By Annette Brill Bergstresser
ELKHART, Indiana (Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary) — Ron Ringenberg, MBA, MS, Vice President for Administration and Chief Financial Officer for Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary (AMBS) in Elkhart, Indiana, will retire in August 2021, concluding 18 years of service to the seminary.
Ringenberg first served AMBS as Director of Development (2003–04). He was promoted to Vice President for Advancement and Administration in 2004 and to his current role in 2015.
President David Boshart, PhD, observed that Ringenberg has worn many hats at the seminary, including but not limited to fundraiser, accountant, master plan steward, property manager, policy developer, maple tree tapper and solar array overseer. Ringenberg has brought stability to AMBS through his administrative acumen, financial savvy and aspirational vision, he said.
“It’s been a gift to have a Vice President and CFO who keeps a steady hand on the wheel where the ledger is concerned but when budget requests come, is quick to say, ‘It all depends on what you want to accomplish,’” Boshart said. “I have experienced Ron as someone who is more inclined to free the resources of the institution than to hoard them, as long as freeing them serves the growth of AMBS’s mission.”
During Ringenberg’s time at AMBS, he and his colleagues have raised more than $46 million to support the mission of the seminary. Many of these funds went toward infrastructure projects that he oversaw, such as building the AMBS Library ($6.8 million) — the first theological library in North America to be certified for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED); refurbishing, building an annex for and increasing the energy efficiency of the Chapel of the Sermon on the Mount ($1.5 million); and creating endowments to support the ongoing operations of these facilities ($2.3 million).
In addition, he oversaw the transformation of two seminary-owned houses into guesthouses; the razing of six buildings that were no longer in use; and modifications to make AMBS’s main buildings accessible to people with disabilities. Under his leadership, four buildings on campus got new metal roofs, and two solar arrays of 50 and 80kW were installed (the largest in Elkhart), saving AMBS almost $20,000 per year in energy costs.
According to Ringenberg, his favorite project was overseeing the addition of a skylight to the seminary’s administration building in 2006 to make the south hallway lighter and more hospitable. He gives gratitude to God for being “the best collaborator in these efforts.”
Boshart affirmed what he sees as Ringenberg’s “growth orientation.”
“It’s clear to me how Ron’s approach to his role as VP/CFO is grounded in the intentionality of his spiritual life as one who seeks work/life balance and regular spiritual direction,” he noted.
He also highlighted Ringenberg’s skillful handling of the seminary’s finances during the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has helped put AMBS on strong financial footing.
“Ron was attentive in procuring stimulus grants and in thinking creatively about how these funds would not only get us through but also help us continue to build our mission,” he said.
Bruce Baergen of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, Chair of AMBS’s Board of Directors, said he appreciated Ringenberg’s “honest and clear encouragement and communication” as well as his good humor.
“I have always valued Ron’s positive, faithful leadership — encouraging us to plan well, and also to count on God’s leading and generosity as we looked forward,” he reflected. “On behalf of the board, I want to extend a huge thank-you and congratulations to Ron for a job extremely well done in service of AMBS and the broader church.”
Prior to coming to AMBS, Ringenberg completed a unit of Clinical Pastoral Education at Rush-Presbyterian Hospital (now Rush University Medical Center) in Chicago. From 1988 to 2002, he served Hyperion Solutions of Lisle, Illinois, as Vice President for Services as well as in sales and project management roles.
Ringenberg earned a Bachelor of Science (1977) from Taylor University in Upland, Indiana, and a Master of Science (1979) and Master of Business Administration (1980) from Ohio State University in Columbus. He attends Prairie Street Mennonite Church in Elkhart.
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