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Celebrating AMBS Graduates

Posted on: May 24, 2022

Evan J. Beck of Goshen, Indiana, graduated with a Graduate Certificate in Theological Studies. He plans to attend medical school at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.

Beck previously earned a Bachelor of Arts in Molecular Biology/Biochemistry from Goshen (Indiana) College. His home congregations are Waterford Mennonite Church in Goshen and Belmont Mennonite Church in Elkhart — both congregations of Indiana-Michigan Mennonite Conference of Mennonite Church USA.

“I have thoroughly appreciated my time at AMBS,” Beck reflected. “I am fortunate to be part of a community that values questions and new perspectives on faith, theology and life. My understanding of Anabaptist theology and history has greatly expanded, and I look forward to applying these new lessons personally and vocationally.”

Rodney J.S. Deaton of Granger, Indiana, graduated with a Graduate Certificate in Theological Studies. He plans to pursue a Master of Divinity with a major in Theological Studies: Biblical Studies through AMBS while continuing work as an inpatient psychiatrist for the Franciscan Health System of Northwest Indiana.

Deaton previously earned a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana; a Doctor of Medicine from Indiana University School of Medicine in Indianapolis; and a Juris Doctor from Harvard Law School in Cambridge, Massachusetts. His home congregation is Belmont Mennonite Church in Elkhart, a congregation of Indiana-Michigan Mennonite Conference of Mennonite Church USA. He is married to Julie M. Deaton, and they have three adult children.

Karen J. Martinez, who is Garifuna, originally from Honduras and currently from Goshen, Indiana, was honored during the Commencement Service. She anticipates graduating in August 2022 with a Master of Divinity with a major in Chaplaincy after completing her Clinical Pastoral Education training.

In the future, Martinez would like to bridge her psychological experience with a pastoral ministry assignment. She previously earned a Master of Social Work from Fordham University in the Bronx, New York. She attends College Mennonite Church in Goshen, a congregation of Indiana-Michigan Mennonite Conference of Mennonite Church USA. She is married to Daniel F. Gutierrez, and they have three daughters. Her parents are Nestor V. Martinez and Dominga Guity.

“I had a great experience at AMBS, learning about theology and the different contexts around theology,” Martinez reflected. “It was amazing to learn more about the Bible and different interpretations of it — a knowledge that I did not have before.”

Marisa Smucker of Goshen, Indiana, was honored during the Commencement Service. She anticipates graduating in December 2022 with a Master of Arts in Christian Formation. She plans to continue serving as Senior Executive for Ventures for Mennonite Mission Network in Elkhart.

Smucker previously earned a Bachelor of Arts in Social Work from Goshen College. Her home congregation is Belmont Mennonite Church in Elkhart, a congregation of Indiana-Michigan Mennonite Conference of Mennonite Church USA. Her mother is Dorothy Smucker of Goshen.

“Being able to study at an Anabaptist seminary while working for Mennonite Mission Network has enhanced both my study experience and my work with pastors, congregations and conferences,” Smucker reflected. “I have enjoyed the various opportunities to engage as a part-time student living off campus. I have greatly appreciated learning from the professors and students from diverse backgrounds.”