Journey: A Missional Leadership Development Program

Program details for members of Central District and Indiana-Michigan Mennonite Conferences

Other North American applicants, please visit our North American curriculum page. International applicants, please visit our international curriculum 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 and 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.

AMBS offers Journey in collaboration with two Mennonite regional conferences, Central District and Indiana-Michigan Mennonite Conferences. Members of these conferences receive pricing discounts and have additional responsiblities. (See details below.)

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
  • A final project determined by the participant, in conversation with the pastoral mentor and conference minister

The program is built on three key elements:

  • online coursework with other participants
  • annual visits to Amigo Centre in Sturgis, Mich., and to AMBS
  • meetings with a local pastoral mentor every two weeks

Request an overview of the Journey curriculum.

Request a list of expectations for pastoral mentors.

Applicants must be: 

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

Both applicants and pastoral mentors must be recommended for the program by conference ministers. 

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

For members of Central District and Indiana-Michigan Mennonite Conferences, the entire Journey program includes five study units and one final project, 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 program is three years. 

Annual rhythm

The program 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 winter gathering at AMBS in early February is also required for participants and mentors from Central District and Indiana-Michigan Mennonite Conferences. The second online session runs mid-February through mid-July. This cycle repeats each year. 

Especially for members of Central District and Indiana-Michigan Mennonite Conferences

Members of Central District and Indiana-Michigan Mennonite Conferences receive pricing discounts and other benefits, and have additional responsibilities.

Pricing discounts. Journey fees of $600 USD per unit are reduced to $450 USD per unit for members of Central District and Indiana-Michigan Conferences. Participants are responsible for lodging and meal fees at Weekend Learning Events.

Other benefits. Participants from Central District and Indiana-Michigan Mennonite Conferences have the special opportunity to develop meaningful relationships with their conference ministers through the Journey program. These conference ministers assist prospective participants with identifying a suitable pastoral mentor, attend and regularly contribute to Weekend Learning Events, and together with members of conference credentialing committees, serve on the Journey Board, helping to shape and guide the program.

Additional responsibilities. Participants from Central District and Indiana-Michigan Conferences are required to attend both fall and winter Weekend Learning Events each year. In addition, following the five units of online study, these participants complete a final project in conversation with their mentor and conference minister. There is no fee for this project. 

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

To Learn More

Contact your conference minister:

Central District Conference: [email protected] 

Indiana-Michigan Conference: [email protected] 

Or contact Church Leadership Center or call 574-296-6269.  

To Apply

Complete the online application.

Apply

Cost

  • Members of Central District and Indiana-Michigan Mennonite Conferences, $450 USD per unit plus lodging and meals at Weekend Learning Events.
  • 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

Refunds

  • 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.

Contact

Send an email
(574) 296-6269