Lois Y. Barrett

  • Professor of Theology and Anabaptist Studies
  • Associate Director, Institute of Mennonite Studies


  • Ph.D., Graduate School, The Union Institute, 1992
  • M.Div., Mennonite Biblical Seminary, 1983
  • B.A., University of Oklahoma, 1969


  • “Testimony in Anabaptist Mennonite Theology and Practice” in Vision: A Journal for Church and Theology (Fall 2009)
  • Praying the Beatitudes of Jesus (Conference of Mennonites in Canada, 1998)
  • And No One Shall Make Them Afraid (Faith & Life, 1998), editor
  • “Ursula Jost and Barbara Rebstock of Strasbourg” in Profiles of Anabaptist Women: Sixteenth-Century Reforming Pioneers (Wilfrid Laurier University Press, 1996)
  • Letters to American Christians (Herald, 1989), co-author
  • Building the House Church (Herald, 1986)
  • The Vision and the Reality (Faith & Life, 1983)
  • “Jesus and God,” in Jesus Matters: Good News for the 21st Century (Herald, 2009)
  • “Defining Missional Church,” in Evangelical, Ecumenical, and Anabaptist Missiologies in Conversation (Orbis, 2006)
  • Treasure in Clay Jars: Patterns in Missional Faithfulness (Eerdmans, 2004), co-author


Theology, Anabaptist history and missional ecclesiology


The nature of the church has been a long-standing interest for Lois Barrett in her research and writing about house churches, missional ecclesiology, and early Anabaptist religious and cultural history. Before joining the faculty in 2002, she was a denominational mission executive and as a pastor of an urban congregation. Her role as an AMBS administrator and instructor in Kansas and Indiana calls out the best of Lois's gifts of teaching, administration, and empowering people for leadership in the church.

Teaching philosophy

"Theological education is for the purpose of serving the church. And serving the church involves understanding the nature of the church and the mission in which God sends the church. The church is the people of God, an alternative community with another set of allegiances and another set of practices from the dominant culture. As such, the church is to be light to the world, a city on a hill, a sign of the future God intends for the whole world."

What students can expect in my courses

  • My teaching methods vary according to the class. In a survey course, students might expect assignments that demonstrate breadth of knowledge; in a more focused course, students might expect to do a research paper that demonstrates depth of knowledge. In one of my classes, students carry out a research project in a congregation that involves ethnographic interviews as well as reading printed materials. In classroom, I like to lecture for a while, then discuss, then lecture, then discuss, rather than giving a long lecture and have discussion at the end. Sometimes students are asked to report in class on their research.

Community and professional engagements