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Our Family Of Colleges None can stop the Spirit Burning now inside us. We will shape the future. We will not be silent!

spring 2009

emu... preparing students to serve and lead globally | crossroads | 1

vol. 89, No. 3

crossroads spring 2009, Vol. 89, No. 3

Crossroads (USPS 174-860) is published three times a year by Eastern Mennonite University for distribution to 16,000 alumni, students, parents and friends. A leader among faith-based universities, Eastern Mennonite University emphasizes peacebuilding, creation care, experiential learning, and cross-cultural engagement. Founded in 1917 in Harrisonburg, Virginia, EMU offers undergraduate, graduate, and seminary degrees that prepare students to serve and lead in a global context. EMU's mission statement is posted in its entirety at Board of Trustees: Susan Godshall, chair, Mount Joy, Pa.; John M. Bomberger, Harrisonburg, Va.; Andrew Dula, Lancaster, Pa.; Gilberto Flores, Newton, Kan.; Curtis D. Hartman, Harrisonburg, Va.; Shirley Hochstetler, Kidron, Ohio; Gerald (Gerry) R. Horst, New Holland, Pa.; Joan King, Telford, Pa.; Linford D. King, Lancaster, Pa.; Herb H. Noll, Lancaster, Pa.; Kathleen (Kay) Nussbaum, Grant, Minn.; Kathy Keener Shantz, Lancaster, Pa.; J. Richard Thomas, Ronks, Pa.; Lillis Troyer, Walnut Creek, Ohio; Diane Z. Umble, Lancaster, Pa.; Paul R. Yoder, Jr., Harrisonburg, Va. Associate trustees: Myron E. Blosser, Harrisonburg, Va.; Steve Brenneman, Nappanee, Ind.; Robert (Bob) P. Hostetler, Erie, Pa.; Charlotte Hunsberger, Souderton, Pa.; Clyde G. Kratz, Broadway, Va.; Amy L. Rush, Harrisonburg, Va.; Dan Garber, Hutchinson, Kan.; Carlos Romero, Mennonite Education Agency rep, Goshen, Ind.; Judith Trumbo, Broadway, Va. Loren Swartzendruber, president; Lee Snyder, interim provost; Kirk Shisler, vice president for advancement; Andrea Wenger, marketing and communications director. Bonnie Price Lofton Editor/writer

Jon Styer Designer/photographer

Paul T. Yoder Mileposts editor

Jim Bishop Public information officer

Marcy Gineris Web content manager

Jason Garber Web/new media coord.

Lindsey Roeschley Project coord./videographer All EMU personnel can be reached during regular work hours through calling (540) 432-4000, or via contact details posted on the university website, Cover: Kelly Marie Miller (left) and Annalisa Harder are roommates at Goshen College, where both are secondyear students. Miller is the daughter of two administrators at EMU, Ellen and Lawrence Miller. Harder is the daughter of Karen Klassen Harder, a Bluffton professor, and James M. Harder, president of Bluffton. Photo by Jon Styer. The poem on the cover is the refrain from "How Can We Be Silent?" written by Michael Mahler, published in the Mennonite songbook Sing the Journey. POSTMASTER: Submit address changes to: Crossroads Eastern Mennonite University 1200 Park Road Harrisonburg, VA 22802

President Loren Swartzendruber '76, MDiv '79, DMin

Join Us In Singing! Over the past three decades I have participated in hundreds of conversations about the role of Mennonite education. Many of those interactions have revolved around the questions, “What makes an institution ‘Mennonite’?” and “How should faith-based institutions be structured to ensure that they both thrive and meet the needs of their founding denominations?” Without healthy church schools the Anabaptist witness will be radically diminished. The statistical evidence is compelling:  The Number One indicator of Mennonite “identity” is familial attendance at a Mennonite college or seminary, according to a recent study of Mennonite Church USA congregations.  The greatest loss of youth from the Mennonite church is from the group that chooses not to attend college anywhere. Of the youth who grew up in Mennonite congregations and did not attend college, 25 percent do not participate in any type of congregation as adults. That is a four-fold greater “loss rate” than from the group that attended a Mennonite college. Our church schools are key participants in the missional effort of the church. Some students from other traditions will embrace Anabaptist values whether or not they choose to join a Mennonite congregation. A church that nurtures its own youth and invites others to join the movement is sustained by both the roots of its tradition and the fresh perspectives of those who choose to join us. To be sure, the Kingdom of God is much larger than any of our particularities as denominations. Yet we must also avoid the pitfall of “generic” Christianity, where no distinction is made, for example, between the imperial-style Christianity of Emperor Constantine in the fourth century and the humble service-style Christianity of Mother Teresa in the twentieth century. On the few days when pessimism tempts, I recall the words Rev. James Forbes, pastor of New York’s Riverside Church, whispered to me when Pat and I were transitioning from Hesston College to EMU: “Please don’t give up your Anabaptist perspectives and values. The world needs your message more than ever.” I pray every member of the church would embrace that calling. I love to sing the song quoted on the cover of this issue, “None can stop the Spirit, burning now inside us. We will shape the future, we will not be silent!” My dream is that many will join us in singing the song!

printed on recycled paper

Loren Swartzendruber XX-COC-XXXX


A World of Difference


In Other Words

Crossroads explores the six higher education institutions under Mennonite Education Agency and finds that each uniquely embodies a common set of values.


In this Issue


Educational experts comment on some distinctive aspects of Mennonite-Christian schools, pointing out challenges and opportunities.

12 Traits of Mennonite colleges 7 23 10 26 12 29 15 32 18 36 21 38 1 / models of accomplishment

7 / Caring for all of God’s creation

Why accomplished academics and practitioners who could work anywhere choose Mennonite colleges.

We aim to be good stewards of Earth, gratefully using resources as wisely and justly as we can.

2 / Student-centered ethos

8 / Peace & social justice as core values

Nothing is more important than interacting with, learning from, and guiding the next generation.

We seek to address conflicts with dialogue and relationship building, rather than with forms of force.

3 / Life & learning, beyond academics

9 / Whole (holistic) people

All learning does not come from books. Our colleges know that living fully, consciously, is also necessary.

Rather than separating us, expertise and job titles are treated as threads to be woven into patterns with others.

4 / Place to make life-shaping choices

10 / Relationship building, usually community based

From career to spouse decisions, the life one is called to lead often takes shape here.

No person is an island here. Our colleges function as communities connected to larger communities.

5 / You can’t go wrong here

11 / Global vision

Folks know, and care about, each other beyond their roles in the classroom, department or sports team.

Living, working, learning and serving outside of one's own culture is "all good."

6 / Can we be of service?

12 / Living & working as Jesus taught

Faculty model the ethos of humble service, often as volunteers in demanding overseas settings.

It comes back to the one who taught us to live simply, loving our neighbors while easing poverty, oppression and suffering.

Students enjoy the spring sunshine before Bethel College's Administration Building. Dedicated in 1893, it is the oldest building on a Mennonite college campus.

Mennonite Colleges…

photographs by Jon styer

A World of Difference and live separately. MOST STUDENTS at today’s Mennonite “I read the book, which changed the way I colleges were not, as a group, raised looked at reality. I went to Granada [Spain] Anabaptist, Mennonite, Brethren, or to study and everyone there was talking anything of the kind. They landed at about John Paul Lederach, and I learned he Mennonite institutions for reasons ranging was a Mennonite too.” from chance to desperation. In June 2005 Munoz (pictured on page 5) “I first heard about EMU from my e-mailed Howard Zehr, explaining she was boyfriend, who came to be on the baseball team,” said Laura Wheatley, who transferred trying to establish mediation and restorative justice programs in Chihuahua, a region of from Shenandoah University to Eastern northern Mexico where 2 million people Mennonite University (EMU). struggle with violence related to drug- and “I wanted a place where I could grow spiritually and further my walk with Christ,” human-trafficking. Zehr immediately replied, offering suggestions “in a kind, said Dustin Galyon (pictured on page 4), a humble way,” she said. former basketball player at both Hesston Munoz also e-mailed Lederach, a graduCollege and EMU, who now coaches at Hesston. “Hesston recruited me, and I loved ate of Hesston and Bethel colleges, now professor of international peacebuilding at being in a safe place that encouraged, challenged, and caused me to change every day.” “I came as an adult student, married with children,” said Toby Tyner, now working at Bethel College (KS), where he earned his BA in 2007. “I was unhappy at the big public university where I first enrolled. I was just a number there. So I gave Bethel a try – it was closer to home – even though I imagined a closed community where you needed a Mennonite last name, where you Toby Tyner needed to be Mennonite to fit in.” He loved the University of Notre Dame who teaches Bethel, and vice versa. Bethel hired Tyner as part-time at EMU. His thoughtful reply associate director of development immedicame in Spanish. ately upon graduation. In 2006 and 2007, Marinetta Hjort, a Whatever initially brings students to former student of Zehr’s, made several visits Mennonite colleges, they discover a rare, to what Munoz calls “dangerous places” in exciting combination of service and peaceChihuahua to help train dozens of people in building. They join a community where restorative justice processes. they are encouraged to explore their higher In the spring of 2009, Munoz traveled to purpose, rather than inhale disconnected EMU for a week-long session of Seminars in facts and absorb random information. Trauma Awareness and Resilience (STAR). For Alejandra de las Casas Munoz, a “The violence is getting worse in Mexico,” citizen of Mexico, the trail to Mennonites she explained. “We have a special need for started in Canada about a decade ago: “I went to the University of Toronto where my trauma healing. Now my dream is to return to EMU for a master’s degree.” STAR, led favorite teacher told me about restorative by Elaine Zook Barge and Vernon Jantzi, justice and recommended Changing Lenses will be held this summer in Chihuahua. by [EMU professor of restorative justice] Munoz says she loves “Mennonites” for Howard Zehr. When I talked with her the generous, humble way they offer asoutside class, I learned she was Mennonite. sistance. Hjort, however, is a pacifist Baptist I was surprised – we have some Mennonites pastor of Italian origin who completed a in Mexico, but they are very conservative 2 | crossroads | spring 2009

master’s degree in conflict transformation at EMU in 2005. Hjort does not object to being lumped with Mennonites. “They have a good brand name,” she jokes. If so, the “brand” may be in more demand outside modern-era, established Mennonite churches. These are shrinking. With a falling birth rate and growing prosperity – leading to a tendency to leave behind a theology that champions the poor and suffering – college-bound Mennonites are abandoning the rural churches of their parents and grandparents. (Plain-dressing Mennonites, who do not endorse higher education, continue to have large families and to grow in numbers.) Some educational experts feel it is a matter of time before Mennonite colleges go the way of almost all of the formerly Protestant colleges, such as Brown and Wake Forest (formerly Baptist), in giving up their “counter-cultural” Christian identity. Today, Mennonite colleges still focus on asking, “What does Jesus wish us to do about this situation?” But tomorrow, say some sociologists and historians, Mennonite colleges likely will flow into the prevailing cultural currents and do what most colleges do: prepare graduates to achieve worldly success, regardless of whether that success reinforces or undermines what Jesus modeled and taught. The irony: cradle-born Mennonites, in some cases, are softening in their commitment to their higher education institutions while a Baptist-born student like Marinetta Hjort is absolutely determined to drink from the Mennonite well. For three years, she commuted four hours round trip from the Washington D.C. area for her EMU degree, passing up the opportunity to earn similar-sounding degrees at two closer universities: George Mason University, where she would have paid much less tuition as an in-state student, and American University, where she works as a pastor. What does Hjort know about Mennonitestyle education that others, even alumni from decades past, might be overlooking? This magazine offers some answers.  | crossroads | 3

DUSTIN GALYON / HESSTON, AA ’04 / EMU, BS ’06 / HESSTON, men’s basketball coach / “I coach and recruit at Hesston because I believe that we daily make a positive difference on campus, across the street, in the states, and around the world.”

In Other Words “We who occupy the top rungs in the political economy of the world must listen to those who are at the bottom.” – Nicholas Wolterstorff 4 | crossroads | spring 2009

All colleges talk about academic excellence. But the more important question is the purpose of such excellence. Before World War II, Germany was considered the most educated, most advanced, most cultivated nation in the world. It was filled with scholars and researchers, pursuing and achieving “academic excellence.” Yet this did not stop Germany from descending into barbarism. Excellence alone is not enough. It might even be dangerous. Colleges need to combine excellence with morality and wisdom embodied in "traditions or communities of practice." (From Brian McLaren in Finding Our Way Again, 2008) “I like the way Mennonites view Christianity as a way of life, rather than merely a system of belief.” (Brian McLaren during a visit to EMU, April 1, 2009) Domination and exploitation result from certain socio-economic structures. Thus supporting these structures is heresy. (From Nicholas Wolterstorff, long-time professor at Calvin College and Yale, in Educating Our Way to Shalom: Essays of Christian Higher Education, 2004)

“All religious people agree, it seems, that we should walk humbly with God… But the prophets call us further. We must show kindness, and more, we must do justice – meaning, we must address the sick societal structures that keep plunging people into conditions where they will die without the kindness and compassion of others.” (Brian McLaren in Finding Our Way Again) “Evangelicals would do well to emulate their [Anabaptist-Mennonites’] commitment to serving all the needs of people, not just those labeled ‘spiritual’; their social concern for justice for the poor and disenfranchised of this world; their commitment to ‘peacemaking’ in a world torn apart by conflict.” (Harold Heie, former administrator at Messiah, Gordon, and Northwestern colleges, in Models for Christian Education – Strategies for Survival and Success in the 21st Century, 1997) “Help your students to see the worth of taking small steps on a few issues. Encourage them to concentrate on just one or two issues and not try to deal with them all. Invite them to see themselves as part of the body of Christ in the world: though the body should be

ALEJANDRA DE LAS CASAS MUNOZ/ EMU, STAR I ’05, SPI ’06, STAR II ’09 / “I came to EMU to get skills for my work – I have been coordinating programs to

improve the criminal justice system in one of the most violent areas of Mexico.”

concerned with a broad range of issues, not each and every member need be, or even should be.” (Wolterstorff in Educating…) College should be a place where people “can safely express their nagging doubts and haunting guilt.” (Wolterstorff in Educating…) “Can the church allow for some of its brightest and best to think 'new thoughts' without being subject to charges of heresy?” (Paul A. Keim, Bible and religion professor at Goshen College, in The Future of Religious Colleges, 2002) In Models for Christian Education, Harold Heie calls for a “broad, communitywide commitment” to providing space for “differing Christian voices” to speak and listen with humility and charity on controversial matters, rather than ignoring or camouflaging them. Heie calls the process "teaching disagreements." [Two EMU theology professors model this in their recent book Reasoning Together: A Conversation on Homosexuality, where each differed with the other. They followed up with dialogue in the local newspaper and in public forums.]

