Upcoming courses

Student Sophia Austiin and professor Safwat Marzouk, PhDWant to explore seminary study?

At AMBS, students may take up to two courses for credit without having been admitted to one of our degree or certificate programs, with a limit of one course per term.

If you are not an admitted student at AMBS and not enrolled at another seminary, college or university, your first AMBS course for credit is 50 percent off regular tuition rates. (Grebel and CMU students, see this exception.) 

If you’d like to take one of the courses listed below, choose the registration form that best applies to you at this link:

Semester Two, 2019–20

Online or blended courses

Jan. 7 – April 30, 2020
Tuition due: Dec. 31, 2019

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; this is noted in the course information.) 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.

Blended courses are campus courses that students can join via videoconference during posted class times. If you are at a distance and are interested in taking a different campus course (listed below) by video conference, please contact the Registrar. The instructor of the course may be open to such an arrangement.

Four credit hours — Safwat Marzouk, PhD — This class requires synchronous meetings (to be arranged after the class starts).

This is the basic course in the Old Testament exegesis sequence. It prepares students for exegesis by providing (1) a working knowledge of Hebrew grammar; (2) the ability to read Hebrew narrative; and (3) an introduction to the process of exegesis.

Three credit hours — Safwat Marzouk, PhD

Recent waves of migration and the political discourse about building walls have raised many vital questions about the church’s theology and witness during these critical times. This course will explore biblical and theological questions such as: What are the implications for calling the church a community of sojourners? What should the church’s witness look like in a context that is dominated by fear of the other, economic injustices, and military violence? What are the biblical visions that the church could rely on for embodying an alternative to the politics of multiculturalism, segregation, and assimilation that dominate North American societal models for dealing with the relationship between migrant and host communities?

Three credit hours — Jamie Pitts, PhD — Tuesdays, 1:30–4:30 p.m. ET

(This is a “blended” course, meaning that students at a distance can join by videoconference during posted class times.)

This course surveys the history and theology of Christianity in Latin America from the colonial era to the present. Key topics include colonialism and neocolonialism; church, state, and revolution; liberation theology; and the rise of Pentecostalism. Special attention will be given to the development of Latin American Anabaptism.

One credit hour — Janeen Bertsche Johnson, MDiv — Tuesdays, 6:30–9 p.m. EST (Tentative meeting dates: Jan. 7, 14, 21; Feb. 18, 25. Schedules might be flexible; we might be able to substitute later dates for some of these.)

(This is a “blended” course, meaning that students at a distance can join by videoconference during posted class times.)

This colloquium focuses on the structure, organization, governance, foundational documents, vision and goals, decision-making processes, leadership, and identity markers of Mennonite Church Canada and Mennonite Church USA. Special attention will be given to the integration process (1995–2001) and recent developments, as well as to the relationship of regional churches and area conferences to the denominations.

One credit hour — Allan Rudy-Froese, PhD

Students will practice playing and resting in community with a view to a deeper understanding of themselves, their relationships, and the wider world. We will consider recent theologies of play and Sabbath and ponder how the church might play its way into God’s mission in the world.

Three credit hours — Drew Strait, PhD — This class requires synchronous meetings on Wednesdays, 8:30–11:30 a.m. ET.

By reading material from the New Testament, 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 Greco-Roman world and the structure of the New Testament, students will sample biblical texts and themes, including the Gospels, Acts, the Pauline writings, the historical Jesus, and eschatology.

Three credit hours — Jamie Pitts, PhDNOTE: This course is full for Semester Two.

A descriptive and analytic study of the settings, ideas, and personalities that shaped Anabaptism within the context of the early 16th-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.

Hybrid courses

Jan. 7 – April 30, 2020 (online portion)
Hybrid week on campus: Feb. 3–8, 2020
Tuition due: Dec. 31, 2019

Hybrid 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 agency.

Three credit hours — Malinda Elizabeth Berry, PhD

This course seeks to deepen students’ awareness and analysis of systemic and interpersonal racism’s impact on the history and current life of the Christian church as well as to help students articulate a more just vision of thez church and identify forms of resistance to racism compatible with a commitment to Christian nonviolence. Our primary framing for this analysis comes from a) Michael Omi and Howard Winant’s theory of racial formation, b) Willie Jennings’s theological analysis of the diseased Western social imagination, and c) John de Gruchy’s definition of reconciliation as the restoration of justice. We will also employ strands of methodology that ultimately become a variegated cord of Christian social ethics (anthropology, biblical studies, history, sociology, and theology).

Three credit hours — Andy Brubacher Kaethler, PhD

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.

Campus courses

Jan. 7 – April 30, 2020 (campus)
Tuition due: Dec. 31, 2019

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. Download a course list and block schedule.

Three credit hours — Jamie Pitts, PhD — Thursdays, 1:30–4:30 p.m. ET

A descriptive and analytic study of the settings, ideas, and personalities that shaped Anabaptism within the context of the early 16th-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 credit hours — Safwat Marzouk, PhD, and Drew Strait, PhD — Fridays, 8:30–11:30 a.m. ET

We haven’t always known quite what to do with the relationship between peace and justice. The biblical texts bear witness to both the Holy Warrior God and the prophet who decries peace without justice, to the Jesus who came not to bring peace but a sword, and to the Jesus who weeps over Jerusalem because it did not recognize “the things that make for peace.” In this course we study pertinent biblical passages in order to gain perspective and to provide a basis for reflecting on peace and justice praxis today. We look at some hard topics: patriarchy, the so-called violence of God, empire, and colonization. We also look at some topics that are more pleasant but also contain their own complexities, such as hospitality and migration, our relationships with each other and with the earth, and eschatological hope, among others.

