Brian Gumm (left) and Nathaniel Daniel are two of the six students studying in both the seminary and the Center for Justice and Peacebuilding at EMU.

Seminary Offering More Interdisciplinary Study

Eastern Mennonite Seminary is creating more interdisciplinary study options in collaboration with other graduate programs at Eastern Mennonite University.

“EMS collaboration with other graduate programs places seminary learning in the thick of the cross-disciplinary studies needed to make sense of today’s complex and fast-changing world,” said seminary dean Michael A. King.

“Biblical, theological and church studies are still the seminary’s foundational disciplines,” King stated, “but seminary studies unfold within the crosscurrents of cultural, social, scientific and interfaith studies as well as many other disciplines. At its best, this collaboration will make seminary studies thoroughly interdisciplinary.”

Seminary on a university campus

EMS has the advantage of being a seminary on a larger university campus. For students, this provides opportunity to experience a rich campus life while taking advantage of other graduate-level offerings.

EMS has long had dual degree programs with both the Center for Justice and Peacebuilding and Master of Arts in Counseling program at EMU. Now, EMS is working on collaboration with the Masters in Business Administration program and strengthening ties to other graduate and undergraduate programs.

“The various collaborative efforts with graduate programs provide a unique opportunity for students to focus on both theological studies and other areas of interest on one campus,” said Dr. Lonnie D. Yoder, associate seminary dean. “It generates possibilities for creative and integrative academic work and practical training.”

Collaboration with MBA

Collaboration with the MBA program has resulted in working together to plan the 2012 School for Leadership Training, an annual training program for pastors and church leaders. The theme, “God and Mammon: Rethinking Stewardship,” will provide resources for Christian business leaders as well as church leaders.  Everence (formerly Mennonite Mutual Aid), and Mennonite Economic Development Association (MEDA) will also be involved in shaping the theme and content. Theologian Walter Brueggemann will be the keynote speaker.

Seminary dean Michael A. King and associate dean Lonnie Yoder began their second full semester leading EMS in January this year.