Summer Courses 2016

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

Cross-Cultural Experience

Instructor: David Evans
Schedule: May 6,9, and 16; 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.

Instructor: Andrea Dalton Saner
Schedule: May 10-27, 8:30 a.m.-12 p.m. Tuesday-Friday
Credits: 3

The book named for this prophet is studied for its themes, content and theology (English text). The study of the literary features of the book and its historical context(s) serve to sharpen the message and contribution of the prophet. Inductive study supplements and evaluates the mass of scholarship that has grown up around the study of this prophet.

Instructor: Nancy Kauffmann
Schedule: May 10-20, 1-4:30 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.

Spirit World and the Global Chruch

Instructor: James Krabill
Schedule: May 20-June 7, 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m.
Credits: 3 SH

This course will explore the biblical foundations of the spirit world and trace how these understandings have been both applied and challenged throughout the history of the Western Church. From there we will examine how the conversation is expanding as Western Christians encounter spiritual realities present in the rapidly growing churches of the global south (Africa, Asia and Latin America). Particular themes also treated will include: the Pentecostal appeal among struggling social classes, the language of “spiritual warfare” and peace theology, and case studies of North American congregations and church leaders dealing with difficult “hard cases” involving spiritual dimensions.

Sermon on the Mount: Peace, Justice and the Reign of God

Instructor: Mark Thiessen Nation
Schedule: May 30- June 7, Monday-Friday 8:30 a.m.- 5 p.m.
Credits: 3 SH

The teachings of Jesus have reached across many centuries with a strong witness against violence: “Love your enemies.” People in many cultures have found the Sermon on the Mount foundational for understanding the core of Jesus’ ethical teaching and practice. The earliest Christians placed this instruction at the forefront of their witness on what it means to be Christian. Are we willing to be instructed in this way of Christ today, as the movement takes form in the third millennium? This course builds on the Old Testament Jewish backgrounds for Jesus’ teaching. Two further horizons are surveyed: the resonance with this core (Matthew 5-7) in other ethical instruction of the New Testament, and the strong echoes down through Christian history where this teaching has been translated into lived practices.

Summer Institute for Spiritual Formation

Instructors: Kevin Clark and TBA
Schedule: June 13-24, 2016
Credits: 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. For more information visit

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