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Berry Concludes Tenure at Bethany

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Malinda Berry, assistant professor of theological studies and director of the MA program at Bethany Seminary, has announced that she is taking the position of assistant professor of theology and ethics at Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary (AMBS) in Elkhart, Indiana, effective July 1, 2014. As an active presence in Mennonite Church USA and a graduate of AMBS, Berry has an opportunity to contribute to her home denomination in this new position.

Berry began her tenure at Bethany in the fall of 2009, teaching a range of courses in theology and guiding MA students in research and the writing of theses. President Jeff Carter acknowledged her accomplishments during her time at the Seminary, including establishing a distance learning Connections track for the MA program and giving leadership to the strengthening of the MA curriculum during the Seminary’s recent curriculum review.

“Bethany will always have a special place in my heart because it’s where I had my first full-time teaching post,” said Berry. “Moreover, during these past several years, I have gained valuable experience teaching a rich array of courses in theological studies, learning about the changing face of theological education, and reflecting on big ideas like how to structure and assess a curriculum. I will take all of that with me. I also hope that thanks to the relationships I have formed with my colleagues here, there will be opportunity for Bethany and AMBS to work together as both schools remain denominationally rooted and grow ecumenical connections.”

Steven Schweitzer, academic dean, remarked on Berry’s “encouraging, inviting presence, marked by creativity and deep questions to her teaching. She has enabled our students to engage in thoughtful, careful theological reflection. In our recent curriculum review process, Malinda provided valuable insights that helped both of our degree programs to be flexible and focused, and better as a result. Malinda's time among us will continue to benefit Bethany, our students, and the church for years to come."

Matt Wollam-Berens
(MDiv Connections)

MattIsaiah 55:1-3
"Everyone who thirsts,
come to the water . . .
Why spend your money
for what is not bread,
and your labor for that
which does not satisfy?"

For me, discovering Bethany was like finding a stream of living water in the desert. Jesus walked out of the desert after being baptized by his cousin John and proclaimed, "Reform your lives, the Kingdom of God is here!" And then he called his first disciples. He did not first make them recite a creed, he did not give them dogma, or theology. He simply said, "Follow me."