Three credit hours — Rebecca Slough, PhD

CHM621 will meet Fridays, 1:30–4:30 p.m. ET, and end on March 13. However, meetings on campus during Hybrid Week (Feb. 3–8) are also required. This course cannot be taken with another hybrid course.

What values characterize leadership that is explicitly Christian? What is the future hope toward which Christian leadership is oriented? How is it possible to lead with the mind, heart, and spirit of Jesus? How do the structures of communities and organizations aid or thwart the exercise of leadership intended to reflect the character of Christ? These questions will center inquiry into the biblical and theological purposes of leadership and the grounds for developing an imagination for Christian leadership; the analysis of leadership structures of responsibility, power, and authority in organizations; and the practices of spiritual discernment required for leaders who faithfully seek the Holy Spirit’s guidance when leading those they are called to serve. Students will be expected to articulate the values, practices, and attitudes that they believe characterize Christian leadership and will evaluate their own growth toward these understandings.

Three credit hours — Rachel Miller Jacobs, DMin — Fridays, 8:30–11:30 a.m. ET

With communal worship at its center, this course has one goal: to strengthen students’ capacity to integrate worship theory and practice so that they can plan and lead worship with increasing competence in order to enrich a congregation’s experience of God, foster unity in the body of Christ, and strengthen the church’s witness in the world. Focused on developing and refining both a working theology and practices of worship, the course explores key biblical, theological, and historical foundations for Christian worship; teaches contextual analysis skills and practices; and introduces skills for studying biblical texts, crafting words for worship, and leading old and new rituals. Students will also explore their identity and embodiment as worship leaders and formulate a set of principles for training and leading a worship planning group, including strategies for evaluating and assessing worship.

Three credit hours — Jamie Pitts, PhD — Tuesdays, 1:30–4:30 p.m. ET

(This is a “blended” course, meaning that students at a distance can join by videoconference during posted class times.)

This course surveys the history and theology of Christianity in Latin America from the colonial era to the present. Key topics include colonialism and neocolonialism; church, state, and revolution; liberation theology; and the rise of Pentecostalism. Special attention will be given to the development of Latin American Anabaptism.

Three credit hours — Paul Keim, PhD — Tuesdays, 1:30–4:30 p.m. ET

Wisdom literature addresses difficult and probing questions about the meaning of life, freedom, responsibility, divine-human interaction, suffering and the problem of evil, the function of praise and lament, and the ethics that flow from a proper theology. In this course, we will discuss the perspectives presented by the wisdom traditions, especially as manifested in the books of Proverbs, Job, and Ecclesiastes.

One credit hour — Janeen Bertsche Johnson, MDiv — Tuesdays, 6:30–9 p.m. EST (Tentative meeting dates: Jan. 7, 14, 21; Feb. 18, 25. Schedules might be flexible; we might be able to substitute later dates for some of these.)

(This is a “blended” course, meaning that students at a distance can join by videoconference during posted class times.)

This colloquium focuses on the structure, organization, governance, foundational documents, vision and goals, decision-making processes, leadership, and identity markers of Mennonite Church Canada and Mennonite Church USA. Special attention will be given to the integration process (1995–2001) and recent developments, as well as to the relationship of regional churches and area conferences to the denominations.

Two credit hours — Andy Brubacher Kaethler, PhD — Thursdays, 5:30–8:30 p.m. ET (meal served)

This course seeks to reclaim focused, intentional living by developing a pattern for daily life modeled after the life and practices of Jesus Christ, including regular practices of prayer, fellowship, and hospitality; work and reflection; Sabbath and rest; and holy play. We will develop language, concepts, and habits by which to evaluate the role that technology plays in permeating and distorting our relationships with God, with community, and with creation. The course requires commitment to daily Christian practices, moderate reading and writing, and weekly group reflection.

Three credit hours — Drew Strait, PhD — Wednesdays, 8:30–11:30 a.m. ET

By reading material from the New Testament, 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 Greco-Roman world and the structure of the New Testament, students will sample biblical texts and themes, including the Gospels, Acts, the Pauline writings, the historical Jesus, and eschatology.

One credit hour — Janna Hunter-Bowman, PhD — Wednesdays, 12–1 p.m. ET

This colloquium is for students in the MATPS program and other degree programs who are interested in peace and justice issues related to the church’s witness, peacebuilding, and interaction with other religions. It provides a setting for sharing information and assessing aspects of church engagement and for encouraging the integration of discernment, action, reflection, and evaluation. Semester One is an engaged learning seminar with local partners; trainings are included. Semester Two consists primarily of presentations and discussions. Students must register to receive credit; other students may attend without registering.

One credit hour — Rachel Miller Jacobs, DMin — Thursdays, 12–1 p.m. ET

For students who enroll in it, the colloquium functions as a worship committee that helps those on the AMBS campus worship in ways that reflect the diversity of our learning community. This diversity includes but is not limited to differences in language, culture, nationality, theological orientation, and worship “style.” In our work together, we will practice tending to chapel services that are both suited to our particularity and that unite us with the body of Christ in worshipping the living God. For those who are leading an individual chapel service, the colloquium serves as a group with whom to study the biblical text that anchors the chapel service, do some preparatory brainstorming to begin their planning, and debrief after the fact. For both groups, the colloquium provides a lab setting for worship planning and evaluation that strengthen corporate worship life.

Students must register to receive credit; other students may attend without registering. The colloquium may be taken twice for credit and is open to anyone on the AMBS campus.

Course on location

Jan. 25 – Feb. 8, 2020
 

INT840H Encountering Egypt: History, Culture and Theology

Three credit hours — Safwat Marzouk, PhD

This is a travel course to Egypt with some online coursework; there will be no meetings on campus. Travel dates coincide with the week during which hybrid courses meet on campus, so it is not possible to take both this course and a hybrid course this semester. To learn more, see the Learning Tour webpage.