Equipping leaders to meet the challenges of ministry

Published: February 22, 2022

From David Boshart, PhD, President | February 2022

Some years ago, I was riding with a group of people in the covered bed of a pickup in Venezuela. As the pickup pulled to a stop, I said to one of my traveling companions, “I wonder where we are?” — to which she replied, “I guess we are somewhere!” That exchange has been a running joke between us over the years. We are surely always somewhere.

Headshot of David Boshart

AMBS is a creative, student-centered and hope-filled learning community. We know that wherever leaders find themselves, they will be leading somewhere. And when has it been more challenging to make sense of the “somewhere” we find ourselves today? Today, pastors plan worship, offer pastoral
care and lead discernment processes through entirely new media. Peacebuilders do their work in highly polarized contexts. Congregations are returning to in-person meetings wondering who is coming back.

The faithful church bears relevant witness to Jesus in every place we find ourselves. At AMBS, we are listening deeply to church leaders in the U.S., Canada and around the world. They are telling us that AMBS offers an excellent foundation for ministry and leadership. Yet today, more is being asked of these leaders.

We are working hard to support leaders in this time and place. These times are requiring leaders to expand their administrative and organizational skills. Leaders are expected to manage polarized communities as they discern a common sense of purpose with these communities.

Through Invite AMBS, our faculty members are helping leaders assess and respond to challenges they face in their ministry contexts, whether it is increasing secularization in a post-Christendom context, rising Christian nationalism or systemic racism. (See: “Tailored to fit: Invite AMBS program customizes resources for the church”)

AMBS is developing a new applied leadership curriculum — a series of learning modules that will be delivered in multiple, flexible ways to provide practical skills and processes to meet the challenges current and future leaders are and will be facing.

We have also submitted a petition to our accrediting agency to offer a competency-based Doctor of Ministry in Leadership that will enable experienced leaders to deepen their formation and expand their skillset for greater effectiveness. Our aim at AMBS is to educate highly effective leaders to meet the challenges of ministry with a relevant witness that makes a difference in every place.

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