Instead of the familiar curricula of “physics, literary criticism, music theory, economics, and so on” perhaps a Christian college should offer programs in “peace and war, nationalism, poverty, urban ugliness, ecology, crime and punishment... The goal is not just to understand the world but to change it. The goal is not just to impart to students a Christian world-and-life-view but to equip and motivate them for a Christian way of being and acting in the world.” (Wolterstorff in Educating…) “It would be simpler, philosophically, to be either a Bible college, on the one hand, or an utterly secular university on the other. To combine spiritual commitment with academic openness is to tread the narrow edge of unrelieved intellectual tension. But it is a more exciting path than either the emptiness of mere secularity or the sterility of fundamentalistic simplicity.” (William S. Banowsky, former president of Pepperdine U., a Church of Christ college, written in 1976 and quoted in Models for Christian Education)

“Mennonite schools…emphasize radical discipleship, pacifism, and community building. With their strong biblical focus, the Mennonite schools typically place discipleship ahead of strictly philosophical or theological concerns. Put another way, Mennonites engage the culture at the personal and practical levels… Mennonite schools like Goshen and Fresno Pacific provide leadership by involving students and faculty in service learning rooted in a radical understanding of Christian faith.” (William B. Adrian Jr., former dean, v-p and provost at Pepperdine U. in Models for Christian Education) “The Mennonite college seeks to model the Christian notion of community. Not only does it speak about community; it is committed to being a community. What this means can vary, yet most everyone agrees that the faculty, staff, and students are concerned for each other’s well-being not only academically but also personally and socially… Christian faith is considered to be relational.” (Rodney J. Sawatsky, former president of Messiah College and of Conrad Grebel College in Ontario, in Models for Christian Education)  | crossroads | 5

12 Traits of Mennonite colleges 1 / Models of accomplishment

can’t go wrong here. 6 / Can

people 10 / Relationship

2 / Student-centered ethos

we be of service? 7 / Caring

building, usually community

3 / Life & learning, beyond

for all of God’s creation 8 /

based 11 / Global vision

academics 4 / Place to make

Peace & social justice as core

12 / Living & working as

life-shaping choices 5 / You

values 9 / Whole (holistic)

Jesus taught

For the purposes of this issue of Crossroads, “Mennonite colleges” refers to six institutions under the

center, 45 minutes by car from the main campus, and a marine biology studies facility in the Florida Keys.

umbrella of the Mennonite Education Agency, part of

In recent decades, the small-sized city of Harrison-

Mennonite Church USA. Bethel College, founded in

burg, Virginia, has grown to encompass EMU, making

Kansas in 1887, is the oldest of the group. Goshen

it the first Mennonite higher education institution to be

College, in Indiana, was founded next in 1894. Bluffton

located in an urban environment. EMU also has opera-

University took shape in Ohio in 1899. Hesston

tions in two other city locations: Washington, D.C., and

College is a two-year private liberal arts college (there

Lancaster, Pennsylvania.

are just a dozen in this country), which opened in 1909

There are a dozen other Mennonite-flavored edu-

in the vicinity of Bethel College. (Hesston and Bethel

cational institutions in North America, including two

belonged to different ethnic-religious traditions in the

affiliated with the Mennonite Brethren Church – Tabor

Mennonite stream; these have since unified.) Eastern

in Kansas and Fresno Pacific in California – and five

Mennonite University (EMU), which includes a

sprinkled across Canada, operating as affiliates of pro-

seminary, began as a Bible school in the Shenandoah

vincial universities. It wasn’t possible, however, to cover

Valley in 1917. Finally, Associated Mennonite Biblical

all kindred institutions in this magazine.

Seminary in Elkhart, Indiana, emerged from two

Early in the spring of 2009, Crossroads posed this

seminaries, each representing a particular ethnic-

query to 75 people who have studied and worked on

religious Anabaptist tradition in the United States. In the

multiple college campuses: What is distinctive about

1960s, these seminaries began to share curricula and

Mennonite institutions of higher education? From

facilities; in 1994 they formally merged.

tens of thousands of words offered during interviews

All of these institutions were founded in rural settings,

and in e-mails, plus a half-dozen books written on Chris-

close to their farm-based constituency in the early years.

tian education in the last decade, patterns began to be

Today Goshen has a 1,189-acre environmental studies

visible and 12 common traits emerged.

6 | crossroads | spring 2009

Traits of Mennonite colleges photographs by Jon styer

1/ models of


Many of our faculty members are famous, such as restorative justice pioneer Howard Zehr and Amish expert Steve Nolt. All hold graduate degrees from reputable accredited universities, some from "elite" places, such as Harvard, Princeton, Cornell, Notre Dame, and the University of California. Yet they choose to work in a Mennonite setting, preparing and challenging their students intellectually and spiritually to change the world. a / ALAN KREIDER

a / ALAN KREIDER / GOSHEN, BA ’62 / HARVARD, AM ’65, PhD '71 / AMBS, professor of church

history & mission / With wife Eleanor, was Mennonite missionary in the UK for 26 years; responsibilities included directing London

Mennonite Centre and planting Wood Green Mennonite Church in London / Academic stints at Princeton University, Heidelberg University, University of Manchester, University of London, and University of Oxford, where he directed the

Centre for the Study of Christianity and Culture from 1995 to 2000. / Views one of his earliest professors at Goshen, John S. Oyer, as a model – “his life was one of Anabaptist commitment, manifest integrity, and scrupulous scholarship.” | crossroads | 7

b / PAUL A. KEIM & Bob Yoder

b / PAUL A. KEIM (in Goshen Church-Chapel with Bob Yoder, who is described on page 22) / GOSHEN, BA ’78 / AMBS, MDiv ’85 / HARVARD, PhD ’92 / GOSHEN, professor of Bible & religion /

Keim’s doctorate is in Near Eastern languages and civilizations. “It helps if the languages are dead and no native speakers are around to correct you,” Keim jokes, in reference to his mastery of ancient languages like Akkadian, Ugaritic and Moabite. He also knows Arabic, Latin, Greek, Aramaic, Hebrew, German, and Polish. Keim has been academic dean at Hesston and at Goshen and now teaches 8 | crossroads | spring 2009

at both Goshen and AMBS. He has also taught at Harvard, Indiana University, and the College of Charleston, S.C. He loved Charleston’s racial diversity, but missed the ethos of the Mennonite colleges. “Attending public schools while growing up, I always felt on the margins. I was one of the athletes, which brought a lot of affirmation, but being Mennonite and pacifist made me different. To go out and be salt and light in the world, you do need to have a foundation. You need tools for dealing with moral issues that are compatible with our tradition. That’s what the Mennonite colleges can

and do provide young people.” In addition to serving two years with Mennonite Central Committee in Poland, Keim has studied in Jordan, Switzerland and England. c / TED KOONTZ (facing page, top left) / BETHEL, BA ’69 / HARVARD, MDiv ’72, MA ’80, PhD ’85 / AMBS, professor of ethics & peace studies / “Some of the brightest students I met at Harvard Divinity School would not be good pastors, and some of the most gifted people I’ve met at AMBS – possessing relational, emotional and leadership strengths – would not be a good fit for Harvard, due to its heavy emphasis on book-





Traits of Mennonite colleges

photo by lindsey Roeschly

based scholarship. Thankfully, AMBS cherishes both scholarship and relationships.” d / ANITA

ship for the complex challenges we face in an increasingly globalized world." e / MARY SCHERTZ

three colleagues at AMBS who are Old and New Testament scholars. f / MARTI EADS / WAKE FOREST

STALTER / EMU, BS ’79 / MICHIGAN STATE, PhD ’97 / GOSHEN, vice-president for academic affairs &


U., BA ’83, MA ’93 / UNC-CHAPEL HILL, MA ’96, PhD ’01 / EMU professor of English / “I'm Episcopalian,

academic dean / Doctoral degree is in teaching, curriculum and educational policy. / Instrumental in establishing Goshen's Center for Intercultural Teaching and Learning. / Collaborates with teaching and administrative colleagues "to design curriculum that incorporates the college's Anabaptist vision, liberal arts foundation, and international resources to prepare studenrs to assume leader-

New Testament professor / Lives near AMBS and loves her “great neighborhood, where a third are Hispanic, a third are African American, and a third are Caucasian.” / At Vanderbilt, enjoyed being in an ecumenical environment “with Lutherans, Catholics, Methodists, Jews and people who didn’t have any religious background,” enabling her to “hone my arguments for pacifist interpretations of the Scripture.” / Appreciates having

but I’m glad that EMU’s leaders seek to serve God's kingdom through serving the Mennonite Church. Doing so helps the university maintain its Christian identity. I would love, however, to see the Mennonite Church and colleges do more to groom their students for careers as faculty members… Mennonite students tend to look first to careers that seem more obviously missional.” | crossroads | 9

2/ Student-centered ethos Mennonite-college people do research, write books, produce art, direct plays and musical groups, speak at scholarly symposia, lead national and international associations. They are quoted by the national media on such matters as: non-military solutions to world conflict, alternatives to incarceration, the Christian approach to our environmental problems, ways to combine theory and practice, a cappella singing in four-part harmony, disaster relief, and much more. But nothing is more important to them than their students. They come first. As much as possible, professors include students in their out-of-classroom work. a / NATHAN BARTEL


sor of English / Was one of the winners of the Ruth Lilly Poetry Fellowship in grad school, a $15,000 award given annually to two young poets in higher education in the U.S. who have yet to publish a collection of poetry. / “What we lack [at Bethel] in terms of facilities or specialization, 10 | crossroads | spring 2009

we more than make up for with relationships and with support for our students and their particular interests.” b / BRIANNA OELSCHLAGER / EMU sophomore / Applied and was accepted at Bucknell, Elizabethtown and Wesleyan University, but she chose EMU because it was a Mennonite college and because of the quality of the facultystudent interaction she saw when she visited

EMU on two occasions. “The most important thing I did in evaluating colleges was to sit in on classes. At some of the other colleges, I was among lots of kids in auditoriums, most falling asleep. I like the small faculty-student ratio here, and I like the time we spend in the science labs.” She’s in EMU’s pre-med program, where virtually 100% who finish successfully are admitted to



Traits of Mennonite colleges


reputable medical schools. c / SANDEE ZErgER / BETHEL, BA ’66 / U. of Kansas, PhD ’92 / HESSTON,

vice-president of academics and academic dean / Fluent in Spanish, having attended a Spanishlanguage school as a child in Puerto Rico, where her dentist-father was doing alternative service, and having taught ESL classes in Colombia for almost three years. / Grandfather, mother, father,

sister, husband and sons also are Bethel alumni. / “Hesston's students are the most geographically diverse of all the Mennonite colleges, partly because it’s a great place to start your college career, within an environment of close, warm relationships.” d / BRADLEY KAUFFMAN / GOSHEN, BA ’96 / U. OF IOWA, MA ’02 / HESSTON, director of instrumental

music and Bel Canto Singers / With a graduate

degree in choral conducting, Kauffman keeps up the strong European-Mennonite tradition of a cappella singing at Hesston; as director of a new wind ensemble, he is equally determined to build a strong instrumental program. / “Hesston is uniquely friendly and welcoming, making it a good place for everyone, but especially for students who need to test out the idea of college.” | crossroads | 11

3/Life & learning,

beyond academics

Mennonites traditionally are “doers.” Practical people. The best way to learn about organic farming is to do it, applying information and theory gleaned from books and teachers. Want to be a teacher of English as a second language? Then apply your classroom lessons to tutoring immigrants who don’t know English. Instead of fretting about how much food Americans waste, study the food wasted in the college cafeteria and devise ways to channel it into feeding hungry people through the local food bank. Such combining of learning and doing is characteristic of all Mennonite colleges. a / melissa beall (left) & danalyn sprowl

a / melissa beall (left), nursing major, & danalyn sprowl, liberal arts major / EMU, class of 2009 / These EMU undergrads are

among the dozen or so involved in a pilot project to provide food for the EMU dining hall by working in two gardens near classroom buildings. Gardening also represents the hands-on part of a class in sustainable agriculture taught by Douglas Graber Neufeld, an EMU biology professor. "We are trying out different agricultural methods 12 | crossroads | spring 2009

photo by steven johnson

in the gardens,” said Neufeld. The first garden on EMU property supplied enough lettuce and spinach to stock the cafeteria's salad bar in mid-2008. Students also planted and harvested tomatoes, peppers, butternut squash, radishes and grapes. Peter Dula, assistant professor of Bible and culture at EMU (pictured on page 24), led efforts to start gardens a year ago. Dula, a member of a food-procurement committee for EMU's Creation Care Council, sought to contribute affordable

and locally grown food for campus use, while “encouraging students to have a garden of their own once they graduate." b / PAUL FRIESEN / HESSTON ���42 / U. OF WICHITA, MS ’58 & fort hays state U., MS '60 / HESSTON & BETHEL, professor emeritus of art

/ Became interested in art as a teenager, especially in wood sculpture, at Woodstock School in India while his parents were missionaries there prior to World War II. Founded the art department at Hesston in 1957. Collaborated with Robert Regier,



Traits of Mennonite colleges


professor emeritus of art at nearby Bethel College, so that both professors taught art classes at Bethel and Hesston 1965-1978. Hesston's Friesen Center for the Visual Arts, a $2 million building, opened last fall. c / RUSS GAEDDERT / Bethel, BA ’80 / Wichita State U, MEd ’00 / HESSTON, Director of disaster management program / In 2005, Gaeddert became the founding director of the only college program tied to a post-disaster assistance agency, Mennonite Disaster Service. Gaeddert’s program

caters to students interested in long-term recovery work and willing to do hands-on service, including those enrolled at other institutions, such as Bethel, Tabor College and Canadian Mennonite University. d / PAT MCFARLANe / EMU, BA ’74 / GEORGETOWN UNIVERSITY, MA ’76 / GOSHEN, associate professor

of communication / Was introduced to theater at EMU by her English professor, Jay B. Landis; she then pursued it further at Georgetown U. / During college spent summers in Lancaster, Pa., acting

in the “Dutch Family Festival,” written by fellow EMU alum Merle Good (now co-owner of Good Books). / Collaborated with Goshen undergrads in 2005 on 60-minute documentary “Living Water… Living Faith,” focused on the stories of ”Mennonite women of color,” which is also the topic of her PhD dissertation, now in progress. This topic is inspired, in part, by her own experience as the wife of a Jamaican of African descent and the mother of two bi-racial young adults. | crossroads | 13


e / RYAN SENSENIG / EMU, BS ’92 / UC-DAVIS, PHD ’07 / GOSHEN, assistant professor of biology / Grew

up in Kenya and went back to work with Somali refugees in 1992; was again in Kenya in the early 2000s to do two years of field work for his doctoral research on wildlife ecology. / Wife Donna is the daughter of Calvin and Marie Shenk, the leaders 14 | crossroads | spring 2009

of his EMU cross-cultural trip to the Middle East. / Loves Assembly Mennonite Church in Goshen because he sees a “cornucopia of skin colors up front during children’s time,” including the Sensenig children’s dark skins (both were adopted in Kenya). / At U. of California, found that fellow grad students came well prepared in the field

sciences, but lacked “perspective on the broader global problems linked to the environment.” Trained in “narrow disciplines,” many doctoral students had not considered the socio-political ramifications of ecological issues, as Sensenig had been taught to do at EMU. / Directs Goshen's J.N. Roth Marine Biology Station in the Florida Keys.

Traits of Mennonite colleges

4/Place to make

life-shaping choices

For better or for worse, one’s college experience has a huge impact on one’s entire life. The reputation of Mennonite-college alumni for working hard and smart, and for being honest and caring, serves future graduates well. As examples, pre-med graduates from Mennonite colleges enjoy an acceptance rate into medical school far above the national average. Over the last decade our alumni have enjoyed a placement rate approaching 100% within a year of graduation, with 90% employed in their field of study. Then there is the marriage matter: Many joke about the high marriage rate among graduates of Mennonite colleges, but statistically these marriages do have a great chance of succeeding, probably because of the partners’ shared values, backed by a supportive network of faith community, family and friends. a / BARBARA & JOHN FAST

a / BARBARA & JOHN FAST / BETHEL, BAs in late ‘60s / JAMES MADISON U., MFA (Barbara); INDIANA U., MM (John) / EMU -- she teaches visual art, he

teaches organ, piano and music theory / Barbara: “I sort of had my eye on him in high school because he was known to be a very fine musician.” John: “The first weekend she was at Bethel, I took

her to Shakee’s Pizza Parlor in Wichita. That’s what we did for fun then.” / Barbara: “EMU was looking for an organ professor in 1975, and John was offered the position. In our mind, we were coming to a very conservative place – our friends were Bethel or Goshen grads." John: “There were differences between the schools and the traditions

backing each, but these have largely disappeared. The young generation is scarcely aware of them, and that’s a good thing.” / After 30 years among colleagues who came and went overseas, the Fasts did a stint in 2008 for Mennonite Central Committee in Cairo, Egypt, where they taught English at the Coptic Orthodox Church. | crossroads | 15


b / DIANA & ANDREW INTAGLIATA / EMU, both BA ’06 / She is an elementary schoolteacher in Harri-

sonburg, Va.; he is enrolled in a school psychology graduate program at James Madison University / Andrew: “My father was raised in an ItalianCatholic family in California and went to UCLA. My mother grew up in a Mennonite family in Berne, Indiana, and went to the nearest university, Indiana. After college Dad did voluntary service in Boulder, Colorado, which is where he met my mother. They married and became Mennonite missionaries in Bolivia, where I was born. We were the only American family in our community. I played with the neighborhood kids, kicking 16 | crossroads | spring 2009

around the soccer ball or riding horse carts on dirt roads. I went to public middle and high schools in the United States. We were living in Arizona when it was time for me to look at colleges. Initially I was leaning toward the University of Arizona – the majority of my friends weren’t Mennonite, other than the youth group at the church where my dad was pastor [he is now campus pastor at Bluffton University]. Encouraged by my parents, I visited Goshen and EMU. Compared to the University of Arizona, the Mennonite colleges seemed much more individualized. I didn’t feel like a number. On just one visit, I got to know a number of people on campus, including some

professors. I realized I really didn’t know what it was like to go to school with a bunch of Mennonites and I decided to find out. Things certainly turned out differently for me – I met Diana when we were both freshmen, we went on the same cross-cultural, and that’s when we started dating. Thank God. I can’t imagine being married to anybody but her.” Diana: “When I was about to graduate with my education degree, the principal of [a local elementary school] called EMU to see who was coming on the job market. I got the job. Actually, all the students in my program landed jobs easily. It seems that EMU has a reputation for turning out fabulous teachers.”

