I am grateful for Lloyd Kaufman’s affirmation for my role as president at Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary and the positive reflection on times we worked together in Central Plains Mennonite Conference (Letters, Aug. 4). He raises an important question about the connection between a shortage of trained people to lead the church and our institutions graduating few such leaders.
While statistics can vary from year to year, our records show that a majority of AMBS graduates do find their way to congregational leadership upon graduation or soon thereafter. Our data also is clear that leaders educated at AMBS receive an excellent foundation to thrive in many leadership roles. One consequence of increasing distance education is that we are graduating fewer new pastors for the church because many of our graduates are already in pastoral roles, studying from their context of ministry.
Where are the new pastors? Where they have always been — in congregations. It is an essential ministry for every congregation to regularly ask the question, “Who is God calling to be prepared to be leaders for the church?” When those people have been identified and encouraged to receive the excellent training Mennonite seminaries have to offer, AMBS and Eastern Mennonite Seminary are here to help.
David Boshart, Elkhart, Ind.