Sara Wenger Shenk, EdD

President Emerita

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BA, Eastern Mennonite University, 1975
MTS, Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary, 1986
EdD, Union Theological Seminary and Presbyterian School of Christian Education, 1999

Sara Wenger Shenk retired as president of AMBS in June 2019 after serving in this role since fall 2010. She was named President Emerita by the AMBS Board of Directors in April 2020. During her tenure as president, she oversaw a “pivot of hope” program redesign, the hiring of nine new faculty, and a change in the seminary’s name. Her experiences in mission, church planting, teaching and administration fostered a unique combination of leadership gifts. She was a member of the faculty and administration of Eastern Mennonite Seminary, Harrisonburg, Virginia, for 15 years. For nine years, she and her husband, Gerald, served as students and teachers in the former Yugoslavia (1977–1983 and 1986–1989). Sara has held Mennonite Church conference and denominational leadership roles. She has written extensively in both academic and church publications.


“However one chooses to portray the distinctive qualities we as Anabaptist Christians exemplify, there is no doubt that we are increasingly being asked to bring the treasures of our story, communal spirituality, holistic discipleship, and missionary zeal as evangelists of the peace of Christ, into the broader public sphere. I am grateful for pastors, scholars, poets, artists, peacemakers, teachers, business leaders, builders, gardeners and healers who devote themselves to the deep formation needed to become leaders of God’s reconciling mission in the world.”

  • A Mennonite View of Life and Learning: Practicing the Way of Jesus”, chapter in Liberal Learning and the Great Christian Traditions (Wipf and Stock, 2015)
  • “Leading in Anxious Times” The Mennonite, December 2014
  • “Why we need seminaries reimagined” The Mennonite, January 2013
  • Foreword for Discerning God’s Will together: Biblical Interpretation in the Free Church Tradition (Cascadia, 2013)
  • Afterword for The Activist Impulse: essays on the intersection of Evangelicalism and Anabaptism (Wipf and Stock, 2012)
  • Thank you for Asking: Conversing with Young Adults about the Future Church (Herald, 2005)
  • Anabaptist Ways of Knowing: A Conversation about Tradition-based Critical Education (Cascadia, 2003)
  • Meditations for New Parents (Herald, 1996), co-author