One-course options

Ron Moyo, MDiV Connect student from North Newton, Kansas.Want to explore seminary study before applying?

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

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’re a nonadmitted student, your first AMBS course for credit is 50 percent off regular tuition rates.

If you’d like to take one of the courses below for credit and you are not an admitted student at AMBS or not enrolled at another seminary, college or university, register here. Contact the Registrar's Office if you have questions or download the course list and block schedule for details.

Semester Two • 2018–19

Online courses

Jan. 8 – May 3, 2019
Tuition due: Jan. 2, 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.) 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.

Four hours — Paul Keim, PhD

In this first-level Greek course, students learn the basics of the Greek language and read parts of 1 John, an early Christian letter about knowing and loving God. This basic skill-building course for the New Testament exegesis sequence will also help students gain a clearer understanding of the biblical text and how it functions in the life of the church. Imagine! You can read Greek!

Three hours — Gary Yamasaki, PhD

This course is an examination of the Corinthian Epistles and a study of their contents with a view to understanding the nature and challenges of pastoral ministry. We will attend to a variety of issues addressed by these letters, which are remarkably relevant for church life today with regard to unity, discipline, sexuality, freedom, spiritual gifts, worship, and stewardship.

Three hours — Jamie Pitts, PhD

What happened after the 16th century? How and why were certain convictions and practices reaffirmed or altered in the face of new challenges? This course responds to such questions by tracing the historical and theological developments of the Mennonite, Amish, and Hutterite traditions and the many Anabaptist movements that have emerged in the last 150 years. Attention will be given throughout the course to issues of Anabaptist identity and unity in light of the realities of global Anabaptist diversity.

Three hours — Jacqueline Hoover, MA

As Christians live side by side with Muslims in today’s global world, it has become imperative for Christians to wrestle seriously with the Islamic tradition in order to support and participate with both Muslim and Christian communities in their struggles with the meaning and import of Islam. This course examines foundational Islamic narratives and texts — including the Qur’an and the Prophetic Tradition — and how Muslims have interpreted these in law, doctrine, and spirituality through the centuries. Gender issues, the history of Muslim-Christian relations, and the emergence of contemporary Muslim movements will shape discussions in the course along with case studies drawn from different parts of the world. This will inform discussion of a way forward in Christian witness and service among Muslims. More information

Three hours — Rachel Miller Jacobs, DMin

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 hours — James Krabill, PhD

This course begins with an examination of the biblical concept of shalom as seen in creation, covenant, prophetic vision, and renewal; the ministry, witness, and teaching of Jesus; and the life of the early church. The course then examines how the church’s changing social location has influenced the way it has sought to bear witness to God’s intended shalom at various times in history. The past is queried with an aim toward strengthening contemporary discernment of the “things that make for peace” and how the church may more faithfully bear witness to God’s shalom in our moment in time.

One hour — Janeen Bertsche Johnson, MDiv — Tuesdays, Jan. 15, Feb. 12, March 19, April 9, April 23, 6:30-9 p.m.

This seminar will weave together care for creation — specifically the resource of water — with study of biblical texts about water, reflection on the role of water in Christian faith, practice of spiritual and conservation disciplines, and field trips. Participants will also consider how to lead the faith community in its response to water issues. Themes include the water cycle, uses and misuses of water, impact of climate change and pollution, conservation, and restoration. This class meets on campus; participants from all over the world can join via videoconference.

Hybrid course

Jan. 8 – May 3, 2019
Hybrid week on campus: Feb. 4–9. 2019
Tuition due: Jan. 2, 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.

Two hours — Andy Brubacher Kaethler, PhD

This multidisciplinary course presents aging as a God-given, natural process that encompasses both joys and losses. The course goal is to explore how congregations can nurture growing faith effectively and authentically throughout life. A significant outcome of this course is the integration of readings, lectures, presentations, and interactions with older adults.

Campus courses

Jan. 8 – May 3, 2019
Tuition due: Jan. 2, 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.

Four hours — Loren Johns, PhD — Fridays, 1:30-4:30 p.m.

