Anabaptist Short Courses

Anabaptist short courses provide a way for new Anabaptists and people seeking to deepen their ministry in the way of Jesus to engage Anabaptist history, thought and witness. Followers of Jesus today discover each other and the early Anabaptists as kindred spirits through their study of theology and history. Participants explore the resources of the Anabaptist witness across five centuries as a source of inspiration and guidance in our witness today.

Anabaptist Short Courses are offered on a rotating basis:

  • Exploring Anabaptist History and Theology
  • Understanding Anabaptist Approaches to Scripture: What's Different and Why?
  • Engaging John Howard Yoder's Theology Today
  • Historia y Teologia de Anabautism
  • Understanding and Managing Congregational Conflict
  • Mennonite Polity

See this year's offerings below.

How short courses work

Courses are offered online and last six weeks each. Readings and discussion are comparable to seminary-level work, assuming critical thinking skills and some previous academic study. No credit will be awarded, but Continuing Education Units are available to those who complete course requirements.

These online courses involve readings from textbooks and online articles and written discussion. They do not involve live video conversations (as in a webinar) or other activities in which all class members come together at one time. These courses to not meet any requirements in the AMBS Master of Divinity or Master of Arts programs of study.

Spring 2015

Understanding Anabaptist Approaches to Scripture: What's Different and Why?

Taught by Loren Johns, PhD
February 11–March 25, 2015
Early registration deadline January 21, 2015

+ Read course description

In the 16th century, Anabaptists approached Scripture in ways that were both similar to and different from their fellow Catholics and other Protestants. This course will seek to understand those similarities and differences in light of today. Which of those approaches might we repudiate today, or nuance, or embrace whole-heartedly? What historical and theological developments in the centuries since the 16th have influenced today’s Mennonites more profoundly than did the Reformation? Drawing on the wealth of personal experience and wisdom among the students, this class will be highly interactive.

Loren also will lead a webinar on Understanding Anabaptist Approaches to Scripture, February 18, 7 pm Eastern. If you cannot commit to taking this six-week course, consider joining the webinar.

Loren Johns, PhD, is Professor of New Testament at AMBS.

Engaging John Howard Yoder's Theology Today

Taught by Gayle Gerber Koontz, PhD
April 8–May 20, 2015
Early registration deadline March 18, 2015

+ Read course description

Yoder is best known for his theological defense of Christian pacifism, but his contributions to Anabaptist Mennonite thought are wide-ranging—from ecclesiology to eschatology.  This short course invites participants to discuss and evaluate for their relevance today some of Yoder’s writings on two topics:  1) the nature and mission of the church, especially in relation to interchurch relations and to the changing global church  and 2) nonviolence, especially in relation to challenges from liberation theologies and from policing concerns. This short course assumes that participants will already be generally familiar with The Politics of Jesus. Some attention will be given to the intersection of Yoder’s life and thought, including sexuality.

Gayle Gerber Koontz, PhD, is Retired Professor of Theology and Ethics at AMBS.

Recent course offerings

Exploring Anabaptist History and Theology

Taught by Jamie Pitts, PhD
October 22–December 3, 2014
Early registration deadline: October 1

+ Read course description

Explore the birth and development of the Anabaptist movements in the 16th century, including their theological, social, and political contexts. Look at interpretations of “Anabaptism” and its meaning today. Students will be challenged to draw connections between the 16th century and their own life and ministry.

Jamie Pitts, PhD, is Assistant Professor of Anabaptist Studies at AMBS.

Understanding and Managing Congregational Conflict

Taught by David B. Miller
March 26–May 13, 2014 (Spring break April 7-12)
Early registration deadline March 5, 2014

+ Read course description

This course seeks to equip participants for skillful, transformative leadership that can provide the insight and guidance essential to making situations of conflict opportunities for growth and learning rather than division and alienation.

David B. Miller, D. Min., is Associate Professor of Missional Leadership Development at AMBS.

La Historia y Teología Anabautista

Instructor: Jamie Pitts
12 de febrero–25 de marzo
Early registration deadline 5 de febrero, 2014

+ Read course description

En este curso estudiamos el nacimiento y desarrollo de los movimientos anabautistas en el siglo XVI, dando énfasis al contexto teológico, social y político. El curso da un resumen de la historia y la teología de los primeros anabautistas y además investiga varias respuestas al gran reto actual de cómo entender y vivir como “anabautista” hoy en día. Los estudiantes serán desafiados a buscar conexiones entre el siglo XVI y sus propias vidas y ministerios. Obtenga más información e incríbase aquí.

Jamie Pitts, Ph.D., Profesor Asistente de Estudios Anabautistas de AMBS

Before you register

Online learning is not for everyone. To help evaluate your skills and abilities to benefit from an online course, please follow this link to a quiz provided by Garrett Evangelical Theological Seminary. Question 10 asks about available time to devote to the course. Short courses require, on average, three to five hours per week rather than the nine hours mentioned in the quiz. With this in mind, we encourage you to take the quiz and find out whether you are a good candidate for online learning.


Register online for an Anabaptist Short Course.

Enrollment for each course is limited to 20 paid registrations. When we reach 20 paid registrations we will begin a wait list. 

Continuing education units

Completion of course requirements can earn the participant 2.4 CEU.


  • $200 per course before the early registration deadline;
  • $250 per course after the early registration deadline.
  • Participants should also expect to pay for one or two textbooks.


Before the early registration deadline,  cancellations will be refunded, less $50. After this date, cancellations will be granted credit, less $50, toward a future short course within one year.

Online course procedures and requirements

You will need:

  • An email account
  • A web browser
  • A word processing program
  • Basic computer skills
  • A PDF file reader, such as Adobe Reader
  • One or two textbooks selected by the professor, available from the bookstore at AMBS or from a web source

For more information

Contact Lois Hess Nafziger

Read about experiences of students in the short course on Anabaptist Approaches to Scripture.