Research for Ministry: Online Seminar

The AMBS library collection supports reading and research in the areas of AMBS strengths: ministry, biblical studies, peace studies and theology. Now anyone who wants to use the library’s e-resources can join this online seminar, benefiting from the guidance of AMBS librarians and the opportunity to share learnings with others.

Research for Ministry is a six-month, non-credit seminar featuring e-books and online journal articles available from the AMBS library. Participants will choose areas for research to strengthen their preaching, teaching or ministry. They can focus on a single topic, pursue multiple topics or read and review four books.

Participants will have access to Bible commentaries and a wide variety of scholarly and popular books on theological and ministry topics. Magazine and journal articles from the library’s subscription databases are also available. Students will create a learning community by sharing their findings in Moodle (the online course management system) and commenting on the work of their classmates.

AMBS librarians Karl Stutzman and Brandon Board will identify relevant materials, present techniques for efficient research by subject and scripture text and provide individualized coaching.

Praise for Research for Ministry

Photo of Pamela Short "The Research for Ministry online seminar has not only given me access to the AMBS Library and all the connected electronic resources, but has also placed me in ready company with the expertise of their fine librarians. When the next step in a research process has stumped me, Eileen and Karl invest their time in untangling the web and do their best to help me understand the process. Being enrolled in the seminar offers me structure for research that otherwise gets easily set aside. I have already signed up for a second semester!" — Pamela Short (MDiv, 2004), Pastor, Tontogany Presbyterian Church, Tontogany, Ohio

Photo of Kevin Swartzendruber"As a recent graduate of AMBS in my first pastorate, this course was immensely helpful in making available tools and resources for helping me refine and improve my ability to lead those that God has called me to. Eileen and Karl were both fantastic with their suggestions for resources and how to find them. The e-books and other online resources are great for anyone who can't make the drive to AMBS in person to check out books." — Kevin Swartzendruber, Topeka Mennonite Church in Topeka, Ind., (MDiv, 2004).

"This class gave me the structure and discipline to dig into some topics I've meant to explore for a while. AMBS library resources at my fingertips let me explore a variety of books, commentaries and articles without breaking the bank. It was GREAT having librarians suggest resources related to each of our projects. It was fun to learn from everyone's work and the librarians' suggestions for each of us." — Sonya Stauffer Kurtz, District Minister, New York Mennonite Conference

I have enjoyed Research for Ministry.  It put at my finger tips a vast array of online resources, and even in cases where a book or journal wasn’t published online most often a hard copy could be provided.  These resources helped with sermon preparation and preparation for the  adult and youth classes I have been leading. The diversity of resources available allowed me to include alternative perspectives in to both classes and sermons, as well as contributing to my own ongoing Christian formation.   It is well worth the price of tuition." — Matt Converse, Pastor, Grace Lutheran Church, Columbia City, Ind.

Seminar details

  • Dates: July 1 through Dec. 31, 2017
  • Cost: $75 before the June 10 early registration deadline. $100 after early registration deadline. Registration closes June 24.
  • The seminar is limited to 20 participants.

More information


Before the early registration deadline,  cancellations will be refunded, less $25. After this date, cancellations will be granted credit, less $25, toward a future Research for Ministry course within one year. Refund credits must be requested within 1 week of the beginning of the event.