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

Fall 2014

Dietrich Bonhoeffer: Life, Theology and Witness

Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s life stands as an extraordinary witness against the backdrop of that long, dark night known as Nazi Germany. He is rightly well known for his popular and influential books, Discipleship and Life Together. However, this pastor, theologian and director of a seminary also penned numerous other writings in biblical studies, ethics, systematic and practical theology—as well as unforgettable letters from prison—that have etched his influence in large letters into the face of contemporary theology. This course reflects on Bonhoeffer’s life, theology and ongoing witness.

  • Instructor: Dr. Mark Thiessen Nation
  • Credit Hours: 3
  • Dates: Aug. 26 – Dec. 12, 2014

Mennonite History

This course is a study of the emergence and growth of Anabaptist-Mennonites from their origins during the Protestant Reformation to their contemporary presence in many countries around the world. The course gives priority both to Anabaptist origins in the sixteenth century and to developments in North America and around the world during the twentieth century.

  • Instructor: Dr. Nate Yoder
  • Credit Hours: 3
  • Dates: Aug. 26 – Dec. 12, 2014

Psychology of Religious Experience

Many seminary courses examine theological perspectives of various realities. This course takes a unique vantage point on spiritual and religious realities by examining them from a psychological perspective. Topics considered include spiritual and religious experience in childhood and adulthood, death, conversion, mysticism, and prayer as well as social and political dimensions of faith experience. A central dimension of the course is the sharing of faith vignettes by members of the class. Opportunity is also given to explore the cultural dimensions of religious experience.

  • Instructor: Dr. Lonnie Yoder
  • Credit Hours: 3
  • Dates: Aug. 26 – Dec. 12, 2014

New Testament: Text in Context

The New Testament: Text in Context course is a basic introduction to the New Testament. The first part of the course will focus on the world of the New Testament period noting the historical, political, social and cultural setting into which Christ came and the New Testament scriptures were written. The second part of the course is a study of the New Testament itself. Students will read and do inductive study of the various NT books.

  • Instructor: Dr. Dorothy Jean Weaver
  • Credit Hours: 3
  • Dates: Aug. 26 – Dec. 12, 2014

Spring 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 3- April 24, 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

Race 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 3- April 24, 2015