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Focus On Education

PACS grads create a strong society

During his MPACS internship, Darren Kropf, left, worked at Border Peace School in Cheorwon, South Korea, where he taught peace education and advised on program development of a new peace school seeking reconciliation and reunification of the Koreas. (Photo courtesy of Darren Kropf)

Focus On Education | By Kelly Brown | Oct 04, 2017

At Conrad Grebel University College, parents of prospective peace and conflict studies (PACS) students often ask, “What kind of job will my child get after graduation?” What we say with confidence is that an undergraduate or graduate PACS degree equips students with highly sought-after skills in today’s job market. This kind of education leaves the door open to a multitude of fields, some of which are yet to be created, fields that will require adaptable minds, critical thinking, strong interpersonal skills and the ability to thrive in challenging environments.  

A passionate advocate for Mennonite education

Dennis Wikerd

Focus On Education | By David Lobe | Oct 04, 2017 | 2 comments

Mennonite institutions endure based on the hard work and dedication of those who believe in their impact on individuals and the broader community. On Jan. 31, 2018, Rockway Mennonite Collegiate will lose a passionate advocate for Mennonite education, one the school will sorely miss, when Dennis Wikerd retires as the school’s assistant principal after 39 years of service.

Canadian MBA students explore the common good

Graduate students in the Collaborative MBA discuss elements of leadership during a residency on the campus of Bluffton University. From the top left is Anna Herdeck of Chicago; Gordon Damien of Winnipeg; Annalisa Brenneman, with Mennonite Central Committee in Cambodia; Marcus Ebright Zehr and Ben Bontrager, both of Goshen, Ind.; and Adara Kaita of Winnipeg. (Bluffton University photo)

Focus On Education | Oct 04, 2017

Ten graduate students, including five Canadian Mennonite University students, gathered on the campus of Bluffton University for a week in August for the fourth annual Collaborative MBA (master of business administration) residency. While the students began as strangers from vastly different backgrounds, they left with newfound ideas on leadership and lasting bonds.

“It’s a big commitment, but I like learning, and I think it’s going to be worth it,” said Jim Cheng, who works at Canadian Mennonite University (CMU) in Winnipeg.

Learning to be vulnerable

Isaac Schlegel. (MCI photo)

Focus On Education | By Isaac Schlegel | Oct 04, 2017

I graduated from Mennonite Collegiate Institute (MCI) in Gretna, Man., in 2016, and it is where I first learned to be vulnerable.

Vulnerability is exposure, letting our true self shine through the layers of defence we build up around it. It is full, undaunted expression. Self-expression will mean something different to each person, but for me it meant finding my voice through singing.

I was sceptical about the idea of singing in choir. Singing has a certain association with impending judgment. I felt like it was too risky, too open to criticism.

AMBS grads called to engage the ‘whole of life’

Mary H. Schertz, professor of New Testament, gives the address at the 2017 commencement ceremony of Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary, Elkhart, Ind. Behind Schertz are Sara Wenger Shenk, left, and Rebecca Slough, AMBS’s president and academic dean, respectively.

Focus On Education | By Annette Brill Bergstresser | Jun 14, 2017

Mary H. Schertz encouraged Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary (AMBS) graduates, including Canadian Lee Allan Hiebert of Winnipeg, to hold close “the weariness and wonder of the world and the sorrow and joy of human being” in her commencement address on May 20 at College Mennonite Church in Goshen, Ind.

“And there, in whatever exciting thing you do next . . . you will meet the face and grace of God,” she told them. “You will find sturdy hope; you will find the joy of being a disciple; you will find ways to witness to the dawn breaking upon us from on high.”

An exciting first step

The Shekinah Centre as seen from the top of the hill. (Photo by Jason Hosler)

Focus On Education | By Jill Wiens | Jan 25, 2017

I live in one of the most beautiful places on the Prairies. The Shekinah Retreat Centre is situated in the North Saskatchewan River Valley. Northeast of my house, a deep ravine funnels a beaver-filled creek into the wide river below. God’s presence is ubiquitous here, a place that has been significant to my development since I attended summer camp at Shekinah when I was 7.

Rooted in faith or academia

Justony Vasquez of Winnipeg is pictured in Poland, where she attended World Youth Day last summer. (Photo courtesy of Justony Vasquez)

Focus On Education | By Allison Courey | Jan 25, 2017

When Justony Vasquez decided to be part of World Youth Day in Poland last summer, she had no idea that the venture would land her at Canadian Mennonite University (CMU). In her final year of high school, she’d already received acceptance and a scholarship to another university. She can only explain the last-minute change as something “Spirit-led.”

