Journey: A Missional Leadership Development Program

Program details for North American participants

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

Journey is a program for personal enrichment 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, requiring one visit to the AMBS region each year, and is open to people of any denomination or no denomination. 

Participants who successfully meet the requirements of the program receive a certificate of completion. The certificate carries no academic credit at AMBS. 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.

Coursework covers 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
  • an annual visit to the AMBS region
  • meetings with a pastoral mentor every two weeks

Request an overview of the Journey curriculum.

Request a list of expectations for pastoral mentors.

AMBS offers Journey in collaboration with Central District and Indiana-Michigan Mennonite Conferences. Members of these conferences receive pricing discounts and have additional responsiblities. Learn more.

Important 2018 Dates for the Program

  • Jan. 5: Registration deadline for winter session
  • Feb. 2-4: Winter gathering at AMBS (New participants arrive by 2 pm Friday; all others by 5 pm)
  • Feb. 13: Online Session 1 ends
  • Feb. 21: Online Session 2 begins 
  • July 11: Online Session 2 ends
  • Aug. 7: Registration deadline for fall session
  • Sept. 7-9: Fall gathering at Amigo Centre, Sturgis, Mich.
  • Sept. 12: Online Session 1 begins

Applicants must be: 

  • capable of working in an online environment
  • willing and able to attend annual annual Weekend Learning Events

Both applicants and pastoral mentors must be recommended for the program by district ministers or other suitable officials. 

Program fees cover the cost of online learning and learning sessions at annual gatherings for the participant and pastoral mentor. Travel, lodging and meal costs are not covered, and the pastoral mentor does not receive remuneration.

Timeframe for completion of the program

The Journey program includes five study units, each 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

The program typically launches with a face-to-face gathering on a Friday evening through Sunday noon in early September, followed by the first online session mid-September through mid-February. A second opportunity to join the program happens at a winter gathering at AMBS in early February. The second online session runs mid-February through mid-July. This cycle repeats each year. 

To Learn More

Church Leadership Center or 574-296-6269.  

To Apply

Complete the online application.



  • $600 USD per unit plus lodging and meals at annual Weekend Learning Events (see below). 
  • A $300 USD non-refundable deposit is due Jan. 5.
  • The remaining tuition payment is due Feb. 2.

Lodging and meal fees are due January 19 and are non-refundable. Participants and mentors may choose among the following 2017-18 packages (fees quoted cover both participant and mentor for the weekend, including two nights). 

  • Meals plus shared room, 4 per room: US $168 per pair
  • Meals plus shared room, 3 per room, US $196 per pair
  • Meals plus shared room, 2 per room, US $252 per pair
  • Meals plus individual rooms: US $422 per pair
  • Meals only US $95 per pair

Pay online

Central District and Indiana-Michigan Mennonite Conference participants

AMBS offers Journey in collaboration with Central District and Indiana-Michigan Mennonite Conferences. Members of these conferences receive pricing discounts and have additional responsiblitiesLearn more.


  • A $300 USD non-refundable deposit is due Jan. 5. 
  • The remaining tuition payment is due Feb. 2. 
  • No refunds will be granted after Feb. 9.
  • Weekend Learning Event lodging and meal fees are due Jan. 19 and are non-refundable.


Send an Email
(574) 296-6269