Lonnie Yoder

Lonnie Yoder

Office Phone: (540) 432-4272


Main Campus, Harrisonburg

Office Location: SB 134

Prof-Pastoral Care/Counseling


Associate Dean


“I am called to be both a seeker and mentor in the way of Jesus. In the field of pastoral care and counseling this involves building awareness, understanding and making meaningful connections within and between persons and communities. Creative engagement with the seminary community, the church and the world provides grist for this unfolding journey.”

The church and seminary face a dizzying array of challenges and opportunities as we live into the 21st century. Dr. Lonnie Yoder is passionate about preparing leaders who are responding to their unique callings in life. He especially enjoys mentoring and counseling younger leaders who are discovering ways to share their gifts with both church and society. As the associate dean of EMS, he strives to serve as a catalyst for faculty, staff, and students as they together fashion EMS’ ever-changing learning community. He is intrigued by the challenges of revisioning theological education, including the development of new delivery systems such as distance learning and hybrid courses.

Lonnie is excited about investing in the church in both its traditional and emergent forms. One practical expression of this commitment is his role as a consultant to over a dozen area congregations and pastors, four of which represent varying emergent forms of congregational life. He is also committed to cultivating a truly diverse church in which all of those who represent the rich diversity of our human community are given voice and place in Christian communities around the globe. Involvements in Jamaica, Trinidad, Haiti, Colombia, and other locations have both inspired and challenged Lonnie. Finally, Lonnie is committed to a lifelong journey of discovering the ordinary, but powerful, ways in which we care for one another in the church and beyond. Of special interest is the various ways in which technology can serve us as we strengthen our care and our communities.

A native of rural southeast Iowa, Lonnie served as youth minister and assistant pastor in his home congregation, East Union Mennonite Church, for twelve years before engaging doctoral studies in Religion and Personality at the University of Iowa. Married to Teresa Boshart, a nurse administrator, and father to two young adult daughters, Lonnie enjoys family time, sports, genealogy, and gardening. A professor at Eastern Mennonite since 1991, in 2010 he assumed the role of associate dean at the seminary while continuing to teach in the areas of pastoral care/counseling and leadership.


  • Ph. D.-Religion and Personality, The University of Iowa, 1991
  • M. Div., Associated Mennonite Biblical Seminaries, 1976
  • B.A. (summa cum laude) in Mathematics with Secondary Education Teaching Certification, Drake University, 1972


  • “From Sage to Guide: Journey in Online Teaching,” Anabaptist-Mennonite Scholars Network Newsletter, Vol. 14, No. 2, Fall 2011.
  • “Lively Choruses: Relational Dance with God,” Chapter 9 of Jane Maynard, Leonard Hummel, and Mary Clark Moschella, ed. Pastoral Bearings: Lived Religion and Pastoral Theology (Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, 2010).
  • Foreword for Stahl, Milo. Shalom: Beyond Retirement and Death. Morgantown, PA: Masthof Press, 2009.
  • “The Cobbler’s Shoes: Care for the Caregiver,” Mennonite Health Journal, Vol. 9, No. 3, July-September 2007.
  • “To Mom…I Had to Give It to Somebody”, Journeys: Magazine of the American Association of Pastoral Counselors, Vol. 9, No. 2, Summer-Fall 2007.
  • “Communal Pilgrimage: Formation in Pastoral Counseling from an Anabaptist/Mennonite Perspective,” Chapter 4 of Daniel S.Schipani, ed. Mennonite Perspectives on Pastoral Counseling (Elkhart: Institute of Mennonite Studies, 2006).
  • “Renegotiating Our Place: Challenges of Integration.” Lexington Seminar Narrative, Lexington Seminar, Northeast Harbor, ME-June 2005
  • “Leaving Home to Find It”, Journeys: Magazine of the American Association of Pastoral Counselors, Vol. 7, No. 1, Winter-Spring 2005.
  • “What Happens as We Grow Old: The Developmental Tasks of Aging,” Chapter 2 of Shirley Yoder Brubaker, ed. Reinventing Aging (Scottdale, PA: Herald Press, 2003).
  • “One love…in the Lord,” Connections (Virginia Mennonite Conference and Board of Missions), Vol. 13, No. 1, November 2002
  • “Children of the King see the Queen,” Connections (Virginia Mennonite Conference and Board of Missions), Vol. 12, No. 7, May 2002
  • “A Ministry Unto Maturity”, Christian Living, April-May 1999, co-authored with Gary Stucky.
  • “Proverbs of Call and Support”, Builder, July 1998.
  • “Pastoral Transitions: A Video”-filmed for Mennonite Board of Congregational Ministries-November, 1996.
  • Book Review of Sweeping Up the Heart: A Father’s Lament for His Daughter. By Paul W. Nisly. Intercourse, PA: Good Books, 1992. In Mennonite Quarterly Review, Vol. 67, pp. 374-375, July 1993.
  • “Modifying the Type A Behavior Pattern,” Journal of Religion and Health, Vol. 26, No. 1, Spring, 1987.
  • “The Funeral Meal: A Significant Funerary Ritual,” Journal of Religion and Health, Vol. 25, No. 2, Summer, 1986.

