AMBS Launches Doctor of Ministry in Leadership Program | New

ELKHART – Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary (AMBS) is now accepting applications for a new Doctor of Ministry – the first of its kind.

Not only is the seminary’s Doctor of Leadership Ministry (D.Min.) the only D.Min. in the United States to be deliberately developed with an Anabaptist framework, it is also the first DMin in the United States and Canada endorsed by the Association of Theological Schools to be designed from the outset as a competency-based program. The first cohort of students will begin in January 2023.

“We know from consultations with pastors and church leaders, as well as feedback from our own alumni, that the church needs leaders who continually develop specific skills,” said Beverly Lapp, Vice President and Academic Dean. “We have shaped and targeted our new DMin in response to these needs. This program will allow ministry professionals to build on what they have learned from their previous education and leadership experiences and will be an important part of our leadership resourcing strategy for the church.

Jewel Gingerich Longenecker, Ph.D., and Dan Schrock, D.Min., will serve as co-directors of the new program. Longenecker is Dean of Lifelong Learning at AMBS, and Schrock is a senior adjunct faculty member at AMBS who teaches in the area of ​​spiritual direction.

“Jewel and Dan each bring great backgrounds in program innovation and leadership development, and I’m thrilled to have them contribute in this way to the launch of this new program,” said Lapp.

The D.Min. 32 credit hours. in Leadership is designed to help pastors and mid-career leaders build their leadership capacity in ministry by shaping their learning goals to suit their needs and goals. Students can complete the program in three years, taking nine to 12 credits per academic year while based in their professional ministry or leadership context. A large part of the courses can be done online. The program also requires week-long visits to campus each January for in-person classes. Each student will be part of a cohort of peer learners who will have a faculty mentor and a ministry advisory group to guide their studies.

Through personalized learning plans, students in the program will gain expertise in five key skills: Anabaptist leadership, cross-cultural leadership, instructional leadership, change leadership, and resilient leadership. They will also complete core leadership courses, develop a leadership portfolio, and complete a doctoral research project with the goal of generating new knowledge about a specific ministry practice.

According to David Boshart, President, the leaders who designed the new curriculum chose the competency-based model because it aligns well with AMBS’ existing educational philosophy of “knowing, doing, and being.”

“Our D.Min. students will develop their own learning plan to gain leadership knowledge; practice new understandings of leadership in their ministry context; then reflect on how what they know and what they have done can deepen their leadership identity,” he explained. “It’s a very holistic and organic approach to learning.”

The D.Min. from AMBS. in Leadership, which received full accreditation approval from ATS in June 2022, is open to students of all Christian faith traditions. First cohort applicants must be U.S. residents or hold a U.S. passport and be able to travel to the AMBS campus for the required one-week annual residencies without a visa. Applications for the January 2023 cohort are due November 1. To learn more or apply, see ambs.edu/dmin.

Kevin E. Boling