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.

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Interested in learning on the land and sea of the Bible? Check out: The BLESS program | The Samuel Grant


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


Students who have already filled out an application may register by emailing the seminary registrar, .

Spring 2017 Hybrid Courses

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: Intensive week in Harrisonburg Va., January 2-6, online until end of fall semester

Wisdom Literature

This class focuses on Wisdom Literature, especially Job, Psalms and Ecclesiastes (English text). Lectures and inductive study examine the biblical words, literary forms and ideas. Readings and written reactions sample the accumulated scholarship developed around the biblical books. Discussion and creative writing look for ways to connect with the joy, praise, frustration, contemplation and hope from an ancient and foreign culture in order to enrich modern worship.

  • Instructor: Dr. Andrea Saner
  • Credit Hours: 3
  • Schedule: Intensive week in Harrisonburg, Va., January 2-6, online until end of fall semester

Spring Online Courses

Old Testament: Text in Context

This Old Testament survey attempts to set the texts in their ancient Near Eastern context: history, culture, and religion. Attention is also given to the context(s) in which present day readers find themselves. Additional considerations include reading the O.T. as literature and also as the authoritative Word of God. Lectures, readings, inductive study questions, and limited class discussion are used.

  • Instructor: Dr. Laura Brenneman
  • Credit Hours: 3
  • Schedule: January 9-April 28

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: January 9-April 28

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