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 online courses

Missio Dei in Cultural Context

This course calls and equips participants to join in the drama of God’s mission in the world, as ambassadors of the New Community forming in response to the work and teaching of Jesus Christ. Every human culture is a context for this awareness of God’s activity. We review the many diverse shapes the Gospel has taken in order to be intelligible across many social settings and historical epochs. The God who becomes incarnate among us is passionate about engaging human cultures.

  • Instructor: Dr. James Krabill
  • Credit Hours: 3
  • Dates: January 11- April 29, 2016

Leadership and Administration

This course engages leadership and administration in both traditional and emerging congregations as well as missional involvement in the broader community. Initial attention will focus on the leadership formation of the student from a wholistic perspective. An exploration of biblical and spiritual perspectives will prepare the way for an examination of transformational leadership through both a contextual and cultural lens. Finally, students will have the opportunity to practice and reflect on leadership and administration via the exploration of a variety of specific topics including planning, budgeting, communication, team building, and conflict transformation.

  • Instructor: Dr. Lonnie Yoder
  • Credit Hours: 3
  • Dates: January 11- April 29, 2016

Harrisonburg Spring Hybrid Courses

More information on housing, financial aid and the schedule for hybrid courses is available here.

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: begin online January 4, Intensive on campus: January 18-24


Students explore the book of Genesis, focusing on the theology of the book, the theological resources it offers and the questions it raises in Christian contexts. Historical, literary, canonical, and socio-cultural approaches inform theological reflection. Classroom time involves lectures and seminar-style discussion on required readings, and student coursework culminates in a substantial final paper or project.

  • Instructor: Dr. Andrea Saner
  • Credit Hours: 3
  • Schedule: begin online January 4, Intensive on campus: January 18-24

Pennsylvania Spring Hybrid Courses

If you are already an accepted student on either campus or through online courses you may register for EMS Lancaster using this form.

SMCL 547 L – Introduction to Leadership Coaching (2 credits) Hybrid course

This course fosters a coaching mindset and skills which help prepare pastors to lead more effectively in a complex and generative 21st century context. Coaching skills sharpen self-awareness, deepen team building, and cultivate ministry effectiveness.

  • Instructors: Dr. Phil Bergey and Anne K. Weaver, MSW
  • Schedule: Saturday, 8:30a.m.- 4:30pm, February 6, March 5 with online weekly components, Feb. 7 – March 12
  • Location: EMU Lancaster

BVNT 537 L – Ephesians/Colossians/Philippians (3 credits) Hybrid course

This course offers an inductive study of Philippians, Colossians, and Ephesians. Emphasis is on the link between the theological message, the contexts of the ancient Mediterranean, and the church settings.

  • Instructor: Dr. Laura Brenneman
  • Schedule: Friday & Saturday, 9:00am-5:00pm, Feb. 12-13, Mar. 11-12
  • Location: Conestoga Mennonite Church

SMCL 592 L – Preaching Institute (2 credits)

This course invites students and congregations to reinterpret the role of the sermon and the proclamation of the Good News in the gathered community. This will occur through intensive seminars, practice and reflection, and interaction with guests.

  • Instructor: Instructor Steve Kriss
  • Schedule: February – July
  • Location: TBD

Summer Online Course

Religious Imagination in Contemporary Culture (3 credits – online)

From the arts to film, from television to graphic novel, from music video to social media, the multimedia texts of our culture are filled with religious themes. Participants will join the instructor in exploring this landscape of popular culture, especially noting its religious themes. A brief time will be spent with foundational material in theological and media analysis theory. To imagine what is beneath the surface, is to be alert to the subtle and unexpected, to be open to new insights and to have one’s core assumptions challenged.

  • Schedule: May – June (7 weeks)
  • Instructor: Instructor James Siburt

See all our online courses

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