Seminary names Doctor of Ministry Program Co-Directors

Published: December 6, 2022

By Annette Brill Bergstresser

ELKHART, Indiana (Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary) — Jewel Gingerich Longenecker, PhD, and Daniel Schrock, DMin, have been named Co-Directors of the new Doctor of Ministry (DMin) in Leadership program at Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary (AMBS) in Elkhart, Indiana. 

(l. to r.) AMBS Doctor of Ministry Program Co-Directors Dan Schrock, DMin, and Jewel Gingerich Longenecker, PhD
(l. to r.) AMBS Doctor of Ministry Program Co-Directors Dan Schrock, DMin, and Jewel Gingerich Longenecker, PhD (Credit: Rachel A. Fonseca)

The new Co-Directors, who began Sept. 19, are sharing the half-time position, overseeing the program’s faculty and curriculum as well as guiding student advisory groups and doctoral research project committees. Both are continuing in their existing roles at AMBS — Gingerich Longenecker as Dean of Lifelong Learning and Schrock as a Core Adjunct Faculty member in the area of spiritual direction. 

Beverly Lapp, EdD, Vice President and Academic Dean, sees Gingerich Longenecker and Schrock as bringing a unique combination of the experience, education and skills needed to successfully launch and lead the new program, which will begin in January 2023.

“The co-director approach maximizes their gifts for leadership of the Doctor of Ministry as a planned collaboration of AMBS’s graduate programs and Church Leadership Center,” she said.

This 32-credit-hour competency-based degree program is designed to help mid-career pastors and ministry leaders strengthen their leadership capacities for the advanced practice of ministry. It’s the only DMin in the U.S. to be deliberately developed with an Anabaptist framework.

Jewel Gingerich Longenecker 

Gingerich Longenecker first joined AMBS in 2001 as Associate Dean for Leadership Education and was promoted to her current role in 2014. Prior to coming to AMBS, she served as Conference Youth Minister for Iowa-Nebraska Conference of the Mennonite Church (1993–98) and as Campus Pastor for Iowa Mennonite School in Kalona (1993–95). She also was a member of the Theological Education Committee of Southeast Iowa. 

Over her 20+ years in leadership at AMBS, Gingerich Longenecker has helped design and launch multiple continuing education programs, including !Explore: A Theological Program for High School Youth and AMBS’s Online Short Courses. In the mid-2000s, she collaborated with Mennonite conference leaders to create the undergraduate-level Journey Conference-based Leadership Development Program, which now continues under AMBS ownership as the Journey Missional Leadership Development Program. From 2005 to 2011, she directed Engaging Pastors: Jointly Tending to Excellence in Ministry, an initiative that fostered collaboration and sustained conversations among more than 450 pastors and AMBS professors to strengthen the ministries of each. Most recently, she led the design and development of the Transition to Leadership and Ministry Integrity Circles programs, which provide support and guidance to seminary graduates in their first pastorates and to pastors facing ministry transitions. 

“In her church and seminary roles, Jewel has listened attentively to the needs of the church for theological and leadership education at a variety of levels, and she has helped AMBS respond to these needs with adaptive programming,” Lapp said.

Gingerich Longenecker also has led the planning of the seminary’s annual Pastors & Leaders conference and has coordinated a range of workshops, webinars and seminars, including the yearlong Spiritual Direction Seminars taught by Schrock. Lapp noted that the new Co-Directors have already worked collaboratively over the last 10 years.

Gingerich Longenecker earned a Doctor of Philosophy in Leadership in 2014 from Andrews University in Berrien Springs, Michigan; a Master of Arts: Theological Studies with a concentration in Biblical Studies in 1992 from AMBS; and a Bachelor of Arts in Education in 1988 from Eastern Mennonite College (now University) in Harrisonburg, Virginia. Her doctoral dissertation was titled, “The pastor as vital link: A study in how seminary-educated pastors engender engagement with Scripture in select congregations,” and she has written and presented on reading and teaching the Bible in congregational settings. 

Gingerich Longenecker resides in South Bend, Indiana, and is part of Kern Road Mennonite Church in South Bend — a congregation of Indiana-Michigan Mennonite Conference of Mennonite Church USA.

Daniel Schrock

According to Lapp, Schrock brings to his new role a long history of developing leaders. He has been a spiritual director for both individuals and groups since 1996. In 2007, he launched a private spiritual direction practice focusing on Christian leaders — including pastors, chaplains, educators, conference ministers, and organizational and institutional leaders. He also has been a pastor at Lombard (Illinois) Mennonite Church (1990–91); Columbus (Ohio) Mennonite Church (1991–2002); and Berkey Avenue Mennonite Fellowship in Goshen, Indiana (2002–20). 

Schrock earned a Doctor of Ministry in Christian Spirituality in 2007 from Columbia Theological Seminary in Decatur, Georgia; a Certificate in the Art of Spiritual Direction in 1999 from San Francisco (California) Theological Seminary; a Master of Arts in Theology in 1987 from Chicago (Illinois) Theological Seminary; and a Bachelor of Arts in English in 1981 from Goshen College. In 2016, he completed Supervisor Training for Spiritual Directors through Together in the Mystery in San Luis Obispo, California, and he has served as a Continuing Education Instructor there since 2018. He also has provided wellness coaching for pastors and their spouses through Mennonite Church USA’s Corinthian Plan (2019–22). 

Schrock joined AMBS in 2009 as a guest instructor in Christian spirituality and became a Core Adjunct Faculty member in 2013, teaching courses in spiritual direction and spiritual practices. He also has led occasional training sessions for the Journey Missional Leadership Development Program.

“Through his work as a spiritual director and wellness coach, Dan has been convinced that the DMin in Leadership at AMBS is the response the church needs for the challenges pastors and leaders are facing today,” Lapp noted.

Schrock’s doctoral work led him to publish The Dark Night: A Gift of God (Herald, 2009). He also co-edited An Open Place: The Ministry of Group Spiritual Direction (Morehouse, 2012) and wrote Prayer Practices for Terrifically Busy People (Lulu, 2007). He has been a frequent presenter on spiritual direction, spiritual disciplines, prayer and faith formation. He lives in Goshen and is part of Walnut Hill Mennonite Church in Goshen, also an Indiana-Michigan Mennonite Conference congregation.

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.

Want to receive AMBS news and updates via email?