Summer Courses 2015

The Harrisonburg, Va. campus offers summer courses in May and June.

To take summer courses contact either the 540-432-4257 or the 540-432-4274

On Campus Courses

Instructor: Nancy Kauffmann
Schedule: May 6-13, 9 a.m – 3 p.m. (no Monday class)
Credits: 2 SH

This course examines two aspects of contemporary Mennonite reality. First, what the Mennonite Church has said and, especially, what it is currently saying about what it believes concerning the Christian faith; and second, how it structures itself in the light of those beliefs to carry out its ministry in the world. Focus will be on the expression of faith, its features and trends, in the last half century in the General Conference Mennonite church and the Mennonite Church, now integrated as Mennonite Church USA. Polity at the denominational, area conference and congregational levels will be studied with special interest in the emerging structures of the integration process. Particular attention will be given to polity and ethical guidelines for ministerial leadership.

Global Christianity

Instructor: James Krabill
Schedule: May 14-22, 8:30 a.m.-4 p.m.
Credits: 3 SH

This course will examine the history, missionary dynamics and current changing demographics of the Christian church worldwide. Beginning with several biblical reflections, the study will trace the expansion of the Christian movement, explore the impact of the Western colonial encounter, highlight growing efforts to embrace contextualized forms of the faith, and examine case studies of specific issues facing the church in different parts of the world. Students will have the opportunity to explore regional developments in diverse geographical settings or examine in more depth particular issues of special interest to them, such as interfaith conversations, role of women in the church, worship trends, or the witness of the church in word and deed.

Biblical Foundations for Justice and Peacemaking

Instructor: Mark Thiessen Nation
Schedule: May 25- June 2, Monday-Friday 8:30 a.m.- 5 p.m.
Credits: 3 SH

More than a study of a few select texts that deal with peacemaking, this course will explore and examine the various dimensions of peace in the Bible, with special attention to how the Bible as a whole functions as a foundation for peacemaking. The course will explore texts which reflect the everyday dimensions of wholeness, wellbeing, and security, as well as those which describe God’s attempts to make peace with rebellious humanity. A central figure in the biblical story of peace is Jesus, both as foundation of peace and as model for peacemaking. Texts and issues which present peacemakers with serious difficulties, such as the wars of Israel or the image of God as judge and warrior, will also be examined.
This course has an additional fee of $50 to cover course readers, special supplies, guest speakers, coffee breaks, snacks, etc. with the Summer Peacebuilding Institute.

Instructors: David Brubaker and Alastair McKay
Schedule: June 8-12, 8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Credits: 3 SH

Religious congregations exist in dramatically changing cultural, technological, and economic environments, and in order to survive and thrive in such environments they have to make adaptive changes congruent with their deepest beliefs and values. This course will equip internal congregational leaders (such as pastors, priests and lay leaders) and external resource persons (such as judicatory officials and consultants) to lead change processes in ways that minimize congregational conflict and maximize sustainable change. See the course schedule.
This course has an additional fee of $50 to cover course readers, special supplies, guest speakers, coffee breaks, snacks, etc. with the Summer Peacebuilding Institute.

June 16-27

Summer Institute for Spiritual Formation- 1-4 SH

The Institute is a two-week summer program which offers classes, worship and experiential learning in the area of spiritual formation. It teaches spiritual directors and ministry leaders how to deepen their own faith and lead others in doing the same. Students can receive up to four seminary credits each summer and a certificate from the Institute after completing three summers.


Cross-Cultural Experience

Instructor: David Evans
Schedule: May 1,4, and 11; 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m. each day
Credits: 3

This seminar involves at least three weeks of immersion in a cultural setting distinctly different from one’s past experience. This includes interaction with religious, social, cultural, political, economic and commercial groups and their leaders. The basic goals of the seminar include becoming a learner at the feet of the people of this community, acknowledging that they alone know what their world is like. Approaches to learning in this seminar emphasize the methodology of “participant observation ” with careful attention to personal reactions and responses to one’s experiences through journaling and group reflection. Special attention is given to how the Christian gospel is communicated and expressed in that setting and how it engages the realities of that world. The particular characteristics and requirements of a given seminar vary depending on the particular setting and who is leading the seminar. The seminar does not assume other-than-English language capability, but learning the basics of another language is sometimes a part of what we learn through participant observation. Descriptions of specific cross-cultural seminars offered are circulated each year.

People, Places and Prayers: Israel/Palestine

Leader: Dorothy Jean Weaver and Kevin Clark
More information to come.