Our history

A story of cooperation

The history of Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary is the story of cooperation, as two Mennonite groups established ministry training programs and reached out to strengthen those programs by joining with others.

Mennonite Biblical Seminary 

Mennonite Biblical Seminary (MBS), one of the two seminaries in the history of AMBS, began in Chicago in 1945. MBS students — from Canada, the U.S. and beyond North America — shared classes with Church of the Brethren students from Bethany Theological Seminary.

MBS inherited the mission of several efforts at theological education which emerged in the late 1800s among Mennonites in the central U.S. These efforts included Wadsworth (Ohio) Institute; Mennonite Seminary in Halstead, Kansas, which became Bethel College; and Witmarsum Theological Seminary, the Bible department of Bluffton University, Bluffton, Ohio.

Goshen Biblical Seminary

Goshen (Indiana) College, which began in 1894, established a Bachelor of Theology curriculum in 1933. The Bible department became Goshen Biblical Seminary (GBS) in 1946.

Associated Mennonite Biblical Seminaries 

These two schools began an association in 1958 when MBS moved to Elkhart, Indiana. The Associated Mennonite Biblical Seminaries partnership continued to grow and in 1969 GBS joined MBS on the Elkhart campus. The step of incorporating as one seminary came in 1994.

Although both seminaries represented Mennonite denominations, AMBS has always welcomed students of all faiths, coming from primarily — but not necessarily — Christian traditions.

Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary

Now, as Anabaptist expressions of following Jesus Christ are being discovered and reclaimed by a wide variety of people around the globe, the AMBS learning community lives into this tradition with its new name, adopted in August 2012: Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary.

For more on our history, view the AMBS entry in the Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online (GAMEO).

Continued cooperation

Partnerships and cooperation continue to be part of the story. AMBS continues cooperative efforts with the following institutions:

Our affiliations

Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary is a bi-national seminary of Mennonite Church USA and of Mennonite Church Canada.

In 1995, the predecessors to these two denominations adopted the shared Confession of Faith in a Mennonite Perspective. Both denominations are also national member churches of Mennonite World Conference, which adopted seven Shared Convictions in 2006. AMBS is also one of the seminaries of the Mennonite Education Agency.

What Makes Us Unique?