Traits of Mennonite colleges


c / LEE ROY BERRY / EMU, BA ’66 / NOTRE DAME, MA ’69, PhD ’76 / INDIANA U. JD ‘84 / GOSHEN,

part-time political science professor / From a 02/18/09 article in the Goshen College Record (student newspaper) by Sarah Rich: As a boy, Berry traveled from Florida to Ohio every summer with his parents and seven siblings, chasing the seasonal crops to his parents’ boss’ home state. Starting at age 8, Berry joined his parents in the fields in the summer and on Saturdays, pulling radishes, skinning onions and weeding, even in the rain. “I was aware of the stigma that we, as migrant kids, had,” said Berry. Berry saw how his father abused his mother and how she, in turn,

abused him. Berry said that even as an adolescent he ‘wanted a life that was better.’ In 1961, Berry graduated from a segregated Sarasota (Fla.) high school. The segregated school hadn’t offered him a very good education, but Berry had a keen desire to improve his position in the world. When it came time for his teachers to identify talented and potentially college-bound students, Berry’s name was brought up. The news circulated quickly in New Town Gospel Chapel Mennonite Church. “When my preacher heard me talk about going to college, he almost fell off his bench,” Berry said. This same pastor eventually encouraged Berry to look into Eastern Mennonite College in Harrison-

burg, Va. Berry received his bachelor’s degree in history there. After Berry graduated, he went into voluntary service. He worked at a summer day camp in Cleveland run by a woman named Beth Hostetler. Raised in a white, Republican, middleclass Ohio family, Hostetler did not exactly share Berry’s upbringing. The two got married in 1969. In the years that followed, Berry moved to Goshen, began teaching political science at Goshen College, continued to work on his Ph.D. at the University of Notre Dame and became a father to Joe, Malinda and Ann Berry. In 1984, Berry got his law degree from Indiana University and now works as a local attorney, in addition to teaching. | crossroads | 17

5/You can’t go wrong here. Of course, you can go wrong in a Mennonite college, but folks will notice and care and try to help you – it’s a common advantage of small Christian colleges. Thus you are less likely to “go wrong.” And you are more likely to achieve the goals you set for yourself. Harvard-educated, penta-lingual Paul A. Keim, who has taught at six colleges and been dean at two (and who is pictured on page 8), says: “What I usually tell students who aspire to be academics is that they can have the best of both worlds by doing their undergraduate work at a Mennonite school and then getting their graduate degree from a research institute.” a / HANNAH C. SHELLY

a / HANNAH C. SHELLY / EMU sophomore / Could

have attended Bluffton tution-free as daughter of Art Shelly, a computer science professor at Bluffton, but she likes EMU’s visual and communication arts program. [Editor: Such a choice is not unusual – the students on the cover of this Crossroads also opted to attend Mennonite institutions different from where their parents 18 | crossroads | spring 2009


work.] / “Last week when I wasn’t feeling well, a professor pulled me aside after class and asked me if everything was okay. I guess I looked tired. People here notice if you aren’t quite yourself or aren’t speaking up in class. If you didn’t come to class, they would wonder why. For sure, you aren’t a number here.” / Shelly is an intern in the office that produces Crossroads.

b / DON HOOLEY / EMU, BA ’77 / U. OF IOWA, PhD ’88 / BLUFFTON, math professor / Has lived

and taught in Nigeria, India and Honduras. / “At Iowa, my major professor was available to me, but there was such pressure to publish, you hardly saw the other professors in their offices, beyond their weekly hour of scheduled in-office time. Here the doors to our offices are open.”

Traits of Mennonite colleges


c / ABBY MILLER / HESSTON, AA '07 / BETHEL senior,

majoring in communications arts / Graduated from Bethany Christian High School in Indiana, close to Goshen College, but opted to head to Kansas to attend Hesston for first two years and Bethel for the last two years. (Her brother went to Goshen.) / “My parents really wanted me to go to a Mennonite college, at least for my first

couple of years. But I wasn’t sure. After graduating from a Mennonite high school, I wondered, ‘Do I need more Mennonite education?’ But college turned out to be so different from high school…. Hesston was great for me, because I am a very social person – it’s like going to church camp all year within a setting of quality academics. Bethel was a great next step for me. I

got an attractive financial aid package, and it’s so pretty and so nice and so welcoming. Besides, I like the diversity here and the variety of perspectives – and that you decide on your own what you believe.” / Look for Abby Miller at the Mennonite Church USA national convention in Ohio in the summer of 2009; she is on the planning team for the youth part of the event. | crossroads | 19


d / MATTHEW SCHLONEGER / HESSTON, AA ’92 / GOSHEN, BA ’95 / U. of CINCINNATI, MM ’98 / HESSTON, teaches private voice, class voice, class guitar

and music theater / Was Rotary Scholar in Italy and has many credits as U.S. and international opera performer and concert artist, including Operafestival di Roma and Lucca Festival Orchestra (Italy) / How does a veteran of Italian opera and 20 | crossroads | spring 2009

a graduate of the Cincinnati conservatory, one of the top voice and opera programs in the United States, end up in Hesston, Kansas? Simple. It’s his mother’s hometown, and he is surrounded by family and friends – Ken Rodgers (pictured on page 30) is his uncle and Bradley Kauffman (on page 11) was a childhood friend in Ohio, who also went to Goshen College. / From 1996 to 2000, served

as a cantor at both Hebrew Union College and St. Mary's Catholic Church in Cincinnati. / Performs frequently with his violinist-wife Rebecca and Ken Rodgers on piano and organ as The Sunflower Trio. / Directs the Hesston-Bethel Performing Arts series, "which brings five world-class concerts to our campuses each year" and is "a great example of collaboration between two Mennonite colleges."

Traits of Mennonite colleges

6/Can we be of service?

Virtually all faculty members, as well as many of the administrators and staffers, have done extensive voluntary service, always on the local level but usually internationally as well, often under demanding cross-cultural conditions with Mennonite Central Committee. They infuse the campus with their humble service ethos and global perspective. Students are encouraged to combine service with leadership. As a result, some grads have ended up at the head of United Nations agencies in Switzerland, while others have ended up at the front of a one-room schoolhouse in Indiana or Sierra Leone. All forms of serving and leading are equally valued. a / RANDY KEELER


/ Started on his path to youth ministry just out of his undergraduate studies, doing voluntary service with inner city youth in the Boys' Clubs of Fresno, Calif., 1981-83. / “In the 1990s, I was challenged to develop a youth ministry major that

was distinctively Anabaptist at Bluffton. The first class majoring in youth ministry graduated in 2000. Currently we have 28 students in the youth ministry program. Last year we graduated five: two are doing full-time youth ministry in Methodist churches; one is working as a ‘parent’ in a school for delinquents, and two are in mission service.” / Was Bluffton’s campus pastor from 1990 to 2005, as

well as men’s soccer coach at Bluffton for 10 years. / “I’ve always seen my calling as being to encourage young adults to go into ministry. I don’t see myself as an academic. I see myself as a practitioner. I try to teach in a pastoral way.” / Keeler believes Bluffton's underlying frameswork is similar to that of the other Mennonite colleges: (1) discipleship, (2) community of faith, and (3) peace and nonviolence. | crossroads | 21




b / BOB YODER / EMU, BS '94 / AMBS, MDiv ’01 / WESTERN THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY, DMin ’07 / GOSHEN, campus minister / “I resisted the Ana-


physician in Lancaster, Pa. Some went to Goshen, others to EMU, most spent time overseas, and all earned graduate degrees. d /JEFF BAUMGARTNER /

baptist identity. I went to a public school, where I was a bit ostracized for being different – after all, my mother wore a prayer bonnet and such. I kept thinking, ‘There’s bigger and better things than this Mennonite thing.’ At EMU, Yoder focused on pre-medical studies. But instead of entering medical school immediately, he detoured to work at the Laurelville Mennonite Church Center (Mount Pleasant, Pa.), to serve as the first pastor of a church plant, New Life Mennonite Church in Somerset, Pa., and to participate in a Christian Peacemaker Team delegation to the West Bank and Israel. In so doing, Yoder got hooked on ministry.

outgoing president / With wife Ellen, he has taught or done mission work in Uruguay, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Korea, Japan, and the United Kingdom. / Professors at Goshen encouraged him – a young man raised on a Lancaster, Pa., farm in a traditional Mennonite family – to study at the U. of Barcelona, Spain, for a year. Kraybill’s six siblings – Leona, Elvin, Eugene, Dave, Ron and Leon – have led extremely varied lives as: theologian (Nelson), psychiatric nurse in Pa., lawyer in Pa., information systems analyst in NY, economist-director of African Studies Program at Ohio State University, peace professor-consultant-writer in Israel, and

math instructor / “I met my wife, Gail Lehman, when working at a Mennonite summer camp as a lifeguard. We flew to Egypt on our first anniversary in 1986 to teach English at Al Salaam School under the auspices of Mennonite Central Committee. We always talked about our voluntary service with our children – my parents also did voluntary service, which is how they met each other – and now our son who is at Goshen plans to go to Egypt for SST [Study-Service Term]. Of all the things you get from Mennonite education, the service emphasis is the one that sticks the most with me.”

22 | crossroads | spring 2009


Traits of Mennonite colleges

7/Caring for all

of God’s creation

Mennonite colleges have long stood for frugality – which translated into energy conservation and other environmentally friendly practices – but lately they have come to understand that God’s Creation should not be despoiled. We humans need to work to keep species from disappearing, water and air from being polluted, and the earth’s climate from changing. Our God-given resources should be used wisely and justly, not benefiting some to the detriment of the majority. Our colleges now teach and try to model being “green” and caring for all creation, animate and inanimate. a / LUKE GASCHO

a / LUKE GASCHO / EMU, BS ’74 / NOVA SOUTHEASTERN U., EDD ’99 / Became director in 1997 of Gos-

hen College's 1,189-acre Merry Lea Environmental Learning Center, 28 miles southeast of campus. / Brought decades of experience in educational leadership and strategic planning to the job of figuring out what to do with more than a thousand acres of land that Lee and Mary Jane Rieth donated to Goshen College in 1980 for conservation and educational purposes. / Merry Lea encompasses a range of geological and ecological features, including wetlands, bogs, lakeshores, upland and lowland forests, prairies, meadows, marl pit, and glacially formed gravel ridge. / It now hosts thousands of visits from schoolchildren every year, with Goshen College students often serving as guides and

educators-in-training. / In recent years, college students have been able to live in a cluster of new buildings called Rieth Village, largely powered by a windmill, solar panels, and geothermal climate control system. The village (pictured above) serves as a model of sustainable construction – they were the first buildings in Indiana to meet the highest “platinum level” under the U.S. Green Building Council's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating system. / Gascho travels widely, speaking to church, college, community, and environmental groups on how Christians can put their faith into practice on “creation care” issues. He is also a prolific writer. His latest work, 176-page Creation Care: Keepers of the Earth (2008), is a user-friendly guide to the spiritual basis for

environmental stewardship. It shows how people’s choices affect air and water quality, energy use, and the climate, while also impacting their global neighbors. / Gascho: “Many of the environmental issues we’re facing are deeply rooted in money and materialism. Our task is to seek and then practice a way of life that truly represents our respect for the natural order of creation and justice for all people.” / On the broader college level, Gascho has chaired Goshen’s strategic planning committee for the last eight years; in 2003-04, Gascho involved 300 people over nine months throughout the system in thinking about and planning for Goshen’s future. One result of the process: Goshen’s decision to launch its first two graduate programs – an MS in nursing and an MA in environmental education. | crossroads | 23


b / DAVE MILLER / EMU, BA ’64 / MICHIGAN STATE University, PHD ’77 / GOSHEN, chair of biology

department and professor of ornithology and entomology / Leads team cataloguing biodiversity at the Merry Lea Environmental Learning Center. Is working through Merry Lea’s insects, currently focused on butterflies and on the Odonata order, which includes dragonflies and damselflies. / “I believe that all creatures and all ecosystems have inherent value, independent of their utility to the human race – even mosquitoes. Because they are 24 | crossroads | spring 2009


created by God, loved by God and are part of a good system, they are good. The more we learn to love God, the more we love what God loves." / “Is it justifiable to force everything, from earthworms to grizzly bears, from dandelions to redwoods to bend to our will, be it for our comfort, our convenience or our economy? Surely we and our plans are not so important that other parts of the natural world can be destroyed indiscriminately for our convenience?" / "One of the most deceitful teachings of our day is that our worth is defined

by how much stuff we have. Learning to love God more deeply leads to contentment. As we find our fullness in God, the need for stuff and excessive consumption disappears." c / PETER DULA / EMU, BA '92 / DUKE U., PHD ’04 / EMU, assistant professor of religion and culture (pictured among grapevines in an EMU garden) / Advisor to the EMU Cycling Club, which encourages biking rather than driving. / Key player in EMU's Creation Care Council. / Led students to till and plant in the spring of 2008 the first food-generating garden in recent times at

Traits of Mennonite colleges


EMU. [In the World War I era, EMU employees and students not only gardened on campus, they kept hogs, chickens, and cows on the grounds, until some faculty and administrators lobbied for tidier surroundings.] / Brings vast international experience to his students and colleagues: represented Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) in Jordan and Iraq after the U.S invasion of Iraq; taught at Meserete Kristos College in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, where he was a Fulbright scholar in 2001-02. Also was volunteer under MCC auspices in Burundi.

d / MATTHEW SIDERHURST / GOSHEN, BA ’99 / COLORADO STATE U, PHD ’04 / EMU, assistant professor

of chemistry (pictured in the EMU greenhouse) / After receiving PhD, did postdoctoral research with the USDA-ARS-PBARC in Hilo, Hawaii, working to identify attractants for several economically important invasive insects. / Currently maintains research collaborations with USDA scientists in Hawaii./ Will be taking three students to Hawaii to research control methods for an invasive fire ant in the summer of 2009. / Has received over $125,000

in grant money to do chemical ecology projects with eight students. / “A huge reason I am where I am is because of the handful of profs at Goshen who engaged me in class and in research.” / “Having colleagues who appreciate how faith intersects with peace and justice, and the choice of leading a simple lifestyle … this has to be at the top of my list of positives for working at EMU.” / Beginning in the fall of 2009, EMU will be offering a new Environmental Sustainability major; related information at | crossroads | 25