This course focuses on the origins of scripture, how the biblical canon was formed, how the text of the Bible survived and was passed on through the centuries, and the authority of canonical scripture. We will seek to understand the influence of various communities in the production, transmission, translation, preservation, and interpretation of scripture. We will also examine modern English translations and learn what to look for in a study Bible.

Three hours — Drew Strait, PhD — Fridays, 8:30-11:30 a.m.

The book of Daniel and the Dead Sea Scrolls were produced at a time of great interreligious and intercultural ferment. Many different approaches were taken within Jewish traditions during this era, which is known as the Second Temple Period: withdrawal, active and critical engagement, acceptance, and violent revolution. Daniel, the Dead Sea Scrolls, selections from the Apocrypha and the Old Testament Pseudepigrapha, the Septuagint, 1 Enoch, Philo, and Josephus all help us understand this largely unknown period that is so vital for interpreting the New Testament.

Four hours — Drew Strait, PhD — Thursdays, 8:30-11:30 a.m.

In this course, students will learn the Greek and Hebrew alphabets and how to use study aids and research tools. They also will be oriented to basic exegetical methodologies using the original biblical languages. Using print resources and computer-assisted Bible study programs, students will cultivate skills needed when studying the Bible in preparation for preaching and teaching in the congregation. Students should anticipate purchasing specialized texts or software that can be used beyond the completion of the course.

Three hours — Safwat Marzouk, PhD — Tuesdays, 1:30-4:30 p.m.

In this thematic and genre study of the Psalms, various types of poetry will be linked with different facets of human experience, both of God and of the world. In this way, students will draw a picture of an integral spiritual maturity from the Psalms. This course is particularly suited for those seeking spiritual growth guided by biblical texts and the development of concepts for nurturing spiritual development in congregations.

Three hours — Loren Johns, PhD — Tuesdays, 8:30-11:30 a.m.

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 hours — Jamie Pitts, PhD — Wednesdays, 8:30-11:30 a.m.

How might theology shape ministry in a specific context? How might consideration of context influence and shape theology? In this course, we will use Elkhart as a case study to explore these and related questions. Readings, discussions, and conversations with community leaders will encourage an integration of theological and missiological reflection with sociological investigation and practical engagement.

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

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.

Three hours — Andy Brubacher Kaethler, PhD — Tuesdays, 1:30-4:30 p.m.

Leaders in a missional church need to be able to read and interpret the cultural contexts in which we live and share the gospel message. This course will place cultural hermeneutics in context with, but distinct from, biblical and theological hermeneutics. It will focus primarily on late-modern and postmodern Western culture — giving special attention to themes such as consumption, spectacle, and desire — but will also include early church and non-Western perspectives.

Three hours — Malinda Berry, PhD — Fridays, 1:30-4:30 p.m.

This course begins with an examination of the biblical concept of shalom as seen in creation, covenant, prophetic vision, and renewal; the ministry, witness, and teaching of Jesus; and the life of the early church. The course then examines how the church’s changing social location has influenced the way it has sought to bear witness to God’s intended shalom at various times in history. The past is queried with an aim toward strengthening contemporary discernment of the “things that make for peace” and how the church may more faithfully bear witness to God’s shalom in our moment in time.

One hour — Janeen Bertsche Johnson, MDiv — Tuesdays, Jan. 15, Feb. 12, March 19, April 9, April 23, 6:30-9 p.m.

This seminar will weave together care for creation — specifically the resource of water — with study of biblical texts about water, reflection on the role of water in Christian faith, practice of spiritual and conservation disciplines, and field trips. Participants will also consider how to lead the faith community in its response to water issues. Themes include the water cycle, uses and misuses of water, impact of climate change and pollution, conservation, and restoration. This class meets on campus; participants from all over the world can join via videoconference.

Three hours — Rachel Miller Jacobs, DMin — Thursdays, 1:30-4:30 p.m.

Many of us teach in the way we were taught. While there is much to be gained from our experience as students, good teachers need more than this usually unconscious formation to attend justly, creatively, and in transformative ways to their students and the subject around which they gather. This course introduces students to the practices of teaching and learning by examining the biblical and theological foundations for teaching and learning; exploring learning theory; analyzing curriculum development and evaluation; attending to the context of teaching and learning; and selecting teaching and learning approaches that honor subject, student, and teacher.