With the help of the internet, students, faculty and administrators from two Mennonite colleges in two different countries met on April 23 to launch something brand new in Mennonite higher education. The groups from Canadian Mennonite University in Winnipeg and Bethel College in North Newton, Kan., were celebrating the first issue, now live, of the Marpeck Undergraduate Research Journal (MURJ). The name is derived from a major source of financial support, the Marpeck Fund, set up by Robert S. Kreider and Gerald Kreider to foster exactly this kind of cooperation between the Mennonite colleges and seminaries in North America. The inaugural issue of MURJ comprises essays by six students—four from CMU and two from Bethel—in literature, philosophy, biblical studies, psychology and history. Leah Friesen, a 2018 Bethel graduate, and Alec Loganbill, current Bethel senior, along with CMU students Isaac Schlegel and Allegra Friesen Epp, spoke briefly about their experiences with this kind of scholarly publication; CMU students Micah Enns-Dyck and Emily Stobbe-Wiebe were not able to attend. The peer review process was new to the students, and all agreed it was a valuable and informative experience “that helped make us better writers,” Friesen Epp said. Access the first issue at marpeckjournal.bethelks.edu/ojs/index.php/Journal.
Robert Milliman, standing centre, Bethel College academic dean, gives brief remarks to Bethel faculty and staff in the room, and CMU faculty, administrators and students joining via Zoom, to mark the launch of the Marpeck Undergraduate Research Journal. Milliman's CMU counterpart, Jonathan Dueck, can be seen onscreen at bottom right. (Photo by Taylor Brown)