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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."

Jeff Foster
(Certificate of Achievement in Theological Studies)

JeffFor nine years I felt the leading of God to ministry. I began my academic journey thinking that I had God all figured out. This journey began at Moody Bible Institute for several semesters, where I gleaned perspective on missions and evangelism. Because of a full-time missionary role, I suspended Moody classes to concentrate on raising support. During that time God began to speak to me about the overall disunity in our Christian church. I came to the conclusion that unity within the body of Christ is the best way to reach lost souls with greater depth. I started exploring the Anabaptist teaching and specifically the way the Church of the Brethren strives toward this vision of unity and reconciliation.