Engineering bright futures for students

Grade 2 students Daniella, Makayla and Mackenzie display one of their STEM creations. (WMEMS photo)

Focus On Education | Jan 25, 2017

Before taking the STEM  program, which incorporates science, technology, engineering and math, Mackenzie, a Grade 2 student at Winnipeg Mennonite Elementary and Middle Schools, wasn’t exactly sure what she wanted to be when she grows up. After spending some time working on a team designing and building projects, she has made her decision: “I want to be a builder,” she says, “just like my dad.”

‘Do not neglect to do good’

Jonathan Smith, Mariak Achuoth, Mark Whyte and Liban Farah participated in the Hult Prize competition at the University of Waterloo last November, aiming to restore the rights and dignities of refugees. (Photo by Darin White)

Focus On Education | By Jennifer Konkle | Jan 25, 2017

Conrad Grebel University College students Mark Whyte, Mariak Achuoth, Jonathan Smith and Liban Farah accepted a challenge last fall: Build a social enterprise that restores the rights and dignities of refugees. The team participated in the Hult Prize Challenge, the world’s largest student competition for social good, competing for $1 million in start-up funding to launch a sustainable social venture.

Alumnus heads to Nepal to serve as general surgeon

Frieda, Becky, Silas, Nick and Salema Bauman will spend the next two years in Nepal, where Nick will serve as a general surgeon at Tansen Hospital in Kathmandu.

Focus On Education | By Christine M. Rier | Jan 25, 2017

Nicholaus “Nick” Bauman (nee Erb), a Rockway Mennonite Collegiate graduate (Class of ’97) and general surgeon, and his spouse, Becky Bauman, are heading to Kathmandu, Nepal, the largest Himalayan state in Asia. For the next two years, Nick will serve as a general surgeon at Tansen Hospital, teaching post-graduate students.

Build a bigger table, not a higher fence

Ted and Darlene Enns Dyck receive Conrad Grebel University College’s 2016 Distinguished Alumni Service Award. (Photo by Dave Rogalsky)

Focus On Education | By Dave Rogalsky | Oct 05, 2016

Ted and Darlene Enns Dyck came in the late 1980s to Conrad Grebel College in Waterloo, Ont., from Winnipeg, Manitoba’s urban capital. When they completed their time at Grebel, they felt a call to co-pastor and expected to do that in “more liberal” southern Ontario. But no call came to them from there.

‘One team’ at MCI

MCI student leaders, 2015-16. (Photo by Vienna Peters)

Focus On Education | Oct 05, 2016

Our purpose at Mennonite Collegiate Institute (MCI) in Gretna, Man., is to educate young people in an Anabaptist/Christian context, seeking to develop their God-given potential in terms of physical, intellectual, aesthetic, emotional, social and spiritual well-being, and to develop in them an appreciation of our Mennonite heritage.

Our aim is that our students accept Christ as Lord and that they be disciples who express Christian hope by serving others, promoting peace and providing Christlike leadership within the church community and secular world.

A learning community

A snapshot of RJC students who live in community. Pictured from left to right, front row: Jerry Tang, Nerissa Klassen and Daniel Perrault; and back row: Connor Friesen, Shayleen Bill and Emily Heppner.

Focus On Education | By Jim Epp | Oct 05, 2016

I recently enjoyed a visit with a Rosthern (Sask.) Junior College (RJC) alumnus whose graduating class is from decades past. There were many smiles as we talked about old classmates, teammates, teachers and coaches. His stories were certainly evidence that RJC is a place where one makes friendships that last a lifetime, and that RJC has been a true learning community for generations.

EMU expands restorative-justice course catalogue

Carl Stauffer

Focus On Education | By Lauren Jefferson | Oct 05, 2016

This fall, Eastern Mennonite University’s Center for Justice and Peacebuilding (CJP) debuted an expanded course catalogue featuring its new MA in Restorative Justice program. In keeping with CJP’s long-established leadership in the field of restorative justice, the degree is the first of its kind offered by a traditional, residential graduate program at any North American university.

‘The heart of our song’

Ann L. Schultz, a 1984 Rockway Mennonite Collegiate grad, conducts the school’s alumni reunion choir in June. (Photo by Jo Scott)

Focus On Education | By Dave Lobe | Oct 05, 2016

On a hot June weekend, more than 100 Rockway Mennonite Collegiate alumni rehearsed, relived and performed a Rockway choral experience.

