AMBS board appoints Boshart fourth president

Sep 11, 2019 by

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ELKHART, Ind. — The Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary board of directors announced its appointment of David W. Boshart as the seminary’s next president Sept. 10 at an all-campus meeting.

The Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary board of directors has appointed David W. Boshart as the seminary’s next president. His wife, Shana Peachey Boshart, is Mennonite Church USA denominational minister for faith formation and a 2017 AMBS alumna. — Melissa Troyer/AMBS

The Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary board of directors has appointed David W. Boshart as the seminary’s next president. His wife, Shana Peachey Boshart, is Mennonite Church USA denominational minister for faith formation and a 2017 AMBS alumna. — Melissa Troyer/AMBS

Boshart — of Wellman, Iowa, a conference minister and former pastor who completed a two-year term as moderator of Mennonite Church USA in July — will begin serving Jan. 1. Vice president and academic dean Beverly Lapp will continue as acting president until then.

Boshart will be the fourth president since Goshen Biblical Seminary and Mennonite Biblical Seminary incorporated as Associated (now Anabaptist) Mennonite Biblical Seminary in 1994. He succeeds Sara Wenger Shenk, who retired June 30 after nine years as president.

“David Boshart embodies the core values of Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary and, on behalf of the search committee, I am delighted he has accepted our invitation to serve as our next president,” said Miriam Book of Lititz, Pa., a member of the board of directors and search committee chair, in a news release. “He brings the preferred attributes of experience in pastoral and church leadership, administration and education identified by stakeholders both on campus and throughout Mennonite Church USA and Mennonite Church Canada.”

Boshart was the unanimous choice of the presidential search committee and received strong support from the board. Both groups noted their belief that he will be a transformational leader, bringing a deep love for the institution, commitment to its vision and mission, passion for educating and equipping pastors and leaders, a collaborative leadership style and gifts for bringing people together.

AMBS cited broad campus enthusiasm for Boshart’s appointment as president, including unanimous support from teaching faculty.

“David’s proven track record of interculturally competent leadership, his vision for how the seminary might serve the whole church, and his passion for the nuts and bolts of theological education make him a great fit as the next president of AMBS,” said Jamie Pitts, search committee teaching faculty representative.

AMBS board chair Bruce Baergen noted in a separate release that the search process included a time of “extended discernment” that included outreach to and listening sessions with the AMBS community and the wider church to gather a diversity of perspectives.

After announcing Boshart as its candidate of choice, the search committee heard both affirmations and concerns and entered a time of “extended discernment” on July 4. No further details have been released.

Since 2010, Boshart served as executive conference minister for MC USA’s Central Plains Mennonite Conference. As part of this role, he supported emerging congregations and a partnership with Mennonite Mission Network and Iglesia Cristiana Menonita de Colombia (Colombia Mennonite Church) in support of Anabaptist networks in Ecua­dor and Venezuela. He pastored for more than 25 years in congregations in Iowa and Virginia and served on the MC USA Executive Board since 2007. He has also served on the AMBS board as both a member and chair.

Boshart has a doctorate in leadership studies with an emphasis in missional theology from the School of Education at Andrews University in Berrien Springs, Mich., and a master of arts in religion degree with a major in New Testament theology from Eastern Mennonite Seminary in Harrisonburg, Va.

He has taught at AMBS as an adjunct faculty member and also taught an online introduction to theological studies course as part of a pilot program for Hmong students.


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