8/Peace & social justice

as core values

People educated at Mennonite colleges are known worldwide for enabling people to address conflicts with dialogue and relationship building, rather than with weapons or other forms of force. This often leads to addressing the roots of the conflict – most often, conditions that cause people to feel victimized or hopeless. Starting with self-transformation, ideally peace ripples out to those immediately around us and further, finally reaching people very different from us. In this way, we can be vehicles for God’s unconditional love and try to live up to the statement, "Blessed are the peacemakers." (Matthew 5:9) a / RUDI KAUFFMAN

a / RUDI KAUFFMAN / EMU, BA ’01 / U. OF CINCINNATI, PhD candidate / BLUFFTON, assistant

professor of restorative justice / Kauffman: “Does ‘just war’ have outcomes that are more just or less just? In researching my dissertation, I found an inverse correlation. ‘Just war’ is an oxymoron.” / As an undergraduate at EMU, did a lot of 21-credit-hour semesters in order to complete three majors – justice, peace & conflict studies; history; sociology – while minoring in economics and political science. / Takes cross-discipline approach in studying and advocating for new approaches to criminal justice that are restorative 26 | crossroads | spring 2009

rather than punitive. / After earning an MA at Quaker-founded Earlham College in Indiana, started his teaching career in a one-room schoolhouse where he taught 6th, 7th and 8th grades simultaneously, which "very nearly killed me.” / As doctoral student gave presentations on government-initiated cybersecurity. / In current position, wrestles with relationship between educating aspiring police officers and restorative justice. b / ANNETTE SELEYIAN LOLCHOKI / EMU senior, majoring in math / Came to EMU from her home country of Kenya after learning about it from a Kenyan whose daughter completed

an EMU degree. / “One thing I will take from EMU is how I view the world. I don’t think fighting back is the answer. We need to try to look at other means of resolving conflict, like dialogue, instead of retaliating.” / “Humility is another thing I’ve learned here, like not going around buying expensive things just because you have the means to buy them. It is better to use wealth to help others.” / “One of the hardest things for me to get used to was calling professors and older people by their first names. I have lived all my life referring to older people with terms that show respect. I still show respect for


my professors, even if I have learned to call them by their first names. I show respect in my tone of voice.” / “I love math. My long-term view is to go home and encourage other Masaii girls to boost their perfomances in math. If I can do it, they can do it too!” c / JOHN TYSON / EMU senior, majoring in Biblical studies / “When I was 15 [years old], 9/11 happened. My family’s Nazarene church jumped on the nationalist bandwagon. I didn’t stop to think, ‘What was going on, what was the appropriate Christian response?’ At first I went along with the point of view in my church. But my teachers at Christopher Dock


[a Mennonite high school in Lansdale, Pa.] saw things differently. Over the next couple of years the war just got more crazy and meaningless, and I got to thinking that these people [his Mennonite teachers) might be on to something. [At age 17] I started going to Souderton Mennonite Church. I was attracted to the theology of being charitable towards people of different persuasions, lifestyles and backgrounds. I immersed myself in Mennonite practice and theory to make sure that this was something I really understood and could go along with. Two years later – after I got to EMU – my parents also made the switch

Traits of Mennonite colleges

to a Mennonite church. I am not attracted by the folksy part of the Mennonite identity – the quilts, shoofly pie, funnel cakes, four-part singing – I like the Mennonite theology. I went to the Middle East [on an EMU-sponsored trip], and I liked the way we were encouraged to be engaged with the wider world, but not in a way that compromises Mennonite beliefs, but in a way that challenges us and helps us to apply these beliefs. The Mennonite peace position is probably the most important to me in terms of my identity as a Mennonite.” / Plans to marry EMU social work major Amy Boshart. | crossroads | 27

Bluffton Reaches Out If Laura Brenneman had to choose between teaching at (A) a hypothetical university where almost all the students were from a Mennonite background or (B) a Mennonite university where 80 percent of the students come from other faith traditions, Brenneman would choose B. Which explains the satisfaction she feels as a professor at Bluffton University. “I like the way Bluffton reaches out to the people of northwest Ohio and aims to be a community based on respect for all,” says Brenneman, an alumna of EMU and AMBS who directs peace and conflict studies at Bluffton. “I like being in the position of sharing the good news about the Anabaptist approach to the Scriptures with people outside of the Mennonite community.” Brenneman says working with a student population who are as likely to be Catholics – or Protestants from the Lutheran, Methodist, or Baptist traditions – as they are to be Mennonites has “helped me refine my message. I can’t assume anything, and I can’t be lazy and fall into using Mennonite code words.” Bluffton’s preference for nonviolent approaches to transforming conflict is not necessarily a drawing card for all prospective students. Instead some may enroll for other assets they see in Bluffton, such as academic rigor, opportunity to play football and other intercollegiate sports, nurturing community, Christian ethos, and track record in post-graduation career success. Regardless of students’ reasons for enrolling, most develop a hunger for “answers to the big questions of life,” notes Brenneman. Each time her course “War, Peace and Nonviolence” is offered, the class size is maxed out. About a dozen students annually enroll in Bluffton’s residential study program in Northern Ireland, offered in cooperation with the University of Ulster, to understand the history of conflict and peace there. Perhaps because Bluffton professors “can’t assume anything,” they have taken the lead among Mennonite colleges in exploring and defining how concepts of nonviolence can be explored through their entire liberal arts curriculum. In October 2000, they spent a day in professor-led sessions that formed the basis of a fascinating book issued in 2003: Teaching Peace – Nonviolence and the Liberal Arts. Are you aware that certain popular actor-training techniques do violence to the student? No? Read chapter 13. How do mainstream accounts of history promote the myth that the best approach to violence is violence? Check out chapter 7. In chapter 20, biology professor W. Todd Rainey asks, “Is there really a war taking place inside the human body? “ Rainey argues for studying and appreciating “our dance with microbes” rather than simply waging war against them. “Perhaps it is the Western scientist’s individualistic, temporal perspective that views mi-

28 | crossroads | spring 2009

LAURA BRENNEMAN / EMU, BA ’96, MA ’00 / AMBS, MA ’01 / U. OF DURHAM (UK), PHD ’05 / BLUFFTON, assistant professor of religion

crobes as the enemy,” he writes. Other Bluffton authors explore non-violent approaches to choral music, Gothic literature, art, communications, psychology, economics, math, and criminal justice, among other topics. Prophetically writing five years before the current financial meltdown, former economics professor James M. Harder (now president of Bluffton) warned in Teaching Peace: “The global market system has definite benefits for human welfare, but it carries a high price tag in the realm of social justice. Improving that record will require improved regulatory systems to control economic power abuse worldwide.” In The Dying of the Light (1998), Catholic educator James Tunstead Burtchaell bemoaned the loss of Christian purpose, of theological distinctiveness, among church-linked colleges and universities in the United States. (More on this topic on page 40.) Burthchaell attributed this, in part, to the decline in the numbers of students from the founding church. Bluffton University may be showing a different way for a Mennonite institution to maintain its purpose and distinctiveness.

Traits of Mennonite colleges

9/Whole (holistic) people Our colleges are small enough that folks can and do stray far beyond the lines of their discipline. An English professor may collaborate with an environmental science professor on a project. You may find a chemistry professor in a lead role of a major campus production, or a physical plant worker in a choir. Professors may be found cheering for their students playing football, basketball, or other games, or chatting with them over meals. If you’re a pre-med major, you can drop into the ceramics lab and throw some pots for relaxation. Or pray in the arboretum. Or play intramurals at midnight. And in chapel and church, you can sit among the entire community – those who clean and maintain the buildings beside those who study and teach in them – and worship as one body of Christ. a / JUNE ALLIMAN YODER

a / JUNE ALLIMAN YODER / GOSHEN, BA ’67 / AMBS, mdiv '88 / BETHANY THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY, DMIN ’91 / AMBS, professor of communication and preach-

ing / Was one of the first Mennonites to get an advanced degree in theater by earning an master's degree in the subject from the University of Iowa in 1970 / “I remember the phone call I made to my parents when I told them I was accepted into the [U. of Iowa] theater program. There was a long pause, a long silence, and then my dad said, ‘Well, we don’t understand this, but we trust you.’” /

Next Yoder decided she wanted to be a preacher at a time when the Mennonite church did not have women in pastoral leadership roles, so she pursued and obtained MDiv and DMin degrees. Again, her parents were baffled but ultimately accepting. / Today she is widely recognized as a mentor and teacher of preachers, using her theater training to help preachers literally unglue their arms from their sides and use their whole bodies in being in the pulpit and spreading the Word. / Yoder bemoans the simplistic “Sunday school faith” of many

people with advanced academic degrees – “they have a university-level understanding of their academic discipline, but a grade-school understanding of their faith.” / On reasons for attending a Mennonite college: “If you just want chemistry, you can get chemistry anywhere. If you just want Shakespeare, you can get Shakespeare wherever you go. You can get quality teaching wherever you go. But you can’t get the same quality of interaction between professors and students. And you can’t get the same quality of people doing the teaching.” | crossroads | 29



b / BRIAN WIEBE / BETHEL, BA ’85 / NORTHWESTERN U., MM ’87 / GOSHEN, executive director of the

Goshen Music Center (pictured in background) / Was hired in 2001 when Goshen College’s splendid $17 million performance, recital and classroom center was half-way constructed. / “They said the sound of the train whistle [the campus is bisected by a train track] would not be audible inside the concert hall. Early one morning I heard the train coming. I quickly hopped on my bike, pedaled 30 | crossroads | spring 2009


here, ran inside, shut all the doors and waited to see if I could hear the train whistle.” (He didn’t.) / “Mennonite institutions have been leaders in ‘living more with less’ and in ‘creation care’ generally. All of them emphasize compassionate peacemaking. Beyond our traditional Mennonite constituency, I see interest growing exponentially in the values we hold. The world is coming our way.” c / KEN RODGERS / HESSTON, AA ’85 / GOSHEN, BA ’88 / U. OF KANSAS, MA ’98 / HESSTON, instructor

in music, including piano, organ, music apprecia-

tion, the Chorale and new student orientation. / “I deeply believe in the value of Mennonite higher education. We may have competed against each other for students in the past, but now I believe there is a general sense of celebration for what all our institutions do. Our challenge lies in getting more young people to attend Mennonite schools, to appreciate the common values we all cultivate, to realize that our society hungers for these values. If we at Hesston lose a student to another Mennonite school, I am still glad that student chose a

Traits of Mennonite colleges


Mennonite institution rather than a local community college, state college or so-called prestigious college. " d / MARIA BEUN DAY / GOSHEN, BA ’73 / HESSTON, Spanish language instructor / “I was born in Holland in 1951. We emigrated to this country when I was eight. Oak Grove Mennonite Church [in Smithville, Ohio] sponsored us and became our extended family.” / Maria's father worked as a dairy herdsman on a 160-acre farm for 10 years to support his family of 11, before buying the farm. / Of the eight surviving children, seven went to college,

including Maria and one other to Goshen. / “After we children were grown, my father sold our farm and went to Haiti on an agricultural mission project to install water pumps. He is a model for me of what it means to be served, and to serve, with gratitude.” e / MATTHEW HUNSBERGER / EMU ’02 / “Matt” is omnipresent on the EMU campus. In this photo he is leading the singing in chapel, accompanied by sophomore Ben Bergey. / Hunsberger fills these roles: facilities technician in Lehman Auditorium; resident director for Parkwood Apartments;

seminary music coordinator, assisting with worship services; assistant to Professor Ken J. Nafziger in directing the Chamber Singers; summer programs assistant during the off-season. / In 2003, Hunsberger co-founded “Sons of the Day,” an a cappella group to “keep alive the rich musical heritage of the Valley.” Over the last six years, the group has sung at dozens of venues, ranging from Virginia-rural churches to a Washington D.C. hotspot. / During his student days, Hunsberger was a chapel planner, music leader, actor, and choir member. | crossroads | 31

10/Relationship building, usually community based

Most of us live in close proximity to each other and care about each other, offering mutual support beyond the classroom. We are a community. We are accountable to each other, committed to working through conflicts respectfully and peacefully. Viewing ourselves as "brothers and sisters in God's service," we tend to use first names and to have egalitarian relationships rather than hierarchical ones. Peacebuilders trained in our colleges start with building relationships across whatever “enemy” lines they encounter, whether ethnic, religious, political, or military. Newcomers tend to be welcomed with relationship-building activities. In our sports teams, players get beyond differences of beliefs, backgrounds, skill, race, and scholastic ability to forge tight teams who become family to each other. a / JOHN E. SHARP

a / JOHN E. SHARP / HESSTON, AA ’73 / GOSHEN, BA ’76 / AMBS, MDIV ’05 / HESSTON, history instructor

and writer of Hesston’s Centennial History Book / From 1995 to 2005, was director of the Mennonite Church USA Historical Committee and Archives in Goshen, Ind. / As a way of enriching classroom learning, in the spring of 2006 Sharp took 30 students to Oklahoma for the "Cheyenne, Arapaho, Mennonite: Journey from Darlington" conference. Students walked on the Washita National Battlefield and heard the story of the Seventh U.S. 32 | crossroads | spring 2009

Cavalry's attack in 1868 on the sleeping village of Cheyenne peace chief Black Kettle. / When it was time for the three Sharp children to attend college, parents John and Michele said, “You can go anywhere you want as long as it’s a Mennonite college.” Eldest daughter Erin, who graduated from a public school in Goshen, went to Goshen College. Though close by, the college was still "a different world." She now teaches elementary music in Denver schools and plays violin in the Denver Philharmonic Orchestra. / Middle child “MJ” went

to EMU and worked at the Military Counseling Network in Germany for three years. He is now in a master's program at the University of Marburg (Germany). / Youngest child Laura started at Hesston College and finished her bachelor’s degree in social work at Goshen. She is enrolled in the master's program in social work at Wichita State U. / Why limit them to Mennonite schools as undergrads? “There are lifelong friendships formed at college, and there are many intangible values conveyed in the context of community.”



Traits of Mennonite colleges


b / DEB ROTH / HESSTON, AA ’83 / GOSHEN, BA ’85 / HESSTON, director of ACCESS (Academic

Center for College Excellence & Student Success) / “When a student leaves Hesston, there is almost a ‘Hesston withdrawal period.’ It’s a period of adjusting, of letting go of two years that were so good. " c / PATRICIA SHELLY (left) / BETHEL, BA ’76 / ILIFF SCHOOL OF THEOLOGY AT U. OF DENVER, PHD ’92 / BETHEL, professor and department chair of Bible

and religion / “Our first year [as Bethel undergraduates] Ada and I were roommates. Now we have

offices together in the building that was our dorm. I remember singing in her wedding!” / For the last 27 years, Shelly has led study tours to the Middle East every other January. She has studied, lived and worked in Israel and Palestine for a total of five years. ADA SCHMIDT-TIESZEN / BETHEL, BA ’74 / U. OF KANSAS, PHD ’04 / BETHEL, professor of social work / “I like getting transfer students from Hesston College. They are quite well prepared and typically have a value base compatible with that of social work: respect of the individual; understanding

the importance of just social systems; helping and serving others.” d / JIM YODER / HESSTON, AA ’62 / GOSHEN, BA ’64 / INDIANA U., PHD ’69 / HESSTON,

chemistry professor / Major roles in two dozen Hesston productions, including Twelfth Night, A Midsummer's Night Dream, The Bourgeois Gentleman and A Christmas Carol. / Two teaching stints in Swaziland, one as a Fulbright scholar. / “Happily I am aware that I can no longer tell from my class rosters, or from race or other appearance, who is Mennonite and who isn’t." | crossroads | 33



e / john MCCABE-JUHNKE / BETHEL, BA ’78 / LOUISIANA STATE U., PHD ’90 / BETHEL, professor & chair

of communication arts / “When I was a teaching assistant at Louisiana State, a relative of one of my students was killed. I sent the student a condolence card. It blew him away. He was so surprised to get a card from one of his teachers. You just don’t have personal relationships with your professors at big state universities, where often you are sitting in a class with 500 other kids.” / “Faculty lunch is one of my favorite things at Bethel – we occupy three or four tables in the lunchroom and really enjoy 34 | crossroads | spring 2009

each other’s company!” f / VAL HERSHBERGER /

group to each other.” JEWEL LEHMAN / EMU, BA ’84

HESSTON, AA ’82 / EMU, BA ’84 / JAMES MADISON U., MS ’96 / GOSHEN, associate professor of physical

/ U. OF NORTH CAROLINA-GREENSBORO, EDD ’03 / GOSHEN, assoc. prof. and dept. chair of physical ed-

education / “It sounds like a cliché, but it is really true that the biggest distinctive [of Mennonite colleges] is their sense of community. In a place like this, you get up every day and look forward to going to work with your colleagues." GARY CHUPP / EMU ’87 / GOSHEN, assistant professor of physical education / “The majority of the players I recruit are not Mennonites, but they do feel part of a family here – a basketball family. We act as a support

ucation & secondary education / Wide experience beyond Menno colleges: James Madison U., where she got her master’s and was an assistant volleyball coach; Baptist-founded Campbell U., where she was volleyball coach; Methodist-linked Greensboro College, where she taught P.E.; and UNCG, where she earned her doctorate. “Each has its positive aspects” – positives of Mennonite colleges include their "work ethic" and “student-centered ethos.”

