Leadership Clinics 

Feb. 26, 9:00 am - 3:30 pm

These daylong workshops are for pastors, active church leaders and lay learners. You don’t need to be ordained or in a ministry role to take advantage of this opportunity to learn!


Improvisational Leadership for the 21st Century: An Anabaptist Approach

Presenters: David B. Miller, DMin, Associate Professor of Missional Leadership Development, AMBS; and Malinda Berry (by videoconference), Assistant Professor of Theology and Ethics, AMBS

In unsettled, anxiety-ridden times, how shall leaders lead? When we haven’t “been here” before, how can we show the way to others? As institutional power centers lose their grip, and long-standing alliances unravel, where does our leadership authority come from? Why should anyone listen? Why should anyone follow?

Improvisational leadership in an Anabaptist perspective offers a way forward. Grounded in the biblical Story and the example of Jesus, improvisational Anabaptist leadership invites us into deep formation in the biblical narratives and into deeper faith that the word of God is living, and that it will perform that for which God has sent it, in our place and time.

Improvisational leadership is not merely “making it up as we go along.” Rather, it is about continuously asking how does the Story, the Christian tradition which has been given to us, empower us to see in this moment new possibilities? How does this Word stir in us willingness to risk, to engage, and to go courageously toward the brokenness and pain? 

Improvisational leaders acknowledge that they will not know or be able to manage outcomes. They take next steps, venture out, make overtures, and experiment daily with ways of living out God’s reign. They tell and learn stories of transformation, are inspired to new opportunities, and expect to be surprised. They live for and in the hope of the Word accomplished in our day and time— shaped by the priorities of God’s purpose to reconcile, unite and restore all things. 

In this clinic we will consider how leadership rooted in both deep formation and deep trust authorizes and empowers us to envision and lead toward a better church and better world. We will look at narratives of God’s redemptive work, work with several scenarios of transformation, share stories, and dream together about what might be possible in our own places of leadership. 

The Church in the Age of Migration 

Presenters: Safwat Marzouk, Associate Professor of Old Testament, AMBS and Rachel Miller Jacobs, DMin, Associate Professor of Congregational Formation, AMBS

In the wake of recent waves of migration and movements of refugees the church in North America is confronted with a challenge and an opportunity. In addition to its advocacy work on behalf of the undocumented and the marginalized migrant communities in North America, the church is faced with the challenge of thinking about what it means to be a church in light of the ever growing diversity of the population of its society, and concomitantly, the church is offered an opportunity to live up to its ultimate calling, namely, being the church of the Pentecost, that is, a church formed by people from different ethnicities, races, and languages. This workshop seeks to offer a biblical vision for what it means to be an intercultural church. By an intercultural church I mean a church that celebrates a just diversity, integrates different cultural articulations of faiths and worship, and embodies to the world an alternative to the politics of assimilation and segregation. 

7 x 7: Laments for an Age of Sexualized Power 

Presenter: Jerry Holsopple, PhD, Professor of Visual & Communication Arts, Eastern Mennonite University

Using the exhibition, Laments for an Age of Sexualized Power, as a starting point, we will explore how art can inform theology, spirituality and life practice.  This approach calls us to examine how the church is tempted to elevate spirit above body while our culture ignores spirit in the process of elevating body. The images that surround us encourage the objectification of others, which is a move toward violence rather than empathy. Only when we consider that sexual violence is part of the language and customs of our culture can we hope to change it.  These sessions will attempt to keep truth-telling and grace connected while exploring ways that theology can interfere with the process of fully embodied faith.

What is the purpose and meaning of lament in these times? How does truth-telling inform and connect with grace?  How might art and lament respond to trauma within our communities? Is it possible that theology and worship can be used to mask and abet violence? When particular questions can’t be asked, have we already chosen an answer while acting as if we are open to learn.  
Artistic, narrative and embodied ways of knowing serve as companion and antidote to strictly theological enquiries. Exploring the issue of sexual abuse within the church community provides a place to observe how the church responds, how the issues are processed and how alternative approaches might be more helpful. This experiential and interactive space will encourage reflection and expression.


Registration is closed.


  • $65 before Feb. 6, 2018
  • $55 each for three or more from one congregation before Feb. 6, 2018
  • $75 after Feb. 6, 2018
  • Additional student discounts are available on the online registration form


AMBS lunch $8.00 (non-refundable). Please pre-register.

Continuing Education Units

Attending a clinic will earn 0.4 CEU


Before Feb. 6, 2018, cancellations will be refunded, less $25. After this date, cancellations will be granted credit, less $25, toward a future day-long workshop within one year. Refund credits must be requested within 24 hours of the event.

Contact us

Send an email
or Call: 574.296.6269 or 800.964.2627