What does shalom mean?

With a broad question like, “what does shalom mean?” one place to start is by forming a working definition.

A working definition of shalom

At AMBS, we join in God’s shalom mission to renew and redeem the world. So what does shalom mean?

In his 1987 book on shalom, Perry B. Yoder, AMBS Professor Emeritus of Old Testament, defined the word “shalom” in the title of his book, Shalom: The Bible’s Word for Salvation, Justice, and Peace.

Shalom recognizes the relationship between peace and justice, how God acts for peace and justice, and the question of how we should act. At AMBS, we engage peacebuilding toward shalom from a variety of biblical, theological, historical, ethical, ecclesiological, cultural and pastoral perspectives. Learn more about the peace studies courses we offer.

Ready to read a bit more about shalom?

At AMBS, our faculty and students contribute to many journal articles and books about shalom, peacebuilding and justice.

Studies in Peace and Scripture series

Studies in Peace and Scripture series is a book series from the Institute of Mennonite Studies dedicated to providing a series of scholarly investigations to aid our understanding of peace and war in the Bible. 

What Does Shalom Mean?

Anabaptist Witness, a journal published by the Institute of Mennonite Studies, included an article in its October 2020 issue on  “What Does Shalom Mean?: Comparing Anabaptist and Indigenous Perspectives.”

From the academic article by Randolph Haluza-DeLay: “Peacemaking, that important characteristic of Anabaptist praxis, has been increasingly referred to as shalom in recent years. This essay probes what might be meant by the term through comparing the book-length works on shalom of Mennonite theologian Perry Yoder and Indigenous scholar Randy Woodley.“ Read more from this Anabaptist Witness article.

Randy Haluza-DeLay and Randy Woodley also joined Jamie Pitts to talk more in depth about this article for Anabaptist Witness Dialogues, a new webinar series featuring interviews with Anabaptist Witness authors.

Prefer a video about peacebuilding?

Janna Hunter-Bowman, Associate Professor of Peace Studies & Christian Social Ethics, brings experience as a peace and justice worker in a variety of settings to her academic study and teaching roles. She has worked with Witness for Peace in organization and advocacy, and with Justapaz in Colombia in the areas of documentation, education, and advocacy

Janna Hunter-Bowman was recently interviewed by Janeen Bertsche Johnson, Alumni Director, for our monthly Third Thursday alumni event.

Ready to dig a little deeper?

One of the best ways to get a glimpse into what peace and justice means is through our six-week, online short courses. Each year, AMBS offers Exploring Peace and Justice in the Bible, a short course which explores six pertinent biblical passages (three OT and three NT). You’ll reflect individually and collectively on what these texts contribute to a robust and biblically based practice of peace and justice today. Learn more about this course.

Invite someone to speak on shalom

Want to invite a speaker to come talk more about this topic? Invite AMBS is a unique opportunity to invite the faculty and staff of AMBS to come directly to you about many topics, including shalom, peace and justice.

Building skills for shalom

At AMBS, our academic programs build skills for spiritual growth, intercultural competence, contextual analysis and interpretation, leadership practice, and peacebuilding. 

Ready to join our learning community?

Meet the AMBS Admissions Team

From your first inquiry about seminary study to your transition from applicant to student, we’re here to help you.

Photo of Janeen Bertsche Johnson
Janeen Bertsche Johnson, MDiv
Admissions Associate
Teresa Thompson Sherrill
Teresa Thompson Sherrill, MDiv
Enrollment & Financial Aid Specialist
Paul Keim, PhD
Student Services Coordinator
Mary Ann Weber, MA
Director of Enrollment