Schertz and Schipani retire after 61 years of combined service

Schertz and Schipani retire after 61 years of combined service

Credit: Jason Bryant.

ELKHART, Indiana (Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary) — Two long-time professors, Mary H. Schertz, Ph.D., professor of New Testament, and Daniel S. Schipani, Dr.Psy., Ph.D., professor of pastoral care and counseling, will retire June 30 from Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary in Elkhart, Indiana.

Mary H. Schertz

Schertz began teaching at AMBS as assistant professor of New Testament in 1988. At the same time, she took on the role of the Master of Arts director. In 1999, she became director of the Institute of Mennonite Studies (IMS), the seminary’s research agency, and in 2000 was advanced to full professor of New Testament.

At AMBS’s May 20 commencement service, Academic Dean Rebecca Slough recognized Schertz’s passion for teaching, reading a statement from the AMBS Board commending Schertz for her teaching and scholarship in the areas of Greek language study, biblical foundations for peace and justice, the quest stories in Luke’s Gospel, biblical perspectives on the atonement, and biblical spirituality.

“Mary’s teaching is centered in her deep love for the Bible, her love for the church, her love for her students and most important, her love for God,” Slough said. She added that Schertz is known for the prayers she crafts for the start of each class, “which beautifully blend her beliefs, passion and wisdom.”

Schertz is co-author of Seeing the Text: Exegesis for Students of Greek and Hebrew (Abingdon, 2001) and is working on a commentary on the Gospel of Luke for the Believers Church Bible Commentary Series, among other writing projects.

According to the board statement, Schertz’s leadership of IMS over 19 years has yielded the publication of 60 books; 17 years of Vision: A Journal for Church and Theology (jointly published with Canadian Mennonite University); conferences that blended academic topics with the practical realities of the church; and the collaborative faculty research project Scribes for the Reign of God.

“Through her open, passionate and dedicated way of living with Scripture, Mary has truly shown us how to read the Bible as if our lives depended on it — an insight she received from Old Testament scholar Dr. Ellen Davis,” Slough said. 

Daniel S. Schipani

Schipani began teaching at AMBS as professor of Christian education and personality in 1985, bringing experience in teaching and administration from the Evangelical Seminary of Puerto Rico in Río Piedras. Over time, his teaching portfolio shifted and he became professor of pastoral care and counseling.

The AMBS Board commended Schipani for his teaching and scholarship in the areas of education for peace and justice; his work in developing theological groundings for the ministries of pastoral care and spiritual caregiving in Christian, interfaith and multifaith contexts; his work with the wounds of trauma; and his recent research on the consequences of toxic spirituality.

Slough noted that Schipani provided “significant wisdom and guidance” for the development of the Master of Arts in Christian Formation degree program and the Pastoral Care and Counseling major in AMBS’s Master of Divinity program.

Schipani has written and edited numerous books, including The Way of Wisdom in Pastoral Counseling (IMS, 2003); Mennonite Perspectives on Pastoral Counseling (IMS, 2007); Spiritual Caregiving in the Hospital: Windows to Chaplaincy Ministry (Pandora, 2006), with Leah Dawn Bueckert; and Multifaith Views in Spiritual Care (Pandora, 2013).

“Daniel’s investment in the intercultural bible reading project has strengthened IMS’s book list for many years,” the board statement noted. “His presentations and teaching in international settings have widened our perspectives on the church’s ministry around the world.”

“Daniel is the quintessential networker, connecting people with common interests and provocative ideas and always looking for ways to collaborate,” Slough said. “He is never wanting for good ideas.”

“At the center of Daniel’s work is a profound belief in the transforming power of relationships — the Trinitarian relationships that express God’s character, God’s relationships in communion with humankind, and human beings living in relationship with God and with one another,” she added.