Traits of Mennonite colleges

Making Peace With Suffering Raised in Middlebury, Indiana, Carolyn Schrock was the only child among seven in her conservative Mennonite family to continue to higher education. Carolyn’s parents did not agree with her decision to go to EMU for a nursing degree until a car accident on July 27, 1980, landed her in the hospital. The EMU community responded with support and care. Almost every day for the first four weeks of Carolyn’s hospitalization – until the school year resumed – Beryl Brubaker [then head of EMU’s nursing program] drove an hour from Harrisonburg to UVa Hospital to check on her student. Carolyn’s parents also came, living temporarily near the hospital for two months, to support their daughter’s struggle to recover from her severe back injury. Their attitude toward EMU and to their daughter’s studies there seemed to change: “How could you not deeply appreciate a place offering so much support to your daughter?” Soon after earning nursing degrees through the master’s level, Carolyn married David Shenk, whom she met at Rosedale Bible College, a conservative Mennonite school in Ohio. The couple spent decades working for Mennonite Central Committee, first in the Philippines, the birthplace of their sons, Caleb (18) and John (13), and then in Lancaster, Pa., where she was associate director, then director of Mennonite Conciliation Service. She edited the 4th edition of the Mediation and Facilitation Training Manual (2000) and co-edited Making Peace with Conflict: Practical Skills for Conflict Transformation (1999), both in wide circulation around the world. After an athletically oriented life – in which running, skating, tennis, volleyball, and biking complemented Carolyn’s work, church, and family responsibilities – the residual effects of the 1980 injury caused her to gradually lose her ability to walk. Several years after taking a teaching job at Goshen College in 2000, Carolyn underwent a series of delicate spinal cord operations to try to halt or reverse the deterioration. These were not successful. Today she is paralyzed from the chest down and navigates in a wheelchair and a van outfitted with hand controls. In the spring 2006 DreamSeeker magazine, Carolyn wrote: I am needing to reconcile the deep longings in my soul. I miss so many things besides walking. I miss the ability to do things fast and cram a lot into a day. I miss the feel of a good foot rub and water on my body. I miss playing soccer with my sons and leaning over to kiss them good night. I miss running errands, gardening, traveling with ease – and the potential for leading cross-cultural student trips. I miss visiting friends and family without being carried up steps. (Check out how many houses don’t have steps.) There is so much more and I ache with these losses. I am working to grieve them, then let them go.


associate professor of peace, justice & conflict studies

She said she has learned that “life doesn’t always turn out as we expect” and that a time of lamenting about our troubles is honest, cathartic and biblical. She also discovered “the critical importance of community in being a cloud of witnesses for God’s love incarnate in difficult times.” Carolyn’s struggles with her body and with God’s mysterious role in her suffering have given her new insights into conflict transformation: “Peacemaking has become a very personal thing – trying to make peace with what life has handed me. I am trying to trust God that this life, so very different from what I wanted, can be rich and meaningful and complete. And that it can be a blessing to others.” | crossroads | 35

11/Global vision Mennonite college folks think that living, working, learning and serving outside of one’s own culture enables us to see that people different from ourselves are our brothers and sisters in the sight of God, whether we share their nationality, religion or any other feature. The majority of the faculty members at Mennonite colleges have extensive international experience. Bethel College president Barry C. Bartel, for example, did voluntary service with his wife Brenda in Haiti and in Bolivia for a total of eight years under Mennonite Central Committee. (Has any other U.S. college president done as much?) Many students -- most students on some our campuses -- spend a semester or more outside of their home cultures. Insular and provincial? No way! Not even if our locations are rural. a / FLORINA IMMACULATE MARY BENOIT & G. “ASHOK” GLADSTON XAVIER

a / FLORINA IMMACULATE MARY BENOIT / EMU, MA ’04 / OSMANIA U. (HYDERABAD, INDIA), PHD ’08 / Benoit and her husband “Ashok” (at right) were

among nine Fulbright students from Asia who completed master’s degrees in conflict transformation at EMU’s Center for Justice and Peacebuilding in 2004. / Upon returning to her home region in the southern sector of India, Benoit entered a PhD in social work program. For her doctoral research, she collaborated with Ashok (also pursuing a PhD), and one other academic to document, for the first 36 | crossroads | spring 2009

time ever, the humiliating conditions under which Sri Lankan Tamil refugees live in camps in Tamil Nadu, an area of India adjacent to Sri Lanka. Now a "doctor," she is Assistant Manager of Industrial Social Work at Loyola College in Chennai. G. “ASHOK” GLADSTON XAVIER / EMU, MA ’04 / LOYOLA COLLEGE (CHENNAI, INDIA), senior lecturer in social work

and PhD candidate / Spends mornings and early afternoons teaching and supervising 80 students at Loyola College. In the late afternoon and evening, he and Florina volunteer at the Organization for

photo by matthew Styer

Eelam Refugee Rehabilitation (OfERR), through which they offer extensive trainings in support of Tamil refugees. They have pioneered the use of dramatic techniques – called “play-back theater” – in their trainings. / The couple travels frequently to Sri Lanka – where hundreds of thousands have been harmed by war – as well as to other parts of the world (about two dozen trips annually outside of India) for trainings and presentations. / Ashok: “Our work in Sri Lanka is in the area of building local capacities for peace and inter-religious education."


Traits of Mennonite colleges

photo by matthew Styer


b / DON CLYMER / HESSTON, AA ’73 / GOSHEN, BA '75 / EMU SEMINARY, MACL ’08 / WICHITA STATE U., MA ’79 / EMU, assistant professor of language and

literature / Has taught Spanish, German and Latin American studies at Hesston / Served with Mennonite Central Committee in Guatemala in 1976 and Mexico 1986-1989. Also with Eastern Mennonite Board of Missions in Honduras 1968-1970 and in 1973. / “Where I grew up, people thought, ‘You go to college and you lose your faith.’ What I find ironic is that students who go to Mennonite

colleges are more likely to stay in the church. That’s what happened with me and my 10 siblings. Of the five who went to Mennonite colleges, four remained in the Mennonite church [80%]. Of the six who didn't go to Mennonite colleges, only two remained in the church [33%].” / Of the 20 students on the 2007 EMU cross-cultural to Guatemala and Mexico, which Clymer and his wife Esther led, half intend to go into voluntary-type service in the future. c / SHINO MIRAWDALY / EMU, junior majoring in biochemistry / Of Kurdish-Iraqi

heritage, Mirawdaly commutes from her home 11 miles south of Harrisonburg, Va., where she lives with her immediate family. They arrived as refugees in the United States in 1997. / As a Muslim she worships in the local mosque; she also sometimes attends chapel with EMU friends. / When she fell ill in 2008, her EMU friends proved to be “amazing, wanting to visit me in the hospital and at my home and offering to help me in any way I may need.” She said some staffers checked to see if her family needed help in covering her medical bills. | crossroads | 37

12/ Living & working as Jesus taught

Jesus lived very, very simply, reaching out to those who were poor, rejected and suffering. He prayed. He asked for forgiveness for those who sinned. He performed miracles. He rejected worldly wealth. He suffered in the face of violence, asking that we love our enemies and turn the other cheek. At Mennonite colleges, there is a heartfelt desire to live and work as Jesus did, though we confess to falling short to living up to this desire. a / MATTHEW TSCHETTER


“Counting my secondary school, Freeman Academy in South Dakota, I have studied at five Mennonite Education Agency institutions in four states. All have these common distinctives: community, service/vocation, and biblical peacemaking. These characteristics are undergirded by a commitment to a Christ-centered, Anabaptist approach to learning and living, which plays a crucial role in moral and faith formation.” b / MARION BONTRAGER / HESSTON, AA ’57 / GOSHEN, BA ’59 / GOSHEN BIBLICAL SEMINARY (now AMBS), MDIV ’63 / HESSTON,

professor in Bible and ministry department / “I work for the Mennonite church, but I happen to teach at Hesston. One of my goals is for students 38 | crossroads | spring 2009


to become biblically literate. All are required to take the course 'Introduction to Biblical Literature,' which I created. In pre-tests, fewer than 10 students out of 115 knew the books of the Bible. I teach the Bible as drama, as narrative story. We would be very concerned if students left here without a love for the Bible and a commitment to the Word.” c / LAURA AMSTUTZ / BLUFFTON, BA ’03 / EMU SEMINARY, MDIV ’06 / EMU, assistant director for church partnerships

& communication coordinator / Discovered her love for “listening to and telling stories” when she was a work-study student in Bluffton’s public relations office and assistant director of Bluffton’s radio station. / “What I appreciated about being at Bluffton, I see here too – the professors really care about their students. They invite them to their houses, they eat

meals together, they hang out together, and they talk to each other about life.” / After workdays at EMU, Laura usually joins her husband Brandon at Downtown Fine Furniture in Harrisonburg, Va., which they opened in early 2008. The store sells solid-wood pieces made by Amish workers in northeast Ohio, where both Brandon and Laura grew up. Yet the store does not advertise this fact. The couple does not wish to trade on the Amish “brand,” feeling that this is exploitive. “These are people Brandon knew as a child, and my father did legal work for them. We have a relationship with them. They have visited our store. They take the time to make quality furniture and to do it right. In our throw-away society, these pieces are the opposite – they are made to be handed down to children and grandchildren. I hope we are



Traits of Mennonite colleges


contributing in a small way to enduring values and sustainability.” d / LOREN L. JOHNS / GOSHEN, BA ’77 / GOSHEN BIBLICAL SEMINARY (now AMBS), MDIV ’84 / PRINCETON THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY, PHD ’98 / AMBS, associate professor of New Testament / Taught

Bible at Bluffton from 1993-2000, while coordinating its peace and conflict studies program, 19982000. / In high school, Johns had a teacher who undermined his faith, leading Johns as a teenager to believe his only choice was between being honest or being a Christian. This caused Johns to arrive at Goshen College “having rejected my faith.” / “I had some really good conversations my freshman year about why my friends continued to believe and why I did not.” Over time, though, “I thought I could see God working in my friends’ lives and that was a

bit bothersome to me.” / Stanley C. Shenk, one of Johns’ professors at Goshen, “had a style of considering critical issues that attracted me. He didn’t ignore the questions, nor was he afraid of considering them seriously.” / Within the supportive environment offered by Goshen, “I had a conversion experience that was more profound than the baptism I had at age 11. God blessed me with a sense of joy and peace.” e / LEE F. SNYDER / U. OF OREGON, BA ’72 / JAMES MADISON U., MA ’74 / U. OF OREGON, PHD ’85 / BLUFFTON, president, 1996-'06 / EMU, academic dean,

1984-'96; v-p, 1987-'96; interim provost, 2008-'09 / In a keynote speech to the Mennonite Health Assembly on 03/30/07, Snyder noted that during World War II, rather than take up weapons, many Mennonites joined the Civilian Public Service. Some

were sent to work in mental hospitals. Dr. Paul W. Pruyser, a Menninger Foundation executive, made the following observations about the Mennonite workers in mental hospitals (as cited by Snyder): They had “an abhorrence of violence and cruelty, an acquired sense of responsibility for the welfare of others, a cordial team spirit, a modest self-appraisal, and a sober lifestyle that stimulated community feeling rather than personal fulfillment of brilliance… They… fulfilled their service obligation as a mission – a peace mission, a human betterment mission rather than an evangelistic outreach campaign.” / Snyder believes Mennonite institutions continue to do a remarkable job of nurturing these qualities, not just in the classroom but in all the ways that Christian service is performed, modeled and taught. | crossroads | 39

Is the Light Dying?

Depending on whom you talk to and what statistics you examine, you could draw opposite conclusions about Mennonite colleges. Either: (1) they are morphing into being little different from other small liberal arts college around the country – and, if so, then why do they exist, since they tend to lag behind older, wealthier colleges in the amount of financial aid they can offer and the money they can put into student-pleasing facilities – or – (2) they continue to occupy a distinctive niche in the Christian canopy, being neither Protestant nor Catholic and insisting that Jesus’ teachings on community, peacemaking, piety, and loving one’s neighbors are as applicable today as they were 2,000 years ago. Over the last 20 years, many Christian sociologists and educators have warned that U.S. colleges launched on a faith basis have a strong tendency to move away from the tenets of the founding church, gradually gaining their independence but losing their theological reasons for existing. This is rarely an intentional move, writes James Tunstead Burthchaell in The Dying of the Light, a 868-page, 1990s-era study focusing on seven Christian traditions (but not the Anabaptists). Burthchaell thinks the separation happens inexorably as colleges try to maintain or grow their enrollment in the face of fewer students from the founding tradition, attract top-notch scholars regardless of their religious persuasion, satisfy the demands of government as well as secular accrediting agencies, and generally enhance their colleges’ prestige in the eyes of the world, which mitigates against being “different.” In Quality With Soul—How Six Premier Colleges and Universities Keep Faith with Their Religious Traditions (2001), Robert Benne, professor of religion at Roanoke College, argues that it is essential for a college to maintain a “critical mass” of trustees, administrators, faculty and students from the founding faith in order to keep everyone rowing more or less in sync, heading in the direction established by the church, rather than being swamped by mainstream culture. In Models for Christian Higher Education (1997), Anabaptist historian Theron F. Schlabach asks, “Where is the threshold beyond which diversity [in belief] brings a loss of the institution’s purposes and character?” In the fall of 2008, the Mennonite Education Agency (MEA) reported that Mennonites constitute 45% of the total undergraduate population at MEA-affiliated institutions, a percentage that declines with each passing decade. Among graduate or non-traditional students, religious diversity is the norm in all Mennonite institutions. On the key issue of who teaches and otherwise shapes students, the colleges differ on how much uniformity of Mennonite belief and practice they

40 | crossroads | spring 2009

seek in hiring faculty members and administrators. Amid worries about the end of distinctive roles for faithfounded colleges, Brian McLaren, a decidedly non-traditional Christian thinker, offers counter-views. The title of his 2007 bestseller sums up his optimism: Everything Must Change – Jesus, Global Crises and a Revolution of Hope. McLaren sees a grassroots movement toward a renewed understanding of Jesus’ message of spiritual and social redemption. In a visit to EMU this spring, he suggested that Mennonite colleges already embody the message of transformational Christianity that others, especially young adults, are now seeking. Unlike Burtchaell and Benne, McLaren feels hopeful, observing that though this grassroots movement is not bound by traditional church structures, it may spark renewal within them. Is the Mennonite light dying? No, not if viewed through McLaren’s lens. Not if measured by the disproportionate impact Mennonite colleges and their alumni have had and continue to have. On the global level, the Mennonite church is growing. In the United States, Mennonite churches serving urban people of color and recent immigrants are also expanding. Millions around the world continue to resonate with our church’s age-old message that “true evangelical faith cannot lie sleeping, but it clothes the naked; feeds the hungry; and returns good for evil” (Menno Simons). These populations may be the largest source of the next generation of students at Mennonite colleges. As can be seen with Meserete Kristos College in Ethiopia, founded in 1997, they may even be the founders of new Mennonite colleges. Bonnie Price Lofton, MA '04, editor

photo by lindsey Roeschly


Bluffton University’s Camerata Singers, a select choral group directed by Mark J. Suderman, performed at churches in Virginia, New York, Pennsylvania and Ohio in early March, 2009. This concert was at Park View Mennonite Church in Harrisonburg, Va., on March 7.

