: July 31, 2017

Three hours — Lois Barrett
This course examines the contexts of the missional congregation or other church institution — its immediate environs as well as the larger political, cultural and global milieu — for the purpose of the church engaging those contexts with the gospel. The course will apply the same sociological, anthropological and theological analyses in North American cultures that have been used in understanding contexts around the world. Methods for researching congregations will be taught and practiced.

Register online

Nonadmitted students wishing to take one course should use the One-course registration form.

You may only use this form if you are not an admitted student at AMBS or not enrolled at another seminary, college or university. (Students who are enrolled elsewhere: please contact the registrar's office if you have questions.)