Norton takes on expanded role in AMBS Church Leadership Center

Published: February 22, 2023

ELKHART, Indiana (Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary) — Steve Norton, BSW, of Goshen, Indiana, is changing roles and taking on new responsibilities at Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary (AMBS) in Elkhart, Indiana. 

Norton originally joined AMBS in September 2020 as half-time Program Assistant for the AMBS Church Leadership Center’s Thriving in Ministry grant. In February 2021, he added the 0.4 FTE role of Assistant Director of Human Resources (HR) and Payroll for the seminary. He is ending his time in this role to serve full time as Assistant Director of the Journey Missional Leadership Development Program and as Church Leadership Center Program Coordinator.

As Program Assistant for the Thriving in Ministry grant, Norton has been providing administrative support for the Ministry Integrity Circles and Transition to Leadership programs and overseeing the Invite AMBS program, in which seminary faculty and staff serve as presenters or consultants on topics of interest for congregations and organizations. He also has been assisting with the Journey program, Online Short Courses, and the annual Pastors & Leaders conference.

In his expanded role, which began Jan. 1, he is continuing this work and adding leadership responsibilities with the Journey program. He also is providing administrative support for AMBS’s new competency-based Doctor of Ministry (DMin) in Leadership and for Practical Leadership Training, a series of learning modules that are being developed to help students strengthen their skills in administrative leadership and contextual engagement. He will work closely with DMin Program Co-Directors Jewel Gingerich Longenecker, PhD, and Dan Schrock, DMin, and with Luis Tapia Rubio, MDiv, Director of Practical Leadership Training.

“Steve is well suited to this expanded Church Leadership Center assignment, given his strong organizational, planning and communication skills; his many years of experience as a pastor, church planter and business manager; and his passion for leadership education for the church here and around the world,” said Gingerich Longenecker, who also serves as Dean of Lifelong Learning.

As Assistant Director of HR and Payroll, Norton has maintained the seminary’s payroll system, managed employee compensation and benefits administration, facilitated and coordinated hiring processes for open positions, and ensured that the seminary maintained compliance with HR regulations. He has continued to serve in HR to assist with the onboarding of Carla Robinson, MA, who began in the role on Feb. 6.

“I’m excited to see Steve move into this expanded role with the Church Leadership Center and provide administrative support for new and existing programs,” said Deanna Risser, MBA, Vice President for Administration and Chief Financial Officer. “He has used his skills in organization, hospitality and teamwork to manage the many details of HR, making them easy to understand for AMBS employees and students, while also keeping AMBS in compliance with various requirements and regulations.”

Norton brings many years of both pastoral and administrative experience to his work at AMBS. From 1994 to 2008, he served with Eastern Mennonite Missions as a church planter in Germany, also launching a short-term mission program in partnership with the Theological Seminary Bienenberg in Liestal, Switzerland. After moving to Goshen, he was Pastor of Outreach for eight years for Goshen City Church of the Brethren, a congregation of the Northern Indiana District of the Church of the Brethren. He then helped establish the Rise ‘n Roll Bakery in Elkhart, serving as General Manager for two years.

Norton has a Bachelor of Science in Social Work from Goshen College and a Graduate Certificate in Public Management from Indiana University South Bend. He is a member of Walnut Hill Mennonite Church in Goshen, a congregation of Indiana-Michigan Mennonite Conference of Mennonite Church USA.

Located in Elkhart, Indiana, on ancestral land of the Potawatomi and Miami peoples, Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary is a learning community with an Anabaptist vision, offering theological education for learners both on campus and at a distance as well as a wide array of lifelong learning programs — all with the goal of educating followers of Jesus Christ to be leaders for God’s reconciling mission in the world.


—Annette Brill Bergstresser

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