Scholarly Presentations and Abstracts

  • LEAP Center-Edge Challenges: An Improvisational Leadership Dance-Academy of Religious Leadership, Chicago, IL-April 17-19, 2009
  • The Jesus Movement in the Early Context-Association of Theological Schools Educational Technology Conference, Tampa, FL-March 28-29, 2008
  • Lively Choruses: A Jamaican Mennonite Dance-Annual Meeting of the Society for Pastoral Theology-Los Angeles, CA-June 21, 2003
  • An Introduction to Amish and Mennonite Perspectives on Commitment/Discipleship Revisited-Annual Meeting of the Society for Pastoral Theology-Denver, CO—June 17-19, 1999
  • An Introduction to Amish and Mennonite Perspectives on Commitment/Discipleship"-Annual Meeting of the Society for Pastoral Theology-Chicago, IL-June 18-20, 1998
  • Walking the Road to Wellness: Care and Nurture of Pastors and Caregivers-Mennonite Health Assembly-Pittsburgh, PA-April 3-6, 1997
  • The Behavioral Response to Authority in Three Religious Traditions"-7th Annual Meeting of the Association of Mennonite Psychologists-Hesston, KS-March 5-7, 1992

Church, Community and Professional Service


  • Marriage Enrichment Series (with Teresa Boshart Yoder), Community Mennonite Church, Harrisonburg, VA-March-April, 2015
  • Bible Study at Park Place, Virginia Mennonite Retirement Community, Harrisonburg, VA-November 18, 2014
  • “Telling our Stories: A Series on Marriage and Family” (with Teresa Boshart Yoder)-Maple Grove Mennonite Church, Belleville, PA-February 16-18, 2014
  • “Ethical Considerations in the Life and Work of a Pastor”-Harrisonburg District of the Virginia Conference of the United Methodist Church-Port Republic United Methodist Church-February 10, 2014
  • “My Future: How in the World Do I Decide?”-Youth Seminar at Phoenix 2103-Phoenix, AZ-July 1-5, 2013
  • “Leadership: What Does It Mean to be a Student Leader?”-Youth Seminar at Phoenix 2103-Phoenix, AZ-July 1-5, 2013
  • “Sports and Faith: How Do They Relate?”-Youth Seminar at Phoenix 2103-Phoenix, AZ-July 1-5, 2013
  • “It Takes a “Healthy” Village: Five Things the Church Needs to Know about Mental Health (with Pam Comer)-School for Leadership Training-Eastern Mennonite Seminary-January 22, 2013
  • “Rooted and Grounded in Love”-Ordination Service for Dawn Monger at Lindale Mennonite Church, Harrisonburg, VA-October 28, 2012
  • “Crises in the History of Community Mennonite Church”-Community Mennonite Church, Harrisonburg, VA-September 16, 2012
  • “The Impact of a Cancer Diagnosis on a Family” (with Teresa Boshart Yoder)-Rockingham Memorial Hospital-June 7, 2012
  • “Sabbath: Restful Rest and Freeing Discipline”-Charlottesville Mennonite Church-March 18, 2012


