Weekend College

Hesston College Bible prof Nick Ladd teaching Biblical Literature

What is Weekend College?

Weekend College is an educational experience where Hesston College comes to you and your congregation or other group as a resource on a variety of topics. Led by Hesston College Bible faculty Nick Ladd, Michele Hershberger or Jessica Schrock-Ringenberg.

Weekend College course offerings

Anabaptist Theology – Michele Hershberger, faculty

So, why am I an Anabaptist? Or if I’m not, do I want to be? Is there any real difference between Anabaptist Christians and other Christians? If there are, what are the differences? Do those differences matter? And, most importantly, how closely do Anabaptists follow Jesus?

Join Michele Hershberger for Weekend College: Anabaptist Theology. Together, you’ll discuss the distinctive way Anabaptists read the Bible, follow Jesus, serve others, be the church, use power, love their enemies and bear witness. You’ll talk about the gifts and the weaknesses these distinctive views hold and you’ll see how these gifts connect with each other. Best yet, you’ll brainstorm ways to bring these Anabaptist gifts to your church, neighborhood and world.

Bible as Story – Nick Ladd, faculty

The Bible as Story is an abbreviated version of Hesston College’s famous Introduction to Biblical Literature course. Better known as Bib Lit, the course reveals the Bible as a narrative of God and the people of God instead of a compilation of stories.

If you want to

  • Make the Bible more user-friendly
  • Learn how to cross the “hermeneutical bridge”
  • See how each story works together
  • Help your congregation fall in love with the Bible all over again

Then you want Weekend College: The Bible as Story

Developing Congregational Leadership – Jessica Schrock-Ringenberg, faculty

Congregational Leadership, often called elders, deacons, the board, etc., are often asked to give tremendous amounts of time and energy to the congregation, especially in times of pastoral transitions or crisis. Frequently these congregational leaders rise to the occasion, but come to the end exhausted with few people feeling adequately prepared to take their place in leadership.

The CALL Program’s “Developing Congregational Leadership” Weekend College course provides training to enhance the ministry skills of congregational leadership and provides tools to develop and multiply the number of capable leaders within the congregation.

Five-fold Leadership – Jessica Schrock-Ringenberg, faculty

The fivefold ministry inventory dubbed by Alan Hirsh as “5Q” (fivefold intelligence) is a ministry orientation survey that looks at individual strengths and callings, as well as team strengths and callings, and Churchwide ministry functions.

What is your APEST orientation?

  • Apostle – Visionary, risk taker, pioneer, ground breaker, systems thinker (dynamic)
  • Prophet – Deep listener to the times and to the Holy Spirit. Identifies with the heart of God, seeks SHALOM and seeks to disturb to catalyze change
  • Evangelist – Infectious communicator, story teller, persuader, sells the message they believe
  • Shepherd – Guardian of the community, developer of relationships and persons, compassionate
  • Teacher – Ability to breakdown information into teachable pieces, grounded in data and proof, systems thinker (linear)

As the Apostle Paul envisioned the purposes of the Church in the book of Ephesians, he described the five ministries Jesus passed along to his disciples. All ministry functions are needed in order to develop as a mature body in the fullness of Christ.

Learn how to grow your capacity in the Fivefold Ministries – Coaching available!

Moving Toward Missional – Jessica Schrock-Ringenberg, faculty

Why is casting a Missional Vision or Mission Statement not enough? What keeps our churches from reaching out to our communities?

Moving your congregation toward being missional is kind of like driving to an unfamiliar destination in which you can see where you want to go, but you can’t immediately recognize which path will ultimately get you there.

You are already convinced a missional presence is necessary for the future of the Church. But what do you do after you have read the books, gone to the seminars and listened to the podcasts?

Moving toward Missional peels back the layers of culture that inhibit the Church from reaching the goals of our well dreamed out mission and vision statements. We start with Jesus and what he valued, and then we begin to look at how to move our congregation’s value system back to Jesus’.

Jesus’ approach was practical, simple and lived out in daily life. Ours should be too. Missional is not a quick fix, but it is more simple than you can imagine. Join the Center for Anabaptist Leadership and Learning’s Weekend College.

Why We Do Peace: Connecting Peacemaking with the Bible – Nick Ladd, faculty

As Anabaptists, following Jesus has always been about living like Jesus which means that we are people of peace in a world torn by violence.

But what about the wars in the Old Testament? What about Romans 13? Did Jesus actually mean for us to follow his teaching on being peacemakers?

Join us to explore the biblical foundations of the Anabaptist witness for Peacemaking, Justice and Reconciliation

Preaching that Changes Lives – Michele Hershberger, faculty

If you’d like to improve your preaching skills, try out new ways of organizing sermons or simply want to dip your toe into what it feels like to preach, then Weekend College: Preaching that Changes Lives is for you.

Hesston College’s own Michele Hershberger and selected guest preachers will lead this participatory event. Discuss and practice eight preaching principles, watch and evaluate different sermons and discover your authentic voice.

Typical Weekend College Schedule

  • Friday evening – two 90-minute sessions
  • Saturday – four 90-minute sessions
  • Sunday morning – one-hour question and answer followed by 30-minute sermon wrap-up

Weekend College Online Option

  • Developing Congregational Leadership is offered as an online synchronous coaching session with reading assignments and practical exercises that need to be completed between each coaching session. The online session is designed to fit into a regularly scheduled church leadership meeting schedule. Could be offered as a one-hour session every two weeks for six months, or a one-hour session every week for three months. Total of 12 hours.
  • Preaching that Changes Lives is an online Weekend College experience that features eight key preaching principles, exercises to improve your preaching and coaching from Hesston College faculty Michele Hershberger. Students will meet synchronously eight times, and those who prepare and present a final sermon will receive a certificate of completion for the course. This online course is offered in the spring.


Weekend College is offered to churches for $2000, plus travel, lodging and meal reimbursement to the faculty presenter. For groups of more than 100 people an additional $500 fee will be charged. This extra fee will be used in part to help Hesston College provide reduced costs to lower-income communities who want resourcing. Churches and communities who cannot afford the full rate may be eligible for a discounted rate. Churches are encouraged to charge their own participants a nominal fee in order to pay for expenses and to encourage individual buy-in and full participation.

To learn more about this experience, contact Jessica Schrock-Ringenberg at 419-551-1315 or jessica.schrock-ringenberg@hesston.edu