ELKHART — Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary faculty, staff and students gathered for an all-campus meeting last week to hear the AMBS Presidential Search Committee’s announcement of David W. Boshart, of Wellman, Iowa, as the candidate of choice for the next president of the seminary.
Boshart visited the AMBS campus Monday and Tuesday to participate in meetings with faculty, staff, students and administration. The search committee will review feedback received during the visit and was expected to present a final recommendation to the AMBS board of directors by the end of June.
“David’s extensive leadership experience in the Church will serve him and AMBS very well,” Miriam Book of Lititz, Pennsylvania, search committee chair and a member of the AMBS board, said in a release. “His roles as pastor, teacher, and conference and denominational leader have uniquely prepared him for leading the seminary at this time. He is a warm conversationalist and storyteller who will collaboratively lead the seminary in living out its mission and values in the church and world.”
Since 2010, Boshart has served as executive conference minister for Central Plains Mennonite Conference (CPMC) of Mennonite Church USA. He also is appointed associate professor in the School of Education at Andrews University in Berrien Springs, Michigan, where he teaches courses in leadership studies. Prior to his work with CPMC, he served as a pastor for more than 25 years in Mennonite congregations in Iowa and Virginia. He is currently moderator of Mennonite Church USA (2017-19), having served on the denomination’s Executive Board since 2007 and on the board’s Executive Committee since 2008.
“After 33 years in church leadership, my sense of call is shifting to nurturing the next generation of leaders,” said Boshart. “I am deeply humbled to be invited by the AMBS board to be the candidate of choice for president.”
In April, Boshart was appointed by the AMBS board to serve as assistant professor of missional leadership and pastoral care, beginning in the 2019-20 academic year. If he is confirmed as president, AMBS will conduct a new search for the faculty position.
“My candidacy for the role of professor earlier this year gave me the opportunity to get acquainted with the faculty and students firsthand,” he said. “I was deeply impressed by the faculty’s commitment to the seminary’s mission of serving the church, and the students exude an earnest desire to grow in their sense of God’s call in their lives.”
“Dr. Boshart brings transformational thinking during a time when theological education is undergoing major shifts,” said David Brubacher of Vineland, Ontario, Canada, a member of both the AMBS board and the search committee. “We are grateful that he has a deep understanding of the shifts in both the church and theological education.”
Boshart earned a Ph.D. in Leadership Studies with an emphasis in Missional Theology from the School of Education at Andrews University; a Master of Arts in Religion with a major in New Testament Theology from Eastern Mennonite Seminary; and a Bachelor of Arts in Biblical Studies and Theology from Eastern Mennonite College (now University), both in Harrisonburg, Virginia.
An active scholar, he has contributed to more than 15 peer-reviewed publications, policy documents and book reviews. His doctoral dissertation was published as Becoming Missional: Denominations and New Church Development in Complex Social Contexts (Wipf and Stock, 2010).
“On behalf of the board, we are greatly appreciative of the work of the Presidential Search Committee and are thrilled to move to the next phase of the process with Dr. David Boshart as our candidate of choice,” said Bruce Baergen of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, AMBS board chair. “Dr. Boshart is deeply rooted in Anabaptist faith, and we are pleased he has answered the call to engage with the AMBS campus community.”
Located in Elkhart, Indiana, Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary is a learning community with an Anabaptist vision, offering theological education for learners both on campus and at a distance, including a wide array of lifelong learning programs — all with the goal of educating followers of Jesus Christ to be leaders for God’s reconciling mission in the world. ambs.edu