Update: In October 2020, Mennonite Church Eastern Canada announced the termination of the ministerial credentials of John D. Rempel, on the basis of ministerial sexual misconduct. To learn more, see ‘Credentials terminated for theologian-academic-pastor.’
Dr. John Rempel of Elkhart, IN, was named by Conrad Grebel University College as the next director of the Toronto Mennonite Theological Centre at the Toronto School of Theology. He will retire from Associated Mennonite Biblical Seminary as professor of Historical Theology and Anabaptist Studies at the end of the current academic year to begin his part-time responsibilities at TMTC in fall 2012.
Rempel will direct the academic partnership between CGUC and TST and the student programs of TMTC. He and other Grebel faculty will teach Mennonite and Anabaptist courses in the graduate programs of TST, continuing the tradition established by the late Dr. Jim Reimer more than 20 years ago. Rempel will also mentor Mennonite students at TST, organize forums and conferences with TMTC students, and communicate the TMTC vision and activities to the public.
"We are thrilled to welcome John Rempel as Director of TMTC," said Dr. Jim Pankratz, Dean of Conrad Grebel University College. "He is highly regarded at Grebel and familiar with TST. He has rich experience as a chaplain, pastor, MCC representative, and seminary professor. Those who know John will understand why we are confident that his deep commitment to students and to the Church and his wide-ranging expertise in Mennonite theology will enrich the TMTC student community and raise the profile of Mennonite and Anabaptist studies at TST."
Rempel is fascinated by the intersection of Anabaptist ways of thinking with the broader world of TST and U of T. “I am excited by the prospect of ongoing conversations with graduate students whose identity is formed at that intersection”
Having spent “many years in New York City in the midst of church encounters with many religious and secular worldviews, as well as some years at AMBS within an intensely Mennonite community,” Rempel looks forward to bringing that experience “into the encounter with many worldviews and out of that be a resource to the Mennonite Church.”
Reflecting on TMTC founder, Jim Reimer’s contribution to TMTC, Rempel states: “My understanding of Jim's dream is threefold. Jim's vision was to provide a Mennonite point of reference and community for graduate students, to challenge Mennonites to speak their understanding of being Christian into a cosmopolitan world, as well as learning from it, within TST as well as U of T as a whole, and finally, to model the inner unity between scholarship and piety.”
Conrad Grebel recognizes the recent coordinators of TMTC - Jonathan Seiling, Christina Reimer, and Sarah Freeman - who kept the student program at TMTC active and vital during the past four years. Pankratz predicts that “John will build on what they have done and in addition will greatly increase our teaching and mentoring role at TST.”