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Learn more about Eastern Mennonite Seminary and our alumni

Read on below to hear stories of Eastern Mennonite Seminary students and alumni – why they attended EMS and what great things they’re doing with that education now.

Delve into Your Ministry


Graduate students at EMS complete their studies with a Capstone Integration Projects across the two semesters of their final year. These projects allow for students to explore an in-depth topic with real practicality in their current or future ministry – like working with foster parents and children; facilitating dialogue between Christian faith and science; or walking alongside young, marginalized mothers.

Read more about the capstone projects of2020 graduatesand2019 graduates.

‘Trust in the Lord in Your Long Journey’: Discover Committed Companionship


Many of our seminary studentstravel long distancesto attend classes. In 2018, 12 students commuted more than an hour each way. One drove 320 miles round-trip, staying two nights a week. “I feel at home and like I have made relationships that I will keep forever,” said David Gaylor. (Of the 12, 11 are affiliated with the United Methodist Church and one with the Church of the Brethren.)

“We’re trading in who we thought we were for who God made us to be,” said graduateSarah Bailey MDiv ‘18.

Read more about this unique group of2018 graduates.

Prepare for Chaplaincy

Many EMS graduates work as chaplains and are accredited through EMS’ Clinical Pastoral Education program.  

  • Shawn Gerber MDiv ‘04  is the director of spiritual care and chaplaincy services at Indiana University Health Bloomington Hospital and the chaplain manager for the south central region of Indiana University Health.
  • Anne Kaufman Weaver MDiv ‘16,a chaplain at Landis Homes in Pennsylvania, has a Master of Social Work degree from Marywood University. Anne was ordained in 2017 by Atlantic Coast Conference. Previously she obtained life coach training through International Coach Federation and enjoyed her practice, Coaching Connection, from 2006-2016. 

We are glad you are considering EMS as a place to continue your faith journey. Here are a few vignettes from our alumni about how they’ve carried their ministry forward.



Joel Ballew MDiv ‘08 is executive director of Open Doors, a homeless shelter that many area church congregations cooperate to host. He formerly served as executive director of a camp and conference center in Pennsylvania.

Adam Blagg MDiv ‘12, pastor of Asbury UMC in Harrisonburg, leads Faith in Action, a consortium of faith communities working together on social justice issues.

Alanna McGuinn MDiv’ 20pastors four churches in West Virginia, including Central United Methodist Church, which was recently presented with theOne Matters awardfrom the West Virginia conference of the United Methodist Church.  The award recognizes a congregation’s efforts toward “fruitful ministry specifically in the areas of baptism and professions of faith.” Photo by Robin Eanes) 

Mary Beth Heatwole Moore, current student and pastor/co-founder of Signs of Life Fellowship, isfollowing a journeythat began when she and her husband adopted two Deaf sons from Guatemala. She left her work as a nurse to come to EMS.

Barbara Harrison Seward MDiv ‘11returned to Harrisonburg to becomethe priest-in-charge at Emmanuel Episcopal Church:“This community, including Eastern Mennonite Seminary, has given me so much, and I hope to correspond in kind. My greatest hope for myself and for Emmanuel is that we will actively plant, as well as actively water the seeds of hope, justice, transformation and restoration.”

Darin Busé MDiv ‘16, Methodist pastor and combat veteran, broughtexperience with and interest in serving veteransto his studies. He is active in the local chapter of Veterans for Peace.


Brittany Caine-Conley MDiv ‘14,  affiliated with the United Church of Christ, called for 1,000 clergy and faith leaders of all denominations tocounter-protestthe gathered white supremacists in Charlottesville, Virginia, in 2017. Later that year, she was a co-recipient of  the President’s Award for Excellence in Faithful Leadership from the National Council of Churches. Caine-Conley has also traveledto aidasylum seekers at the U.S. Mexico border.

Wu Wei MDiv ‘06ispresident of the China Christian Council, giving leadership to an umbrella organization overseeing more than 60,000 churches and nearly 25 million believers. Though Christianity is the fastest growing religion in China, believers are often persecuted and threatened.

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