Distance Learning Online at EMS

Eastern Mennonite Seminary has offered online courses for over a decade in the areas of Anabaptist theology, church history, and the practice of ministry (pastoral care, missional church, and leadership). More than a dozen online courses are offered on a two-year cycle, with several course offerings each semester as well as during the summer.

Tuition

Tuition for online courses is the same tuition as courses on EMS main campus in Harrisonburg, Va. Online courses may be available for participation audit. To learn more about our audit policy for online classes email

Spring 2015

Race, Nation and Religion in America

In this course we will explore the inter-related nature of racial, religious, and national categories of Identity. We will enhance our understanding of race, nation, and religion through engaging histories of cross-racial, cross-national, and cross-religious encounters in North America. In our efforts to understand the braided realities of these categories of identity, we will use a socio-historical approach while keeping the present in mind. Our purpose is to discover ways that racial, religious, and national histories haunt our lives, churches, and communities in the present.

  • Instructor: Dr. David Evans
  • Credit Hours: 2
  • Dates: Jan 5- March 14, 2015

Interpreting the Biblical Text

This course is concerned with the question of how biblical authority is made effective in the church today through proper interpretation. Such interpretation attempts both to uncover the inherent meaning of the text and to contextualize that meaning in contemporary life. The course gives attention to reading the biblical texts in their original context while attending to the way interpreters read from the perspective of their own cultural context. Methods are learned that preserve the normativity of Scripture in the process of relevant application to the life of particular cultures.

  • Instructor: Dr. Andrea Saner
  • Credit Hours: 3
  • Dates: Jan 3- April 24, 2015

Mennonite Faith and Polity

This course examines two aspects of Mennonite reality. First, what has it said and what is it 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.

  • Instructor: Dr. David Boshart
  • Credit Hours: 2
  • Dates: Jan 5- March 14, 2015

Old Testament: Text in Context

This is an introduction to the Old Testament literature. The approach gives major consideration to the ancient Near Eastern context: history, culture and religion. Other considerations include reading the Old Testament as literature and as the authoritative Word of God. Lectures, readings, inductive study questions and class discussion are used.

  • Instructor: Dr. Laura Brenneman
  • Credit Hours: 3
  • Dates: Jan 3- April 24, 2015

NEW! Hybrid courses for 2015-16

Formation in God Story I

Formation in God’s Story I is the first in a series of formation classes, each of which offers a different focus as students attend to their personal, spiritual, and ministry formation while in seminary. This basic course provides time and space for students to pay prayerful attention to their formational journey through listening to their life narrative from birth until the present. Along with this picture of story-listening they will also locate their personal story in the larger picture of God’s story as recorded in scripture. Through reading, meditation, and biblical story-telling, they will internalize the flow of God’s salvation story and attend to how God’s story speaks to their own. Interwoven with these practices, they will also discern and reflect on God’s presence and action in their life, meeting in guided small group sessions for listening and soul care.

  • Instructor: Dr. Emily Peck-McClain
  • Credit Hours: 2
  • Schedule: begin online August 10, Intensive on campus: August 24-29, End date: October 3

Pastoral Care

This course explores the simplicity and complexity of caregiving ministries in both the church and broader community from an Anabaptist missional perspective. Basic skills for caregiving are introduced as well as an examination of the many contextual issues inherent in good pastoral care (culture, method, models, and assumptions). Students will also have the opportunity to engage good self-care practices. The breadth of caregiving will be examined from birth through death with specific attention to major life events and challenges.

  • Instructor: Dr. Lonnie Yoder
  • Credit Hours: 3
  • Schedule: begin online August 10, Intensive on campus: August 24-29, End date: October 3

Formation in God’s Story II

Formation in God’s Story II continues the exploration of and engagement with the biblical story. Students will engage in the practice of spiritual disciplines, develop a rhythm and rule of life that can bring a sense of wholeness and balance to the various parts of their life. They will continue to participate in the same small groups as they attend to their spiritual formation in the context of God’s story. Guidance will be offered as they develop a life purpose statement and discern vocational goals that give shape to the learning process and selection of a ministry track for the remainder of their seminary studies.

  • Instructor: Dr. Emily Peck-McClain
  • Credit Hours: 2
  • Schedule: begin online January 4, Intensive on campus: January 18-24, End date: February 26

Genesis

Students explore the book of Genesis, focusing on the theology of the book, the theological resources it offers and the questions it raises in Christian contexts. Historical, literary, canonical, and socio-cultural approaches inform theological reflection. Classroom time involves lectures and seminar-style discussion on required readings, and student coursework culminates in a substantial final paper or project.

  • Instructor: Dr. Andrea Saner
  • Credit Hours: 3
  • Schedule: begin online January 4, Intensive on campus: January 18-24, End date: February 26