Journey: A Missional Leadership Development Program

Program details for participants from outside North America

North American applicants, please visit our North American curriculum page. Central District and Indiana-Michigan Mennonite Conference applicants, please visit our sponsoring conference page.

Journey is a special program for active leaders of congregations, church planters, pastors called to ministry with or without a formal education, and lay leaders preparing for a variety of ministries in the church or community. The program is distance-friendly, combining online learning with local engagement with a pastoral mentor and other church leaders. For participants from outside North America, there is no residency requirement at AMBS.

AMBS welcomes the participation of:  

  • Individual participants from any church affiliated with Mennonite World Conference
  • Educational Partnerships with existing schools, seminaries, and/or church denominations 

Participants who successfully meet the requirements of the program receive a certificate of completion from AMBS. The certificate carries no academic credit at AMBS.* Educational Partners, however, are free to determine whether they will offer credit for Journey, according to their own academic requirements.  


*We are exploring the possibility that completion of the entire program will earn participants 15 undergraduate credit hours upon admission to select Mennonite colleges and universities in North America. These arrangements are currently pending and cannot be guaranteed.


Journey will help you name and develop strengths in six areas:  

  • Spiritual disciplines, focusing on prayer and nurture of the inner spirit.
  • Theological and biblical studies, developing familiarity with Anabaptist theology and approaches to Bible study.
  • Character development, exploring qualities such as courage, consistency, love and self-discipline.
  • Mentoring and community, providing strong mentors and discerning what it means to live in Christian community.
  • Gift development, challenging students to develop their own spiritual gifts and to nurture the gifts of congregational members.
  • Leadership skills, strengthening preaching, worship leading, conflict transformation, time management and other ministry skills.

Five units of online coursework cover the following topics:

  • Unit 1: The Mission of God and the Witness of the Church
  • Unit 2: The Biblical Story
  • Unit 3: Anabaptism: Foundations and Future -- A Way of Being Church
  • Unit 4: The Ministry of Reconciliation: Leadership for Communal Formation, Process and Witness
  • Unit 5: Announcement and Celebration: Proclamation and Worship that Participate in the Mission of God

The program is built on three key elements:

  • online coursework with other participants
  • regular meetings with a local pastoral mentor
  • engagement with local or regional church leaders

In addition, each term a reflection paper focused on the practice of spiritual disciplines and formation of Christian character is required. These papers follow specific guidelines and reflect the participant's learning from personal reflection and engagement with local or regional church leaders.

Request an overview of the Journey curriculum

Important 2018 Dates for the Program

  • Jan. 5: Registration deadline for Session 2
  • Feb. 21: Online Session 2 begins 
  • July 11: Online Session 2 ends
  • Aug. 7: Registration deadline for Session 1
  • Sept. 12: Online Session 1 begins

Applicants must be: 

  • capable of working in an online environment
  • fluent in English at the level of early university study
  • recommended by a church leader affiliated with Mennonite World Conference or an Educational Partner
  • responsible for approaching a suitable pastoral mentor to request his/her involvement in the program

Request a list of expectations for pastoral mentors.

Both applicants and pastoral mentors must be recommended for the program by leaders affiliated with Mennonite World Conference or an Educational Partner.

Program fees cover the cost of online learning. Travel, lodging and meal costs for engaging local or regional church leaders are not covered, and the pastoral mentor does not receive remuneration.

Timeframe for completion of the program

The entire Journey program is five units long, each unit running 20-22 weeks. Participants are asked to commit to a minimum of 5 hours of study per week for the duration of each unit. The total amount of time to complete the five units is two-and-a-half years. 

Annual rhythm

Online Session 1 runs mid-September through mid-February. Online Session 2 runs mid-February through mid-July. This cycle repeats each year as participants progress through Units 1-5. 

To Apply

Complete the online application.

To Become a Sponsoring Educational Partner

Administrators from potential Educational Partners are invited to request information about a potential Journey partnership with AMBS.

To Learn More

Write to Church Leadership Center




  • $600 USD per unit for five units
  • A $300 USD non-refundable deposit is due Jan. 5.
  • The remaining $300 USD for this unit is due Feb. 2.

Pay online


  • A $300 USD non-refundable deposit is due Jan. 5. 
  • The remaining tuition payment for this unit is due Feb. 2. 
  • No refunds for this unit will be granted after Feb. 9.


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