Mennonite colleges, universities and seminaries already offer a variety of programs, partnerships and scholarships that can benefit urban students or underrepresented groups. Conferences and congregations have their own programs that can make education more attractive to students or potential church leaders.
Most Mennonite institutions make available various forms of distance-learning opportunities and urban peace centers often offer continuing education courses.
Below are just some of the possibilities available:
!Explore: A Theological Program for High School Youth – Associated Mennonite Biblical Seminary
The 18-day program includes six days at Amigo Centre to learn skills in leadership development and spiritual discipline, six days in an urban area with DOOR (Discovering Opportunities for Outreach and Reflection) examining ministry and theological issues in an urban setting and six days on campus taking mini-classes and learning about Anabaptist history and pastoral styles. The program also includes a congregational component where youth will focus on pastoral tasks, spiritual discipline and theological issues.
Instituto Biblico Anabautista
IBA includes 23 centers available to 115 Spanish-speaking congregations throughout the United States and Canada. In two years, participants can earn a certificate; four years of study earns a diploma. The program is for people who are called to be church planters, pastors, teachers, church leaders or evangelists or who wish more training for the leadership positions they already hold.
Journey: A Conference-based Leadership Development Program – AMBS
Journey is jointly sponsored by AMBS and interested regional Mennonite conferences, including Central District Conference and Indiana-Michigan Mennonite Conference. The program provides Mennonite theological education to church leaders without bachelor's degrees or Mennonite/Anabaptist seminary background. AMBS encourages participants both to engage in the program and to move toward eventual seminary enrollment.
LEAP (Learning, Exploring and Participating) – Eastern Mennonite Seminary
LEAP is designed to bring together a diverse group of North American high school students for a month of bonding, cross-cultural training and missions work that includes an on-campus orientation session, travel to another culture, and return reflection. LEAP encourages students in theological reflection, vocational exploration and cross-cultural experience. LEAP partners EMS with Virginia Mennonite Board of Missions, Eastern Mennonite Missions, Philadelphia Mennonite High School and Calvary Community Church in Hampton, Va.
Pastoral Studies Distance Education – AMBS
PSDE is a program for active pastors called to the ministry without college or seminary training or congregational leaders wanting training to prepare for ministry. The program offers individual, college-level study with minimal time away from current duties. More than a correspondence course, each unit has an instructor who interacts with the student several times during the unit. Each student also has a mentor in their geographical area.
School for Urban Mission – Center for Anabaptist Leadership, Pasadena, Calif., and Hesston College
School for Urban Mission is an accredited extension program of the Hesston College Pastoral Ministries Program, offering basic pastoral and leadership training for emerging Anabaptist urban leaders and Hesston College credit through a four-course, 12-unit certificate in urban mission. The courses are tailored specifically for urban ministry and connected with Pacific Southwest Mennonite Conference.
Seminario Biblico Anabautista – Western District Conference and AMBS
The two-year certificate program is based in Dallas for pastors who need further training for ministry in the Spanish language.
Seminary Consortium for Urban Pastoral Education
Created in 1976 to meet Chicago’s need for experienced pastors with training in urban issues and systems, SCUPE partners with churches, academic institutions (including AMBS), denominations and community agencies to provide training and experience for leaders.
SCUPE offers a number of educational and consultation programs to serve the needs of urban pastors, churches, denominations, seminaries, community development organizations, and other urban ministries.