Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary (Elkhart, Indiana, USA)

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Officers and board of Mennonite Biblical Seminary signing agreement to create Associated Mennonite Biblical Seminaries; seated left to right, Jesse N. Smucker, board vice president; Robert L. Hartzler, board secretary; A. S. Rosenberger, board president; Elmer Baumgartner, treasurer; Erland Waltner, seminary president; Olin Krehbiel; standing left to right, Arnold Nickel, William Keeney, Amos E. Kreider, Willard Claassen, John Wichert, J. Herbert Fretz, Earl Salzman -- 1958

Beginning with the academic year 1958-59 the Mennonite Biblical Seminary of Elkhart, Indiana, and the Goshen College Biblical Seminary of Goshen, Indiana, entered a cooperative relationship known under the descriptive name, The Associated Mennonite Biblical Seminaries (AMBS). By action of the boards of control of the two seminaries, following a Memorandum of Agreement defining and regulating the relationship, a plan of academic cooperation had been set up which provided certain substantial advantages for both schools, while retaining the academic, organizational, and financial independence of each. Provision was made for later adherence of other Mennonite bodies to the Association, and at the time it was hoped that the Association might ultimately become a general center of ministerial and missionary training for the Mennonite brotherhood of North America. The headquarters of the Association were placed on the Elkhart campus. An Institute for Mennonite Studies, also located on the same campus, was established as a conjoint operation of the Associated Seminaries.

The following joint committees directed and served the co-operative program: (a) the Joint Coordinating Committee representing the boards of control, functioning for the general supervision of the cooperation; (b) the Joint Administrative Committee representing the seminaries, composed of the president and dean of each associated seminary, and one representative of each affiliated seminary, to be administratively responsible for the day-to-day functioning of the cooperative program; (c) the Joint Library Committee, responsible for the co-ordination of the library program by which the libraries of the two schools function as an operating unit.

In addition to the regular offerings by each seminary of its own required and elective courses, the Associated Seminaries provided a program of joint-course offerings, to be normally given on the Elkhart campus, sufficient to make it possible for a student to take one fourth to one third of his or her curriculum choices in the conjoint program. In addition, cross-registration by students in the regular offerings of all associated seminaries was permitted by consent of the deans involved.

Under Ross T. Bender, who became dean of both seminaries in 1964, the curricula of the two seminaries were gradually brought together. In 1969, Goshen Biblical Seminary moved to the Elkhart campus. Marlin E. Miller became president of Goshen Biblical Seminary in 1975 and in 1990 he also became president of Mennonite Biblical Seminary. His leadership brought AMBS to the step of incorporating as one seminary.

On 28 August 2012 the seminary formally celebrated a new name -- Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary.


Associated Mennonite Biblical Seminary. "History." Accessed 11 March 2008. <>.

Additional Information

Address: 3003 Benham Avenue, Elkhart, Indiana

Phone: 574-295-3726



Map:Associated Mennonite Biblical Seminary

Author(s) Harold S. Bender
Richard D. Thiessen
Date Published August 2012

Cite This Article

MLA style

Bender, Harold S. and Richard D. Thiessen. "Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary (Elkhart, Indiana, USA)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. August 2012. Web. 14 Aug 2018.,_Indiana,_USA)&oldid=139744.

APA style

Bender, Harold S. and Richard D. Thiessen. (August 2012). Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary (Elkhart, Indiana, USA). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 14 August 2018, from,_Indiana,_USA)&oldid=139744.


Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 4, p. 1060. All rights reserved.

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