New development officers to AMBS

Published: August 24, 2012

Mary E. Klassen

Three new members joined the Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary development team on August 20: Jocelyn Graber, Anna Ruth Hershberger and Gerald Shenk. They, and the continuing development officers, will serve defined areas of the U.S. and Canada.

Graber, a 2012 graduate of AMBS with a Master of Divinity degree, will serve the Great Plains area from Texas to North Dakota in a full-time position. Hershberger, also a 2012 graduate of AMBS with a Master of Divinity, will serve the region surrounding Elkhart, Ind., in a full-time position. Shenk fills a half-time position to represent AMBS in the northeastern part of the U.S.

This increase in development staff will allow AMBS to build stronger relationships with individual donors as well as with congregations and conferences, Missy Kauffman Schrock, director of development, explained. “The ministry of fund-raising begins with learning to know people and finding out their goals for being stewards of God’s gifts. This larger team will allow us to build long-term connections between the seminary and the church we serve.”

Graber has pursued graduate studies in social work and has worked for twenty years in services related to foster children, adopted children and child support cases. She lives in Topeka, Kan., and completed some of her seminary studies at the AMBS–Great Plains extension. Schrock said, “Jocelyn has worked with people for most of her career and knows how to listen to the needs of those around her. I am especially grateful for her close connection to the AMBS–Great Plains Extension as a student and anticipate her building good relationships in the Great Plains region.”

About Hershberger, Schrock said, “Anna Ruth has worked with our development team as a student assistant for the past three years and has demonstrated again and again her dedication to fundraising as a ministry. I am delighted to have her as part of our team.” Through an earlier Mennonite Voluntary Service assignment, Hershberger was a development associate for Church Community Services in Elkhart, and she has been church relations coordinator for Habitat for Humanity in Goshen, Ind.

Shenk has been a theological educator for more than 30 years, most recently at Eastern Mennonite Seminary. In addition to teaching, he also worked with fund-raising for EMS and individual seminary efforts, and for other organizations in the Harrisonburg, Va., area. From 1977–2008 he was in a study-service role related to religion in former Yugoslavia. “Gerald is a seasoned development professional who has keen insight into the fundraising needs of the seminary. He will bring experience and insight that will help our team grow and broaden our base of support,” Schrock said.

In addition, Kathy Nofziger Yeakey, a seminary student, has taken a new half-time support staff position with the AMBS development team. Ken Hawkley, who is associate director of development, now will focus his work in Canada; and Ron Ringenberg, vice president for advancement and administration, will continue to foster relationships with selected donors across both the U.S. and Canada.

Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary, formerly Associated Mennonite Biblical Seminary, is a seminary of both Mennonite Church Canada and Mennonite Church USA. It offers graduate level ministry and theological training and life-long learning opportunities for everyone interested in the life and mission of the church, particularly those exploring seminary study and people already in ministry.

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