Faculty and Staff

Paul (P.T.), emeriti, age 95, and Marjorie Yoder ’35, Guengerich, 93, Harrisonburg, Va., were recognized during half-time of the men’s basketball game on Dec. 3. They received a Royal Service Award for their 42 years of “unending encouragement and support of the players, coaches and staff of the athletic program” at EMU.

Vernon Jantzi ’64, professor emeritus of sociology, was appointed to be interim vice president and undergraduate academic dean for 2009-10, following the announcement that Marie Morris was stepping down from those roles. Jantzi is also coordinating a study on the feasibility of establishing a Center for the Study of Abrahamic Traditions at EMU. The center would enable the three members of Abrahamic faith traditions, Christianity, Islam and Judaism, to collaborate in research, training, learning and relations that promote peace, just development, security and wholeness in North America and world-wide. Roman Miller, the Daniel B. Suter endowed professor of biology, gave a bioethics presentation entitled “Death, Choosing to Die, and Dying” to a group of ministers, elders, and congregational leaders at the biannual meeting of the Fraternal Anabaptist Network meeting at Martindale Mennonite Church, Ephrata, Pa., Nov. 8. The network, designed to provide a forum for interaction and fellowship for congregational leaders,

is an emerging cluster of theologically conservative Anabaptist congregational leaders who hold other organizational affiliations.

Tech group, President Swartzendruber, academic leaders in conflict transformation and students studying peacebuilding.

tion, July 14, of the 15th Mennonite World Conference (MWC) assembly in Asuncion, Paraguay. Nancy is the outgoing president of MWC.

Loren E. Swartzendruber ’76, MDiv ’79, EMU’s president, met Jan. 22 with a group of 11 persons from Virginia Tech led by Jerzey Nowak. Nowak, a professor at Virginia Tech, lost his wife, Jocelyne, in the April 16, 2007 massacre. The family felt the most fitting tribute to Jocelyne and other victims of the tragic shooting rampage was to establish a peace center at the university. In May, Virginia Tech announced the establishment of a Center of Peace Studies and Violence Prevention, with Nowak as its head. Nowak “knew almost nothing about Eastern Mennonite University” prior to exploring how to begin the peace studies program. From numerous information packages and offers of collaboration Nowak received, he found EMU’s program to “be fascinating and one of the most highly regarded.” This led to interaction among the Virginia

Marie Schuessler ’84, Morris, vice president and undergraduate dean, has accepted an offer to be vice president for academic affairs and dean at Anderson University in Indiana, ending 22 years of service to EMU. She has also been elected to the Lilly Fellows National Network Board for a four- year term. The National Network Board, comprised of 12 campus representatives from National Network schools, reviews applications from, and awards LFP grants to, Network schools including mentoring programs, network exchanges, regional conferences, summer seminars for college teachers, and national research conferences.

Marvin Lorenzana, CMS ’05, director of multicultural services, hosted a luncheon in Martin Chapel, Nov. 22, for area Hispanic pastors and prospective students from their congregations. This was the first time for such a gathering. Approximately 60 pastors, youth leaders, and young people from nine congregations attended.

Nancy R. Heisey, MDiv ’94, associate professor and chairperson of the Bible and religion department, will be the keynote speaker at the opening celebra-

Where Is the “Arts Issue” of Crossroads? It is coming! We pushed the arts theme forward to the summer ’09 issue of Crossroads, because a convergence of factors made it the “right time” to do the spring ’09 issue on the value of Mennonite higher education. We are grateful to the dozens of alumni who responded to our appeal for ideas and submissions on their work in the visual and performing arts. Look for the “arts issue” in your mailboxes in a couple of months, along with information on Homecoming at EMU, scheduled for Oct. 9, 10 and 11, 2009. Reserve the days on your calendar now and plan to spend the time with family and friends.


Richard S. Weaver, HS ’38 ’53, Harrisonburg, Va., was featured in the Dec. 29 issue of the Daily News Record for his 70 years of listening to voices in the global village. Richard began his lifelong role at age 16. He has presented sermons over the airwaves and has helped with communication efforts during every major disaster in the area since the late 1930s. Norman L. Loux ’42, founder of Penn Foundation, Sellersville Pa., retired from the board in 2008 after 53 years of service to the organization. He was presented with citations from Gov. Edward G. Rendell and the Pennsylvania Senate and House of Representatives.


Roland Yoder ’57, currently living in Landis Homes, Lititz, Pa., wrote an article entitled “Our Lives have been En- | crossroads | 41

riched” in the Fall issue of Intersections of Franconia Mennonite Conference. It is about the experiences he and his wife, Dorothy, enjoyed as coordinators of the Service Opportunities for Older Persons program in Phoenix, Ariz. When the Yoders retired in 1999, they desired to engage in voluntary service. They had little idea they would return to Phoenix, from October to April each year, for nine years. Their yearly return is robust evidence that their lives were enriched by being “caught up in the joy of serving others.”

Mitsuo Kyokuta ’58, left, with his family

Interested in Teaching English in Japan? Mitsuo Kyokuta ’58, the founder of Matty’s School of English, welcomes native-English speakers interested in teaching English in Japan. Kyokuta realized many years ago that English education must be started in childhood and that teaching must concentrate on listening Paul T. Yoder ’50 is the new editor of Mileposts, with his first series and speaking. Traditionally in Japan, English is introduced in junior of alumni notes to appear in the winter 2006-07 issue of Crossroads. high school with a heavy focus on reading, writing and translation. Yoder succeeds Paul T. Guengerich, who assembled “Mileposts” for As a result, a high number of university students who majored in 24 years as a part-time job until he retired this summer at age 93. English cannot carry on simple daily conversation, says Kyokuta. Like Guengerich, Yoder brings deep roots and a wide network in In its 37 years of teaching English, Matty’s has found that holding the Mennonite community to the task of combing church periodicals, speech contests in English focusing on intonation, pronunciation and newspapers and other information sources, gathering news notes on delivery is an effective means of motivating young learners to perfect activities, achievements and milestones on our 15,000-plus alumni. their speech. The contest, which EMU helps sponsor, also prepares From 1956 to 1977, Yoder was a missionary physician in Ethiopia, students for the world of public speaking, which is very rare in Japan. the only physician in a city of 30,000 in his first few years of service. In April, 2008, Kyokuta received the inaugural Sazanka Club Upon returning to the United States, Yoder practiced medicine in Prize. The club was founded in 2007 in commemoration of the 110th and around Harrisonburg, Va. He staffed a family practice office for birthday of Dr. R. H. Blyth, a professor at Gakushuin University who eight years. Then he tended to the medical needs of prisoners and helped introduce Japanese Zen and Haiku to the western world. The nursing home residents, while simultaneously serving as the bishop 2008 prize is for persons who have contributed to the world of literaand overseer of the Harrisonburg district of Virginia Mennonite Conture and arts in Japan. Kyokuta was recognized for pioneering more ference. effective ways of teaching English through his school. Yoder has been married for 57 years to Daisy, whom he met when Professor Matsuo Inamura, a late professor at Gakushuin Univershe attended EMHS and EMU from 1946 to 1949. They have four sity and a bestselling writer of over 100 books, wrote that Matty’s children: Debra (Gullman), Daniel, Paul Jr., and Judith (Stroop). method of teaching is not only up-to-date, but highly effective in Yoder grew up on a Delaware farm as one of 13 children under the giving budding young learners the ability to converse in English. care of his parents – 9 biological siblings, one adopted sister, and two For information on this and other opportunities to teach English in additional youngsters. Due to a decision by the state of Delaware international settings, visit to expel Mennonite children for not saluting the American flag, the Yoder children had difficulty completing high school. As a young teenager eager to be a missionary doctor, Yoder was permitted to come to Virginia to enroll in grade 9 at Eastern Mennonite High School. He is the only one of his siblings with a college education. Beginning in thewith fall Paul of 2009, undergraduates able“Paul” to major in Get in touch T. Yoder – feel free towill callbehim rather “peacebuilding and–development,” which willHe’s be aatcombination of the than “Dr. Yoder” with your alumni news. (540) 432-4205 or “justice, peace and conflict studies” major and the “applied sociology” major. Under this major, theoretical study will be paired with the practice of peacebuilding and sustainable development. Studies will be geared toward intentional social change around issues of conflict, poverty, inequality, sustainability and social justice.

Yoder New Mileposts Editor

New Major: Peacebuilding & Development

fall 2007 42 | crossroads | spring 2009

Robert B. Wenger ’58, professor emeritus of natural and applied sciences at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, was in China for three weeks in October. On this, his and wife Lena’s sixth trip to China over the past two decades, he attended a scientific conference at Beijing Normal University, consulted with faculty and students in the School of the Environment at Beijing Normal, presented a lecture on ecosystem risk assessment at East China University of Science and Technology in Shanghai, and visited Dujiangyan, a city near Chengdu, known for its 2000-year-old water irrigation system. He also observed major damage in Dujiangyan resulting from the May 2008 earthquake. Janice Sensenig '59, Lancaster, Pa., left Ten Thousand Villages in Akron and Ephrata, Pa., after 20 years as regional sales manager, festival sale coordinator, part-time sales associate and, finally, volunteer. Since retirement she tutors in English as a second language.


James C. Longacre ’65, Barto, Pa., was presented with the first copy of his book, Like Those Who Dream, at the regular Sunday morning service of Salford Mennonite Church, Harleysville, Pa., Nov. 23. The 200- page book contains 30 sermons selected from more than 500 sermons James preached during his 15-year span, 1992-2006, at Salford Mennonite Church. James is retired after serving in various roles in Franconia Mennonite Conference for four decades. Dale W. Stoltzfus ’65, Lancaster, Pa., has retired as bishop of Landisville District of Lancaster Mennonite Conference. He will continue his role as interim conference minister. Michael M. Zehr ’65, Goshen, Ind., was installed Nov. 2 as overseer at Olive Mennonite Church, Elkhart, Ind. He is also the overseer at Holdeman Mennonite Church in Wakarusa.  John J. Miller ’68, Lancaster, Pa., recently retired after teaching music for 36 years. He noted that he taught in Christian schools by choice during his career, believing this environment enabled him to “teach the whole person.” He taught at Locust Grove Mennonite School (k-8) for 11 years, Rosslyn Academy (k-12), Nairobi, Kenya, 7 years, and 16 years at Lancaster Mennonite School. John

also taught 1 year at Hinkletown Mennonite School and 1 year at Greenwood Mennonite School, Greenwood, Del.


 JB Miller ’70, Indianapolis Ind., has been appointed to the Meritas Financial Inc. board of directors. Meritas is the investment manager for the Meritas Mutual Funds, one of Canada’s leading providers of socially responsible investments. It is based in Kitchener, Ontario.

Jon Dutcher ’72, Harrisonburg, Va., provided a glimpse into his life journey as a second grade teacher and as a person with Parkinson’s Disease in the December 2008 – January 2009 issue of inVIEW, a periodical of Park View Mennonite Church. Entitled “Reshaped by the Potter to be Missional: A Story and a Challenge,” Jon tells of his need to give up teaching as the result of his disability and his delight to be asked last fall to teach all the library lessons to the four second-grade classes at Cub Run Elementary School, which opened its doors for the first time last fall. Karen Miller ’74 Akron, Ohio, is working at Akron General Hospital. She received her certified registered nurse anesthetist status from Wolford College in Florida. Nelson Shenk ’74, MAL ’96, pastor of Boyertown Mennonite Church, Boyertown, Pa., reported in Franconia Mennonite Conference’s fall 2008 issue of Intersections on the friendship that developed between the congregation and the Tabernacle of Christ congregation in Vińa Del Mar, Chile. The relationship developed through a series of events leading to a group from Boyertown Mennonite spending a week in Vińa Del Mar, to assist Tabernacle of Christ in building their new church facility. The team experienced “the warm embrace of fellow believers.” They returned home with the conviction that God is “active and involved everywhere.” Darrel ’77, MAR ’82, and Sherill King ’78 Hostetter, MAL ’00, GC ’07, Lancaster, Pa., were resource persons at the annual Allegheny Mennonite Conference pastor/ spouse retreat, Oct. 10-12. They used Philippians 3:10-11 as the focus for the weekend, entitled “Passionate Spirituality.” Using stories, providing time for prayer, solitude and reflection, the Hostetters provided attendees with resources for a beneficial retreat. Carol Schrock ’78 Jordan, currently a missionary in Hong Kong, was selected to receive the 2008 Alumnus of the Year Award by Eastern Mennonite School. In her message, entitled “Hard Pressed—Into God’s Heart,” Carol spoke convincingly and persuasively about God’s steadfast presence in the context of tragedy during the Oct. 19 Sunday morning worship service. Eugene (Gene) Miller ’79, MAM ’88, has been appointed as head administrator of Central Christian School, Kidron, Ohio. Gene’s years of robust involvement in Christian education and his theological commit-

ment were major factors that motivated the board of trustees to select Gene for this significant ministry. Melvin H. Thomas ’79 was installed as interim pastor at Gehman Mennonite Church, Adamstown, Pa., on July 6.


Sylvia (Sib) Nafziger ’81 Charles, Lancaster, Pa., received the Distinguished Service Award from Christopher Dock Mennonite High School based on her mission and service involvement since graduating from Christopher Dock in 1975. Sib is eastern Pennsylvania program director for Joni and Friends, a worldwide ministry to individuals and families with disabilities. She cared for the injured and grieving at Ground Zero soon after 9/11, initiated a “Day of Pampering” for mothers of children and wives of husbands with disabilities. Her experience in relating to persons with disabilities is a robust resource in the cooperative ministry of Sib and her husband, Jess, a quadriplegic survivor of a farming accident. Timothy Martin Johnson ’82, Philadelphia, Pa., recently received the 2008 Teaching Award from Yale University. Timothy was nominated by a former student, Jenny Groff, a current freshman at Yale. He has been helping 11th and 12th graders with the study of math at Cheltenham High School for nearly 15 years.

Cheryl Sell ’84 Hollinger, education director at Forest Hills Mennonite Church, Leola, Pa., was the keynote speaker at the fall gathering of the Atlantic Coast Conference Mennonite Women at Conestoga Mennonite Church, Morgantown, Pa., Oct. 24. The theme of the evening was “Let’s Walk It Together.” Cheryl believes that God did not create us to walk through life alone. She noted, “If we don’t care for each other on our life journeys, none of us will make it. As women of God, we create blessing when we cultivate wholesome ways of nourishing each other in every season of life.” Richard Royal ’84, Kensington, Md., has accepted a position at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Tex., and thus is no longer at the National Institutes of Health. Mary Jo Bowman ’86, MDiv ’07, is employed as a chaplain with Hospice of Bluegrass, Harlan, Ky. She and her husband, Frank Brown, recently became members of Harlan Mennonite Fellowship. Sandra (Sandy) Alberte ’87, Lititz, Pa., has been the Chief People Officer (CPO) for Pennfield Corporation in Lancaster, Pa., for the past 3 years. Pennfield is an animal feed, primarily dairy feed, technology company. She is also CPO for Ritter Food Service, a center of the plate food distribution company owned by Pennfield. Sandra has 20 years experience in human resource management.  Donna Shank ’87 Armstrong, Bridgewater, Va., Angela Kreider ’87, Scottsville, Va., and Susan Harman ���89

Smith, Harrisonburg, Va., were featured in the Dec. 29 issue of the Daily News Record in an article entitled “Spilling The Beans On The Jelly Jar.” It is the story of the discovery of a jelly jar, filled with treasured items from each of the three girls, to remind them of their six happy years as students at Mount Clinton Elementary School. The jar, with its treasures, was hidden in the ceiling of the school in May 1976. Thirty-two years later, someone at the school, now the home of Calvary Christian Academy, discovered the memento. Joseph (Joe) Hollinger ’87, Lancaster, Pa., was appointed as the director of development at Eastern Mennonite Missions (EMM), effective Oct. 1. Joe has had various previous assignments with EMM. He and his wife, Cheryl Sell ’84, with their family, worked in church development in Pontypridd, Wales, from1994-2005. From January 2006 to September 2008, Joe was multimedia designer at EMM. As director of development, Joe will oversee communications, development, church development and computer services. Todd Shenk ’88, Shoreline, Wash., moved to the Seattle, Wash., area four years ago to take a job with Casey Family Programs, a national foundation whose mission is to provide for, and improve upon, foster care services. Casey Family Programs was created in 1966 by Jim Casey, the founder of UPS. Todd and his team are responsible for collecting and analyzing information from around the country about the best practices in child welfare—what is working well—and helping to spread this valuable information to other jurisdictions. Todd travels widely and very much enjoys his work. Linwood ’88 and Radella Todd ’92 Vrolijk, Hinton, Va., were awarded the Farm Family Stewardship of the Year award at the Jan. 8 Harrisonburg Chamber of Commerce dinner. The Farm Family Stewardship award was given to the Vrolijk Poultry Farm for preserving the tradition of family farming, using conservation methods in farming and preserving the environment. The family raises 75,000 turkeys every year for the Virginia Poultry Growers Cooperative. Linwood coaches soccer for Eastern Mennonite High School and Shenandoah Valley United. Radella is a member of the Family Life Resources Board.


