Want to explore seminary study before 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 regular tuition rates.
The courses listed below are well suited to students who are exploring seminary studies. Nonadmitted students wishing to take an Intensive Term course should use the One-course registration form. (Note that registration for Semester One courses opens July 1.) Please contact the Registrar's Office with questions.
|On-campus courses||Online courses||Hybrid courses|
Face-to-face courses meet 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.
Students can do their online coursework at different times that suit their individual schedules and needs. (Some courses may require occasional sessions during which students need to be online at the same time.) All course activities are mediated through an online course management system. Students interact with professors and peers through course discussion boards, email, video chats, Google hangouts or other means.
Hybrid courses combine learning on the student's own time and scheduled times during which students learn face to face. The courses begin and end 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; this allows students to meet the residency requirements of AMBS's accrediting agencies.
Intensive Term • 2017–18
Intensive Term Hybrid Session
May 7 – July 20, 2018 (online)
Hybrid week on campus: June 4–9, 2018
Tuition due: April 30, 2018
Three hours — Allan Rudy-Froese, PhD
Since narrative is an essential form of Hebrew and Christian Scriptures, storytelling is an important way of interpreting the Bible and communicating its message. In this course we will learn to embody biblical stories in a variety of styles for a variety of purposes. Whether they are used for worship, preaching, teaching, pastoral care or for fun, biblical stories are the building blocks of our Christian faith.
Two hours — Andy Brubacher Kaethler, PhD
Faith formation and spiritual maturation in youth and young adults are shaped by developmental stages, intentionality in the congregation to nurture growth, and cultural influences. This multidisciplinary course focuses on developing an understanding of adolescent and young adult faith formation and spirituality in order to nurture Christian faith more effectively and authentically in congregational and relational contexts.
Three hours — Lois Barrett, PhD
An introduction to the Christian experience of God through representative figures and movements, in private devotion and public worship, from the post-apostolic era to the present. The focus will be primarily on the churches of the West. Themes covered will include prayer, contemplation, confession and discipleship. Movements covered include monasticism, late medieval women’s writings and pietism.
Two hours — Linda Thomas, MATS
This course considers spirituality, pastoral counseling and the church’s ministry of healing as disciplines of pastoral care. It examines and correlates the focus and function of spiritual formation with that of pastoral care and counseling, and explores their place in the church’s concern for healing. Particular attention is given to prayer and rituals related to healing. (This is the last time this course will be offered.)
Intensive Term Campus Session 1
May 7–24, 2018
Tuition due: April 30, 2018
Three hours — Malinda Berry, PhD
God’s mercy and justice stretch into and through our relationships as gendered people. Utilizing frameworks from narrative theology and feminist literary theory and working primarily within the Western gender binary of woman and man, this course will use poetry, short stories, novels and film to develop students’ critical thinking and reflection skills as we consider the role and function of “women’s experience” as a vital part of the peace theology tradition. Social themes that we will engage from Christian theo-ethical postures of Christology, theological anthropology and authority/tradition include race and racism, environmental stewardship, feminism, interculturalism, intersectionality and socioeconomic class. Students may take this course as either a theology or ethics course, which will be reflected in their final project/paper.
Three hours — Janna Hunter-Bowman, PhD
How do lived religion and theological thought and practice shape violent conflict and peace? Colombia, South America, is the context for the course query. Many people inside and outside of Colombia were shocked by some Colombian Christian churches’ self-congratulatory celebration of the “no” vote to the internationally acclaimed peace agreement in 2016. Drawing on stories and experiences of faithful Colombian Christians of diverse theological and political vantage points, this course explores theology, religion and ethics in conflict and peacebuilding. It emphasizes the importance of applied ethics and lived religion while also taking theology and peace studies theory seriously. The class brings together conversations that are often compartmentalized in literature and curricula: Christian identity, Christian ethics and biblical and cultural hermeneutics, on one hand; and conflict transformation, peacebuilding frameworks and state-oriented peace processes, on the other hand. It provides frameworks to help students design change initiatives and peace processes within conflict settings that align with God’s shalom and move towards a just peace.
Intensive Term Campus Session 2
June 11–28, 2018
Tuition due: June 4, 2018
Three hours — Malinda Berry, PhD
Nonviolence is more than an idea, and it is also more than an ideal; it is a set of values and beliefs we express with our bodies. This is the reality students will explore in this course by putting nonviolence into physical, emotional and spiritual practice using Anabaptist understandings of incarnation, theological anthropology, atonement and reconciliation as the theological foundation of our work. Using Duane Friesen’s description of “focal practices,” this class reflects on how we (can) enact and perform rituals of moral formation, process practices, pastoral care and practices of service. Open to all students, this course is a prerequisite for the MATPS internship.
Three hours — David Cramer, PhD
Forgiveness plays a central, though poorly understood, role in the New Testament. There is also increasing interest in the topic of “forgiveness” — appearing everywhere from superficial self-help books to serious studies of international relations. But what is forgiveness? How does it differ from forgetfulness or indulgence? To whom is forgiveness due? Must we always forgive, even if there is no repentance from the offender? Are Christian notions of forgiveness unrealistic and perhaps even immoral or unjust? Or do Christian notions of forgiveness offer something unique to the world?
Register online for one course
Nonadmitted students wishing to take an Intensive Term course should use the One-course registration form. (Note that registration for Semester One courses opens July 1.)
Please note: You may only use the One-course registration 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.)