  • Dream Exercise with Ridgeway Mennonite Church, Harrisonburg, VA-September 29, 2013
  • SWOT Analysis with Ridgeway Mennonite Church, Harrisonburg, VA-March 24, 2013
  • Facilitator for Charlottesville Mennonite Church Leadership Team Retreat-Charlottesville, VA-February 23, 2013
  • Facilitator-Strategic Planning Session with Immanuel Mennonite Church, Harrisonburg, VA-January 27, 2013
  • Co-leader with Shannon Roth of the Eastern Mennonite School E-term Experience in Jamaica-April 14-21, 2012
  • Facilitator for Charlottesville Mennonite Church Leadership Team Retreat-Harrisonburg, VA-March 18, 2012
  • Bi-National (MCUSA and MC Canada) Transitioning into Ministry Program Committee-2011
  • Pastoral Elder, Community Mennonite Church, Harrisonburg, Virginia-2009-2012
  • Pastoral Consultant to fourteen area churches and pastors, Harrisonburg District of Virginia Mennonite Conference-1999, 2005-present
  • Conference Delegate (Virginia Mennonite Conference) representing the Teaching Cluster in Virginia Mennonite Conference-2009-present
  • Board Member, House of Yoder, Inc.-Grantsville, MD-1996-2011
  • Ministry Support Team Member for Peace House (an Anabaptist ministry to young adults with primary focus on the campus of James Madision University)-2005-2011
  • Member of Trauma Healing Team to Haiti-Port-au-Prince, Haiti-May 17-24, 2010

Honors, Awards and Grants

  • 2007-Quality Service Award, Eastern Mennonite University
  • 1990-Collegiate Associations Council Research Grant (for dissertation research), The University of Iowa
  • 1990-Arthur Steindler Award (based on academic excellence and practical service, especially in teaching), School of Religion, The University of Iowa
  • 1987-Louis Penningroth Award (based on potential as a counselor), School of Religion, The University of Iowa
  • 1986-1987-Elmer Ediger Memorial Scholarship, Mennonite Mental Health Services
  • 1985-Clinical Pastoral Education Award, School of Religion, The University of Iowa
  • 1968-1972-General Motors Scholar, Phi Beta Kappa, Omicron Delta Kappa-Drake University

Certifications and Licenses

  • Member, American Association of Pastoral Counselors

Professional Memberships

  • American Association of Pastoral Counselors
  • Society for Pastoral Theology
  • Association of Practical Theology
  • Academy of Religious Leadership
  • Anabaptist Mennonite Scholars Network

Professional Conferences Attended

  • Academy for Religious Leadership Annual Meeting, Chicago, IL-April 16-18, 2015
  • Mennonite Higher Education Faculty Conference-“Challenges and Opportunities for Research in the Mennonite Academy”, Conrad Grebel University College-May 28-30, 2014
  • Webinar-“Infidelity: After an Affair, Who Owns the Relationship?”-Dr. Marty Klein-offered by the American Association of Pastoral Counselors, Pacific Region-March 15, 2014

EMU Service

  • Judge for MA in Biomedicine Debate-March 20, 2015
  • TGIW Panel-“Leadership for all Generations in an Age of Nones”-March 11, 2015
  • “Hold On, Let Go, Let’s Go”-Eastern Mennonite Seminary Spring Convocation Address, January 6, 2015
  • Instructional Technology and Distance Learning Committee (chair)
  • Institutional Effectiveness Committee
  • Seminary Academic Committee (chair)
  • Seminary Admissions Committee
  • Seminary Church Partnerships Team (chair)
  • CPE Professional Advisory Committee
  • Director of Distance Learning, Eastern Mennonite Seminary