Three beloved choral directors—Jan Overduin, Robert L. Shantz and Ann L. Shultz, a 1984 graduate—each chose a hymn and two pieces that, with prayer and reflections, were melded into a moving, worshipful experience.

CMU recognizes distinguished alumni with 2016 awards

Peter Guenther

Focus On Education | Oct 05, 2016

Two members of Mennonite Church Canada congregations are among four recipients of 2016 Distinguished Alumni Awards from Canadian Mennonite University (CMU):

Schools report on 2016 fall enrolment

Focus On Education | Oct 05, 2016


Preliminary fall enrolment figures at Canadian Mennonite University (CMU) in Winnipeg show stability of student registrations across all programs, with an overall full-time equivalent (FTE) of 829. Fall registrations at the university’s Shaftesbury campus have increased over last year by 2 percent, with 630 students and a FTE of 561. Marginal growth reflects an increase in international student enrolment. Registrations at CMU’s downtown site, Menno Simons College, also are stable, with a FTE of 268.

Students in STEM programs thrive at Grebel

STEM students Charly Phillips, left, Katrina Sikkens, Sonya Dyck and Amanda Enns find themselves thriving at Conrad Grebel University College and the University of Waterloo.

Focus On Education | By Jennifer Konkle | Jan 27, 2016

Conrad Grebel University College is home to a diverse mix of students studying in all six faculties at the University of Waterloo (UofW) in Ontario. In partnership with UofW, Grebel aims to boost female student participation in Science, Technology, Engineering, Math (STEM) programs, thereby increasing the potential for future female leaders. Grebel is well-positioned to support students in these traditionally male-dominated disciplines.

Rockway reduces stigma one tweet at a time

Rockway Mennonite Collegiate’s ‘Stop Stigma’ campaign team members are, from left to right: Veronica Li, Hanna Liu, Tara Vojinovic and Abbey Young.

Focus On Education | Jan 27, 2016

Four Grade 11 students at Rockway Mennonite Collegiate have taken an innovative approach to a class project, and it has been making a difference in their community and beyond.

Because we’re neighbours

James and Sarah Lynn Bergen perform at a fundraiser for Syrian refugees at Mennonite Collegiate Institute’s Buhler Hall before Christmas. (Photo courtesy of Mennonite Collegiate Institute)

Focus On Education | Jan 27, 2016

Buhler Hall, on the campus of Mennonite Collegiate Institute (MCI), played host to a very special coffee house last December. The event was motivated by compassion for a multitude of displaced Syrians; further inspiration came from Mennonite Central Committee and the bold steps taken by Build a Village, a local charity, to welcome five new families to Altona, Man. (See “A town that welcomes refugees.”

EMU announces new MBA program director

David Brubaker

Focus On Education | Jan 27, 2016

David Brubaker, who joined the faculty of the Eastern Mennonite University (EMU) Center for Justice and Peacebuilding (CJP) in 2004 with a specialty in organizational development, will become the new director of EMU’s MBA program, where he has taught a course in organizational behaviour for each of the past nine years. In recent years, the MBA program has been developing a defined identity around its long-held emphasis on business leadership that looks beyond profits to measure success.

Back to class

Focus On Education | Sep 23, 2015

Miraya Groot follows Mac Wallace, Zack Strike, and Brendan Paetkau as Conrad Grebel University College students unload the last of their residence room furniture before the first week of classes. Just as Grebel students share their treasured school traditions, well-loved skybunks and couches also get passed along from one year to the next. (Photo by Jennifer Konkle)

Back at the Grebel table

Fine arts student Margaret Gissing poses with a silverware sculpture she created with her father Gus Gissing, a Conrad Grebel University College alumnus. The sculpture represents the many people involved at Grebel and the different gifts they each bring to the table. (Photo by Jennifer Konkle)

Focus On Education | By Jennifer Konkle | Sep 23, 2015

Eager faces showing a little bit of nervousness arrived at Conrad Grebel University College on Labour Day for the new school year. Young adults from across Canada, as well as some international students, moved into the Grebel residence ready to study in a wide variety of programs, including music, engineering, applied health studies, peace and conflict studies, chemistry, religious studies, kinesiology and computer science, among many others.

Enrolment up in Mennonite universities

Dick Benner
Focus On Education | By Dick Benner | Sep 23, 2015

Enrolment numbers for new first-year students are up—or even—to 2014 figures in five Mennonite universities and colleges in Canada and the U.S. where Canadians are enrolled, according to statistics gathered by Canadian Mennonite for the fall semester.