One-course options

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

The 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 listed 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.

Intensive Term, 2018–19

Hybrid Session

May 6 – July 19, 2019
Hybrid week on campus: June 3–8, 2019
Tuition due: April 29, 2019

Three credit hours — Andy Brubacher Kaethler, PhD

The art of living and the art of dying are closely related. This course explores Christian ethics and practices of purposeful life and death, incorporating perspectives from the Bible, history, art, literature, and philosophy. Specific topics include discerning meaningful goals in life; end-of-life issues such as suffering and medical directives; the role of family and Christian community in discernment; and contemporary challenges to living and dying with care in mind for self, others, and creation.

Three credit 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” — recently 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? Perhaps even immoral or unjust? Or do Christian notions of forgiveness offer something unique to the world?

Three credit hours — Rebecca Slough, PhD, and Sara Wenger Shenk, EdD

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.

Campus Session 1

May 6–23, 2019
Tuition due: April 29, 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 — Loren Johns, PhD — 8:30-11:30 a.m.

What is distinctive about Anabaptist approaches to scripture ... and why? This course is a critical and appreciative examination of what Mennonites and other Anabaptist groups have shared with others over the years with regard to how they used scripture and where, how, and why they have differed from each other. We will examine both the wisdom and mistakes of the Anabaptists in their approach to scripture in different eras.

Three credit hours — Lois Barrett, PhD — 8:30-11:30 a.m.

This course provides 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.

Three credit hours — Janna Hunter-Bowman, PhD — 8:30-11:30 a.m.

The ways in which religion and religious practices contribute to both violence and peace is a concern of deep significance for Christian communities, other religious traditions, and society at large. This interdisciplinary course will survey classic understandings of religion and violence as well as more recent work on the myths and metaphors underpinning discussions of religious violence, secular perspectives, and peace. It places R. Scott Appleby's foundational text, The Ambivalence of the Sacred: Religion, Violence, and Reconciliation, in conversation with more recent contributions to provide tools and resources for thinking about the ways in which religion, its practices, and its texts contribute to violence and peacebuilding. Students will consider these theoretical resources in light of contemporary conflicts.

Three credit hours — James Krabill, PhD — 8:30-11:30 a.m.

This course will explore the biblical foundations of the spirit world and trace how these understandings have been both applied and challenged throughout the history of the Western Church. From there we will examine how the conversation is expanding as Western Christians encounter spiritual realities present in the rapidly growing churches of the global South (Africa, Asia, and Latin America). Additional themes treated will include the Pentecostal appeal among struggling social classes, the language of “spiritual warfare” and peace theology, and case studies of North American congregations and church leaders dealing with difficult “hard cases” involving spiritual dimensions. Note: A worship service at an African-American church in Mishawaka on May 12 or 19 will replace a weekday meeting.

Campus Session 2

June 10–27, 2019
Tuition due: June 3, 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 — Safwat Marzouk, PhD — 8:30-11:30 a.m.

This class examines two interrelated layers that relate to the notion of religious otherness. The first layer unpacks how ancient Israel (the Hebrew Bible) and the church (the New Testament) related to those who were different religiously. Students will study biblical texts that portray the religious other in their literary and historical contexts (ancient Near Eastern and Greco-Roman worlds), with the purpose of revisiting biblical and theological themes such as inclusion/exclusion, election, salvation, and covenant. The second layer pertains to how Christian readers of the Bible relate to Jews and Muslims who also relate to these biblical traditions. Thus the class will scrutinize issues such as supersessionism, universalism, and particularism. The goal is to prepare church leaders who are equipped to participate effectively in interreligious dialogue.

Three credit hours — Allan Rudy-Froese, PhD — 8:30-11:30 a.m.

Christians are performers. We are dancers, writers, actors, musicians, and preachers. Christians also perform as teachers, leaders of meetings, and advertisers and evangelists of various sorts. In short, Christians communicate in embodied and deliberate ways within the church and in the world. After critically exploring select performance theories together with biblical and theological wisdom — and a brief look at modes of persuasion in the Reformation era — students will select and focus on a specific area of performance.

Three credit hours — Malinda Berry, PhD — 8:30-11:30 a.m.

This course focuses on helping students learn and/or further their skills as reflective practitioners who integrate knowing, being, and doing in service of their commitment to peace theo-ethics. 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. The theoretical components of the course include nonviolent communication, slow violence, focal practices, and theological aesthetics. Open to all students, this course is a prerequisite for the MATPS Internship. 

Course on location

June 3–13, 2019
Registration deadline: May 1, 2019

Three credit hours — Katerina Friesen, MDiv

This nine-day pilgrimage traces the route of the 1838 forced removal by the U.S. military of about 850 Potawatomi people from their ancestral homeland in northern Indiana to present-day Osawatomie, Kansas. Participants will remember this expulsion with their bodies by walking several miles of the route each day, recognizing markers of the Trail of Death with prayer and song, and by camping each night. Along the way, they will read journals and letters from the time of the removal and will meet with Potawatomi descendants of those who walked the Trail of Death to hear their stories and perspectives. Participants will explore the theologies and priorities that contributed to White settler colonialism and will seek what new paths God opens for repair today as they walk in remembrance and lament. The pilgrimage begins with two days of orientation on the AMBS campus. George Godfrey (Citizen Potawatomi Nation), president of the Potawatomi Trail of Death Association; and Rich Meyer, a local historian and educator; will travel with the group as co-leaders. For more information, see the Trail of Death course webpage.