ELKHART, Indiana (Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary) — Lois Y. Barrett, Ph.D., Professor of Theology and Anabaptist Studies, is retiring June 30 from Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary in Elkhart, Indiana, after 16 years of service.
A resident of Wichita, Kansas, she has served as Director of the AMBS–Great Plains Extension (2002–13) and as a professor (2002–18), teaching courses in Anabaptist history and theology; missional church theology; Christian spirituality, history and theology; discerning and knowing; and Anabaptist understandings of the church. She also developed the Seminario Bíblico Anabautista (Anabaptist Biblical Seminary) program to provide ministry training for Spanish-speaking pastors in Western District Conference (2006–10), an initiative made possible with grants from the Lilly Endowment Inc. and the Schowalter Foundation.
Barrett, who earned a Master of Divinity from AMBS in 1983, was promoted from Assistant Professor to Associate Professor in 2007 and to Full Professor in 2012. Prior to becoming AMBS–Great Plains Extension Director, she taught as an AMBS adjunct professor for the Great Plains Seminary Education Program in North Newton, Kansas, and on the seminary’s Elkhart campus for nearly 15 years. Since the closing of the AMBS–Great Plains Extension in 2014, she has regularly taught in Elkhart as well as online.
Barrett brought to AMBS and the Great Plains Extension nine years of pastoral ministry experience at Mennonite Church of the Servant in Wichita and nine and a half years of administrative experience as Executive Secretary of the (former) General Conference Mennonite Church Commission on Home Ministries.
Since 1995, she has participated in the Gospel and Our Culture Network, and she also has served as a missional church consultant in various settings. She was part of the Inter-Mennonite Confession of Faith Committee that produced the 1995 Confession of Faith in Mennonite Perspective.
“Lois’ interests in theology, history and mission make her a natural interdisciplinary teacher and scholar,” said Rebecca Slough, Vice President and Academic Dean.
At its April 2018 meeting, the AMBS Board of Directors expressed appreciation for Barrett’s contributions to AMBS and the wider church, affirming her leadership, scholarship, love of teaching and love for the church.
In 2018–19, Barrett anticipates continuing her theological research on processes of knowing and discernment, and she will teach two AMBS courses as Affiliate Faculty. She looks forward to spending time with her family and participating in the life of her congregation, Mennonite Church of the Servant in Wichita.
Participants at AMBS’s Pastors and Leaders event in January 2018 gather around Lois Barrett, Ph.D., offering prayers of thanksgiving and blessing during a reception in honor of her retirement. (Credit: Jason Bryant)