AMBS renamedBy Mary E. Klassen Associated Mennonite Biblical Seminary
ELKHART, Ind. — Associated Mennonite Biblical Seminary will continue to be “AMBS,” but a new name, redesigned programs and new faculty were announced May 4-5 at two celebration events.
Leading the list is a change in the seminary’s name to Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary, effective Aug. 28 at the beginning of the new school year.
“ ‘Associated’ tells the story of a previous generation when two seminaries merged into one,” said Sara Wenger Shenk, AMBS president. Although “ ‘Anabaptist’ refers to the radical Jesus movement of the 16th century, it has reappeared with a second life in the 21st century.
“New Anabaptists from many Christian denominations are rediscovering Jesus’ call to radical discipleship with renewed joy and fervor. As a seminary, we are ready to collaborate with a widening circle of new and global Anabaptists, as well as other kindred spirits from diverse denominations, cultures and ethnicities.”
As one signal of this renewed mission, AMBS is redesigning its master of divinity degree, built around the theme “Leading Communities of Shalom: Ministry in the Way of Jesus.” Through the next year the AMBS faculty will develop the details of this program and seek accreditation approvals, with the hope of launching it in fall 2013. Initial considerations include both a community-focused residential program and a program accessible to students at a distance.
Another new program comes from AMBS’s Church Leadership Center — a series of six short, online, non-credit Anabaptist studies courses. These are designed for people who have completed seminary studies in other-than-Mennonite settings and people who wish to study Anabaptism at the graduate level but do not need credit for their studies. The first two courses will be offered in early 2013.
Wenger Shenk also reported the appointments of three new members of the AMBS faculty, all to begin this summer:
Rachel Miller Jacobs of Goshen, assistant professor of congregational formation;
Andy Brubacher Kaethler of Elkhart, assistant professor of faith formation and culture;
Jamie Pitts of Glasgow, U.K., assistant professor of Anabaptist studies.
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