David Hockman-Wert ’91, Corvallis, Ore, is the moderator of Pacific Northwest Mennonite Conference, Mennonite Church, USA.

Glenn R. Kauffman, MAR ’92, Laurel, Md., was installed as bishop/overseer of the Washington-Baltimore District of Lancaster Mennonite Conference on Oct. 19. On Jan.1, he began as director of Global Ministries for Eastern Mennonite Missions. Glenn has served

The Nelson Good House

WCSC... Exciting Past, Expanding Future EMU’s Washington Community Scholars’ Center (WCSC) recently announced that three students from Bluffton University in Ohio will be based at WCSC in the fall of 2009. This is the first contingent from Bluffton to do service-study through WCSC. “Over the years we have attracted students from Goshen, Bethel and Hesston,” notes Dr. Kim Schmidt, director of WSCS and associate professor of history. “We are very excited to welcome Bluffton University students and the perspectives they bring to the program.” The history of WCSC, previously called Washington Study Service Year, is covered in the book Long After I’m Gone – A Father-Daughter Memoir, by Deborah Good with Nelson Good (WCSC founder). Issued by Cascadia Publishing House early in 2009, the book intertwines the voice of Nelson ’68 with daughter Deborah ’02 as Nelson faces the cancer that will ultimately take his life. He tells of his involvement in seven projects, communities and organizations through four tumultuous decades. With disarming frankness, Deborah shares her journey of remembrance, loss and grief. Nelson died July 13, 2005. The 5,000-square-foot WCSC building at 836 Taylor Street in Northeast D.C. was dedicated as the Nelson Good House on Aug. 20, 2005. It has a capacity for 15 students, as well as limited space for short-term educational visitors. “WCSC's inter-disciplinary seminar analyzes social problems, faith issues and urban experiences through the arts, reading and writing assignments, and group discussion,” according to an overview posted at The seminar is rounded out by guest speakers, internship placements, theater performances, and history and arts tours. Nelson Good House is located in a working-class, largely AfricanAmerican neighborhood. Students have private bedrooms. They participate in community living by sharing meals, cooking and cleaning, while practicing conflict resolution as needed. Doug Hertzler ’88, associate professor of anthropology who was mentored by Nelson Good, is associate director of WCSC. Jason Good ’05, Deborah’s younger brother, works in the admissions department at EMU and is the women’s soccer coach. Jason just finished a master’s degree in Hispanic studies at Universidad de Cádiz in Spain. Deborah is pursuing a master’s degree in social work at Temple University. Eldest sibling Ryan Good is a graduate of Goshen College, with an MAT degree earned at Associated Mennonite Biblical Seminary. Their mother (Nelson's widow), Betty, is a '67 alumna. | crossroads | 43

in various Eastern Mennonite Missions assignments. He served on a Youth Evangelism Service team, as the Director of the Baltimore Discipleship Center, and with his wife, June, as a worker with the churches in Hong Kong. He also served as the area representative to Asia for the Global Ministries Department. As director of Global Ministries, Glenn is responsible for oversight of the longterm sending department of Eastern Mennonite Missions.


These 10 members of the class of 2009 received EMU’s highest honor of Cords of Distinction: (standing, from left) Laura C. Cattell of Honey Brook, Pa.; Webster A. Contreras of Harrisonburg, Va.; Jackson T. Maust of Bay Port, Mich.; David N. Showalter of Harrisonburg; Rachael L. Clemmer of Harleysville, Pa; (seated, from left) Natalie Bonilla Pa.;editor Rebeca S. Barge ofwith Harrisonburg; Paul T. Yoder of ’50Reading, is the new of Mileposts, his first series Sarah E. Kalichman of Richmond, Va., Michelle M. Kennel of Jonesof alumni notes to appear in the winter 2006-07 issue of Crossroads. boro, Ga.; Katie Lehman of Archbold,who Ohio. Yoder succeeds Paul T. Guengerich, assembled “Mileposts” for 24 years as a part-time job until he retired this summer at age 93. Sarah one of the honorees LikeKalichman, Guengerich, Yoder brings deep in roots and a wide network in the photo above,community here wears to thethe highly Mennonite task of combing church periodicals, modest clothing and head coveringsources, seen gathering news notes on newspapers and other information among Old Order Mennonite groups. Kalactivities, achievements and milestones on our 15,000-plus alumni. ichman nottoMennonite, chose to physician in Ethiopia, From is1956 1977, Yoderbut wasshe a missionary wear suchphysician clothing in fora the ’09 Lent the only cityspring of 30,000 in his first few years of service. periodreturning as an experiment in strengthening Upon to the United States, Yoder practiced medicine in her Christ and lessening her a family practice office for and reliance around on Harrisonburg, Va. He staffed concern withThen society’s standards of medical appear- needs of prisoners and eight years. he tended to the ance. The experiment worked, she said. nursing home residents, while simultaneously serving as the bishop and overseer of the Harrisonburg district of Virginia Mennonite Conference. Yoder has been married for 57 years to Daisy, whom he met when she attended EMHS and EMU from 1946 to 1949. They have four children: Debra (Gullman), Daniel, Paul Jr., and Judith (Stroop). Yoderofgrew up onfrom a Delaware as of onearts of in 13 counseling children under the A team students EMU’s farm master program care of his parents – 9 biological siblings, one adopted sister, and took third place in the annual national Graduate Student Ethics two additional youngsters. to aAmerican decision by the state of Delaware Competition sponsoredDue by the Counseling Association to expel Mennonite children for not saluting the American flag, the (ACA), headquartered in Alexandria, Va. Yoder children had difficulty completing high school. The team of Nate Koser, Genhi Whitmer, and Zachary Taylor were As a young teenager eager to be submitted a missionary doctor, Yoder was among 29 teams nationwide who essays in the masters permitted to come to Virginia to enroll in grade 9 at Eastern Menlevel competition. Each essay was reviewed by three separate reviewnonite School.ethics He iscommittee the only one his siblings withpoint a college ers fromHigh the ACA's andofgraded on a 100 scale education. for a maximum score of 300 points. The EMU students case study, Get in touch with Paul T. Yoder – feel free to call him “Paul” rather pertaining to a workplace issue of conflicting allegiances, received a than “Dr. Yoder” – with your alumni news. He’s at (540) 432-4205 or score of 288 points. The team from the College of William & Mary in Williamsburg,

Yoder New Mileposts Editor

Counseling Places No. 3 in National Competition

Va., took first place, and the team from Youngstown (Ohio) State took second place. Only five points separated the top three teams.

fall 2007 44 | crossroads | spring 2009

Rodney Lebron ’92, Mt. Jackson, Va., pastor of Woodland Mennonite Church, Basye, Va., recently had the opportunity to save a family of three from perishing in a fire in their home in Shenandoah County. Rodney was driving home from work, Friday, Dec. 5, when he observed flames “dancing on the roof” of a house. After stopping his car, he ran to the door and knocked. No one answered. Rodney then kicked in the door and yelled. A man came down the stairs and asked, “What are you doing in my house?” Rodney responded, “Your house is on fire.” He and the man on the stairs rescued the other two persons in the house by awakening them from their sleep. The house soon went up in flames. No one was injured or perished.

Lipset lipstick. In seeking to re-supply herself with the lipstick, Sarah contacted a series of three people to find a consultant. One of them suggested she begin her own business. Sarah has found her role gratifying, “helping women feel more confident, whether it’s helping her with skin care or makeup.” Susan Gascho-Cooke ’97, Atlanta, Ga., was ordained as chaplain at Atlanta Mennonite Fellowship, Nov. 2. Donna Mast, MAL ’97, Scottdale, Pa., spoke on the topic “Footloose and Baggagefree” Saturday night, Aug. 2, at the annual conference session of Allegheny Mennonite Conference. Cedric Moore ’97, Richmond, Va., was recently appointed to the Governor’s Advisory Board on Child Abuse and Neglect by Virginia governor Tim Kaine.  He has also been working as a quality assurance coordinator for the Richmond Behavioral Health Authority, has begun doing consulting work as Quality Consulting Solutions, Inc., of which he is owner/operator.  Mark Witmer ’97, recently moved to Charlotte, N.C., where Mark is based as a pilot for US Airways.

Karen Minatelli ’93, Alexandria, Va., an attorney, accepted a new position as director for work and family programs at the National Partnership for Women and Families, Washington, D.C.

Clarissa Lee ’98 Kennerly, Winchester, Va., has written My Husband’s Not Saved, released by the Christian selfpublisher Xulon Press. Clarissa maintains that her husband, Mark, “returned to the Lord through much prayer and faith.” She notes that her book is not only for married women and men whose spouses are not saved. “It is also for the single woman and man so that they get a good look at what life could be like if they decided to marry or even date outside their faith.”

Pendo Muganda ’94 is an assistant for strategic information in HIV/AIDS, based at the World Health Organization headquarters in Switzerland.

Jonathan D. Bowman ’98, MDiv ’08, was licensed as associate pastor of Christian formation at Landisville Mennonite (Pa.) Church on Aug. 24.

John Leonard ’92, Harrisonburg, Va., a teacher of English and literature at Eastern Mennonite High School, is a new co-owner of the Waynesboro Generals, a team in Valley Baseball League. The Generals were winners of the last three Valley League Regular season titles.

Peter Good ’95, Duluth, Minn., is employed as an internal medicine physician with St. Mary’s Health System. Matt Hamsher ’95, MDiv ’99, Kidron, Ohio, served as assistant pastor of Walnut Creek Mennonite Church, after graduating from EMS until 2003. He then moved with his family to Pasadena, Calif., to earn a Ph.D. in Christian ethics from Fuller Theological Seminary. Matt has joined the Ohio Mennonite Conference staff as a half-time regional pastor. Anthony ’95 and Rita Hess ’95 Steffen, Mechanicstown, Ohio, have recently been blessed by being able to buy a farm in Carroll County, Ohio, and are happy to be continuing their pasturebased dairy operation there. Sarah Miller-Piper ’96, Broadway, Va., was featured in the Dec. 17-23 issue of The North Fork Journal (Broadway)for launching a new business venture as a representative for Mary Kay in 2002 as a result of running out her favorite Satin


Micah Shristi ’00 and his wife, Charlotte, were commissioned by First Mennonite Church, Iowa City, Sept 14, for a three-year term of service in Nepal with MCC.

Betsy Lee, GCC ’01, Golden Valley, Minn. has accepted a call to serve as rector at St. Edward the Confessor Episcopal Church, Wayzata, Minn. Heather Good ’01, Nyce, Schwenksville, Pa., is employed as a medical writer at SciStrategy Communications. Heather completed a Ph.D. in pharmacology and physiology degree at Drexel College of Medicine in the summer of 2008. Praserth Saesow ’01, Harrisonburg, Va., co-owner of Taste of Thai restaurant, is featured in the Feb. 4 issue of Daily News Record as the co-owner of “Beyond,” in the old Spanky’s building bordering Blacks Run. “Beyond” will have an outdoor seating area, complete

with an awning, fans and sound system, to be open in warm months. The second floor restaurant will have a seating capacity for more than 100 persons. Bethany Spicher ’01 Schonberg and her husband, Micah, are starting an organic vegetable farm close to where Bethany grew up in McAlevy’s Fort, Pa. Their farm is called Plowshare Produce, and they hope to market their vegetables through a Community Supported Agriculture program. Mary Walala ’01 became a U.S. citizen on Friday, Jan. 23, at a ceremony in Roanoke, Va. Mary is the program coordinator for the EMU Practice and Training Institute. Quinn Aeschliman ’02 was licensed and installed as associate pastor of discipleship and family ministries at Cedar Grove Mennonite Church, Chambersburg, Pa., Oct. 12. Lynley Culbertson ’02 Lapp, Hershey, Pa., graduated with a master in education degree from Pennsylvania State University, Dec. 20. Lynley has valued the privilege of working in her chosen field of health education for 2½ years. In September, she began her current position as a health educator with Penn State Hershey Children’s Hospital. Julia H. Fisher, MDiv ’03, was licensed as associate pastor of pastoral care at Landisville (Pa.) Mennonite Church Aug. 24. Abby Huffman ’03, and her husband, Mark, recently left Harrisonburg for Mexico City, where the couple will prepare for a two-year mission for the International Mission Board, an arm of the Southern Baptist Convention. After six months, Abby and Mark will conduct a college-campus ministry in the city of Tuxtla Gutierrez in the southernmost Mexican state of Chiapas. Ellen Miller ’03 Rohrer, Orrville, Ohio, completed a masters degree in elementary reading and literacy through Walden University and is currently in her 6th year teaching first grade at Walnut Creek Elementary School.  Tim Jacquet ’04 has joined the staff of DIGICO Video, LLC, Harrisonburg, Va., as the business-development manager. Most recently, Tim was an account executive at ClearChannel Radio. Jay Wittmeyer, MA ’04, Elgineet, Ill., resigned as director of the Brethren Pension Plan and employee financial services for Brethren Benefit Trust (BBT), to accept the position of executive director of the Church of the Brethren’s Global Mission Partnerships, effective Jan. 5, 2009. Jay had served as director of the Brethren Pension Plan and employee financial services for BBT since Jan. 1, 2008. Prior to that, he served BBT for 14 months as manager of publications. He brings a wide range of work experience to the executive position with Global Mission Partnerships, including experience working with Mennonite Central Committee in Nepal and Bangladesh,

and as assistant director at the Lombard (Ill.) Mennonite Peace Center. Notably, his background includes conflict management coaching and congregational mediation for churches and judicatories throughout the United States. Marilyn Henderson MDiv ’05, was installed as pastor at Hebron Mennonite Church, Hagerstown, Md., on Nov. 16. Benjamin D. Arnold ’06, York Haven, Pa., is a band director for grades 5-12 and teaches general music to students in grades 7 and 8 in Southern Fulton County. Elizabeth (Beth) Jarrett, MDiv ’06, was ordained as associate pastor at Neffsville Mennonite Church, Lititz, Pa., on Sept. 21. Jonalyn Denlinger ’06 Risser, Baltimore, Md., is in graduate school at the University of Maryland in Baltimore. Her spouse, Jon Risser ’04, works in the admissions office for the Graduate Schools of the University of Maryland. Joilyn Zimmerly ’07, Sterling, Ohio, has been appointed to a one-year term of Mennonite Voluntary Service in Kykotsmovi, Ariz., as an elementary teacher with Hopi Mission School. Anisha Devadason ’07, Ellsworth, Kan., who came to America from India, was one of 210 candidates from around the world to become an American citizen at a ceremony Nov. 14 in Wichita. She is currently working for Ameri-Corps in the park service in Maryland. Frances Pfister ’08, St. Petersburg, Fla., is a pediatric intensive care nurse at All Children’s Hospital in St. Petersburg. Margaret (Maggie) Parker ’08 Yoder, Tacoma Park, Md., is working at the National Institutes of Health as a postbaccalaureate research fellow. She plans to apply to medical school.


Ramona Steiner ’99, Sem ’02, to Peter Rios, July 30.

Dana Marie Gutshall ’02, MA ’06, to Matthew Good, Sept. 27. Lana Joy Kiser, MA ’03, to Matthew Daniels, July 5. Anita Rhodes ’03 to David Clymer, July 23. Jason Yoder ’03, to Sarah Harvey, August 16. Michael (Mike) Culen ’04 to Amanda Smith ’07 May 31. Lisa Hawkins ’04 to Wendell Shank ’02, June 28. Andrea Austin ’06 to Sean Wheeler, September 13. Jonalyn Denlinger ’06 to Jon Risser ’04, Oct. 18. Brandon Zaremba ’07 to Ashley Casey, June 14. Margaret Rose Parker ’08 to Nathaniel (Nate) Yoder ’08, Aug. 2.

PRESIDENTIAL VISIT TO ACADEMIA MENONITA IN PUERTO RICo: On March 3, 2009, Loren Swartzendruber (at back

right, with 10th grader Nicole Ortega) visited a San Juan school that educates more than 500 students in pre-K through grade 12. Also pictured are (front, left to right): Sonia Ramón, professional counselor; Francisca Nassar, executive secretary; Maricarmen Hernández, 10th grade student; Paloma García, 10th grade student.

Fred Kniss Is New Provost

A 1979 honors graduate will return to EMU as the new provost on July 1, 2009. Dr. Fred Kniss was named to this post after serving as chair of the department of sociology at Loyola University, Chicago, where he was a faculty member since 1991. During his tenure he was interim dean of The Graduate School at Loyola, 2004-05, and graduate program director of the sociology department, 2000-04. The provost guides the undergraduate and graduate academic programs of the university as well as the seminary, various auxiliary programs and the Adult Degree Completion Program. Kniss was a double major in sociology and philosophy and religion at EMU. Following five years of service in Kenya, he earned MA and PhD degrees in sociology from the University of Chicago. He is married to Rosalyn Myers Kniss, associate administrator of clinical laboratories at the University of Chicago Medical Center and a member of the EMU class of 1977. They have two children - Michael, a 2006 EMU graduate, and Stephen, a rising junior at EMU. They are members of Chicago Community Mennonite Church.

’68 Judge Presides In NYC Luis A. Gonzalez ’68, who majored in history as an undergrad, is now presiding justice of the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court for the First Judicial Department, New York City. Gonzalez is the first Latino to be appointed to one of the highest-ranking positions in the judicial system of the state of New York. Through their website, Nate ’03 and Rebekah

’04 Hoffer aim to raise funds for causes that align with their Christian faith. The site showcases over 100,000 Christian and fair-trade products. Each purchase made through comes with a donation of about 15% of the purchase price (or half of the usual profit made on a typical retail sale), earmarked for the cause that the purchaser designates. | crossroads | 45


Karen Rupp '86 and John James, Wauseon, Ohio, John Messiha, (Mason) James ll, Nov. 20. Sandra (Sandy) Alberte ’87 and Steve Kramer, Lititz, Pa., Skylar Emilie, July 28.   Melinda Jean Buhler ’90 and Mark Geskey, Yorktown, Va., Isabel Marie, July 30. Jonathan ’90 and Greta Leinbach ’95 Kreider, Adrian Leinbach, Nov. 4.

Lisa Schirch, third from left, heads toward Congress with current and former students of the Center for Justice and Peacebuilding.

3D Security to Congress

The 3D Security Initiative, founded and led by EMU professor Lisa Schirch, has grown to be a major player in linking the Congressional and Washington policy makers to international civil society community leaders working at conflict prevention, stabilization and reconstruction. A 10/30/08 conference, co-sponsored by 3D Security in the Cannon Building of the U.S. House of Representatives, drew 150 civil society experts to meet with representatives of the Defense Department, State Department, USAID, U.S. Institute of Peace and Congressional staffers. A full report on results of the conference, with a list of participants and a short video on it, can be found at As this issue of Crossroads was going to press, we learned that Schirch would be one of four expert witnesses scheduled to testify May 7, 2009, on “Counterinsurgency and Irregular Warfare – Issues and Lessons Learned” before the House Armed Services’ subcommittee on terrorism, unconventional threats and capabilities. Schirch says she will be focusing on conflict prevention strategies in her testimony.


issue of Peacebuilder, the bi-annual magazine of the Center for Justice and Peacebuilding focuses entirely on the grassroots work done by Mennonites and kindred peace workers to end 30 years of violence in Northern Ireland. Read or download the issue at

New Restorative Justice Blog Eastern Mennonite University, in cooperation with Good Books, has set up a blog that permits restorative justice professor Howard Zehr to offer his insights more readily to the growing number of people worldwide who wish to understand more about restorative justice in general and, in some cases, about Howard Zehr in particular. Since mid-March, Zehr has been posting fresh essays every week or two, usually accompanied by his art-quality photos. In addition, Zehr often publicly responds to the comments or questions posted by readers. For more information, visit

fall 2007 46 | crossroads | spring 2009

Lawson ’91 and Mary Yoder, Harrisonburg, Va., Valentina LaVerne Pimentel, Nov. 20. Christopher Joel ’92 and Theresa Martin, Lititz, Pa., Brigham Joel, Jan. 23. Wanda Reinford ’93 and Terry Reinford, Goshen, Ind., Emillia Rose, July 28. Angela Wenger ’94, MAL ’06, and Tomoki Yamanaka, Hoddaido, Japan, Yoshiki, Sept. 29. Peter ’95 and Deanna Notaro Good, Duluth, Minn., Nora Lydia, Dec. 23.  Janelle Thomas ’95 and Ryan Sauder, Lancaster, Pa., Pippa Lark, Dec. 30. Kendall ’96 and Lisa Ruth, Lititz, Pa., Brooke Elizabeth, Nov 5. Jeffrey (Jeff) ’97 and Carrie Souder, Harrisonburg, Va., Ashley Elizabeth, Jan. 8. Andrea Stoner ’98 and Mark Stoner Leaman, Bainbridge, Pa., Margaret Stoner, Oct. 12. David ’99 and Julette Leaman ’95 Rush, Harrisonburg, Va., Bethany Joy, Dec. 1. Jennifer Mohler ’99 and Scott Gochenaur, Elizabethtown, Pa., Aubrey Irene, Sept. 9. Danielle Conser ’99 and J.C. Siembida, Salem, Ohio, Casey James, Nov. 14. Jonathan (Jon) ’00, Sem ’02, and Tamara (Tammy) Greaser ’00 (MA ’06) Kratz, Harrisonburg, Va., Lily Elisabeth, Jan. 10. Natasha Hackman '01 and Joshua Alderfer, Telford, Pa., Tyler Joshua, May 8. Nicholas (Nick) ’01 and Rebecca (Becky) ’00 Peifer Hurst, Vilas, N.C., Lya Luu Peifer, born Feb. 14, 2008, received for adoption Sept. 24. Christa Wittmer ’01 and James Domer, Hartville, Ohio, Taylor Reese, January 18, 2008. Micah ’02 and Carla Rempel ’02 Hurst, Harrisonburg, Va., Jeremiah Caleb, Feb. 12. Hans ’02 and Sarah Link ’03 Harman, Harrisonburg, Va., Grady Corbet, December 26. Daryl ’03 and Rebekah Kratz ’04 (MA ’06) Brubaker, Harrisonburg, Va., Thatcher James, Dec. 4.

Chris ’03 and Katie Boshart ’04 Noll, Mount Crawford, Va., Ethan David, November 5. Megan Popp ’03 and Dustin Miller, Hutchinson, Kan., Whitney Layne, November 18. Jen Varner ’03 and Lincoln Nafziger, Wauseon, Ohio, Gage Daniel, Nov. 13. Jewel Mummau ’03 and Lavern Peachey, Reedsville, Pa., Bryson Conner, Feb. 14. Jennifer K. Cline ’04 and Agwu O. Ukwa ’02, Brambleton, Va., Chijioke Kathryn, Nov. 4. Shawn, MDiv ’04, and Rachel Springer Gerber, MDiv ’05, Goshen, Ind., Connor Samuel, Nov. 27. Jon ’04 and Kimberley (Kim), MA ’04, Leichty, West Liberty, Ohio, Conner David, Oct. 24. Hannah Kratzer Wenger ’04 and Darrell Wenger, Abram Andrew, March 1. Dan ’O5 and Cara Salmon ’05 Risser, Harrisonburg, Va., Grace Annabelle, October 28. 


Raymond K. ’48 and Loretta Stoltzfus, Manheim, Pa., 60th, married November 6, 1948.

Ken ’70, Sem ’94, and Miriam Weaver Nauman, Arcadia, Fla., 50th, married Oct. 4, 1958.


Ruth Orendorf, GT ’37, Spitzer, Harrisonburg, Va., died Jan. 22 at 96. Ruth was born in Bittinger, Md. She graduated from Madison College (now James Madison University). She began teaching in one-room schools and later taught in schools in Singers Glen and Linville-Edom. Beginning in 1954, she taught special education until her retirement. Ruth is survived by her husband of 62 years, Nelson. Charles L. Rhodes ’40, Broadway, Va., died Jan. 26 at 85. He worked in agriculture and the poultry industry his entire life. He was employed at Rocco Hatchery in Broadway. He served in the Civilian Public Service during WW II. He is survived by his wife of almost 35 years, Janet (Dove).

Thelma Getz ’41 Showalter, Harrisonburg, Va., died Feb. 13 at age 89. Formerly, she was an employee of Valley Books. She and her husband, Clayton, were partners in their own insurance agency. Her husband predeceased her. She is survived by a son, Samuel ’65, and four daughters, all EMU alumni, Millie ’67 Bennet '67, Miriam Wenger '67, Elva Rhodes '72, and Bonnie Greene '77. Elsie E. Lehman ’42, professor emerita of education, died Jan. 5 at age 85. Elsie taught 13 years in Rockingham County public school system and

three years at New Danvillle (Pa.) Mennonite School and one year in Rehoboth, Ill., while on sabbatical leave. Lehman taught in the EMU education department from 1956 to 1988. She received a specialist in education degree from Vanderbilt University. Esther K. Lehman ’42, Harrisonburg, Va., professor emerita of education at EMU, died Jan. 30 at 85. Esther joined the EMU faculty in 1951 and retired in 1982. She was a reading and language arts specialist in the education department. Lehman took an assignment with Mennonite Central Committee, 1982-85, working at the Teacher Training College in Serowe, Botswana. Earlier, she spent a sabbatical year, 1972-73, in Ethiopia, supervising EMU students who were combining student teaching with a study year abroad. J. Lester Eshleman ’45, of Lititz, Pa., died Jan. 19 at age 87. Lester spent his lifetime engaging in pastoral and medical missionary service. He and his wife, Lois (Martin), a nurse anesthetist, worked as a team. Ordained by lot to the ministry during his third year as a student at Hahnemann Medical School in Philadelphia, he served as pastor at Rocky Ridge Mennonite Church, Souderton, Pa. After completing a year and a half of surgical residency, Lester and Lois went to Shirati Mission Hospital, on the shores of Lake Victoria, Tanzania, where they served as a surgical team. The Eshlemans returned to Pennsylvania in 1966 for Lester to complete a urology residency. In 1972, Lester and Lois went to Kinshasa, Zaire (now Democratic Republic of the Congo) where Lester served as an urologist for six years. The Eshlemans later went to the Kilimanjaro Christian Medical Center, Moshi, Tanzania. There, Lester established the Institute of Urology and spent the last 20 years of his surgical career training urologic surgeons from seven East African countries while treating patients. For this accomplishment, Lester was awarded the St. Paul medal by the British Association of Urologic Surgeons in 1998. Robert (Bob) C. Lehman ’50, professor of physical science at EMU, 1955-80, died Feb. 2 at age 79 in Harrisonburg, Va. Bob taught courses in astronomy and physics and was director of the M. T. Brackbill Planetarium, 1967-79. He was a pioneer environmentalist, instrumental in launching EMU on a journey of conserving environmental resources. Martha Roth ’51, Miller, of Wooster, Ohio, died Oct. 20 at age 81. Martha was born in Ontario. She lived “a rich full life.” She is survived by daughters Gloria (Wilson) and Brenda and sons Brian and Tim. Her husband, Jack, preceded her in death. Grace Hostetter ’62, Weaver, died in Staunton, Va., Jan. 17 at age 72. Grace was born in Lancaster, Pa. She taught school in the Staunton Public School system. Upon retirement, she volunteered with Virginia Relief Sale, serving as the chairperson of the food committee, 1975-78, and the sewing committee in 1984. Grace is survived by

her husband, Robert (George) Weaver, son Steven, and daughter Jennifer Novotny. Mary Anne Ruhl ’65 Garber, Ronks, Pa., died at age 65 after an automobile accident, Nov. 22. She was born in Lancaster, Pa. Mary Anne enjoyed collecting teddy bears and loved decorating. She had been employed by Lancaster Mennonite School and worked until recently at the Stoltzfus Meats firm in New Castle, Del. She is survived by her husband, Paul, and daughter Dawn, wife of Timothy Darling. Gwen Kauffman ’67, Wolford, N.D., died Oct. 25 at age 66. After her schooling, Gwen worked as a nurse's aide at Lancaster General Hospital in Lancaster, Pa. Gwen was a homemaker. She served as a driver for special education students attending Wolford Public School. She was a member of Lakeview Mennonite Church, where she was the pianist for many years. She served as secretary/treasurer of the congregation’s Women’s Missionary and Service Commission (WMSC). She also was literature secretary of the North Central Conference WMSC. LeRoy Mullet ’68, Sem ’69, Berlin, Ohio, died in Sarasota, Fla., Nov. 25 at age 67. He was an entrepreneur and was involved in business-related activities for many years. Along with managing the family business, Dutchland Realty and Construction, he enjoyed real estate development and serving on many business-related boards. Irene Gehman ’69, Gilbertsville, Pa., died Nov. 4 at age 62. Irene taught 3rd grade for five years in Chestertown, Md. This was followed by 30 years at New Hanover School in the Boyertown Public (Pa.) School system. In her lifetime, she taught 825 students. Marianne Beth Stutzman ’85, Williams, Oley, Pa., died Dec. 6 at age 45, as the result of a traffic accident. Marianne was a preschool teacher from 1985 to 1997 at Little People Day School, Kutztown; Kutztown University Preschool and the Lutheran Home at Topton Preschool. She is survived by her husband, Michael, an 11-year old daughter, Tara, and a 9-year old son, Chad. Correction: Joy L. Kraybill ’95 earned her Ph.D. in public policy at George Washington University in Washington, D.C., in August 2008, not from George Mason University. Degree Key BD - bachelor of divinity CMS - certificate of ministry studies HS - high school degree from era when high school and college were one MAL - master of arts church leadership MAM - master of arts in church ministries MAR - master of arts in religion MDiv - master of divinity ThB - bachelor of theology

Mileposts is compiled by retired physician Paul T. Yoder ’50, MAL ’92, who may be reached at or at (540) 432-4205. Feel free to send news directly to Paul or to the alumni office at

Where in the World?

We would be grateful if you would help us locate the alumni listed below to notify them of class reunions. Contact or phone Donna Souder at (540) 432-4204.

Class of 2004 Peace Ainerua Suzi Arcade Cassey Barr Heidi Bowman Mary Hope Brenneman Jesse Buckwalter Rachel Bull Jessica Byler Angela Cordova Dede Diggs Kendra Forry Jennifer Freed Travis Geiser Michelle Good Johan Grimsrud Althea Heatwole Maria Histand Heather Holliday Jill Humphrey Aaron Johnson Eric Kroeker Miranda La Comb Tay Laws Diane Ludwig Morgan McWhorter Megan Mease Kelly Meyerhoeffer Jennifer Miller Mark Miller Becky Miller Jordan Minnick Hanh Nguyen Alexander Nwokeabia Emily Phillips Anna Ressler LaShaunda Roberson Joe Rorke Nikki Rutter Alan Shelton Karl Souffrant Darren Stauffer Caleb Stitely Carl Yoder Lunwei Zhang Class of 1999 Bill Atwell Elizabeth Beachy Karen Bowman Karin Cash Nellie Clark Tammy Coffman Joseph Edgar Susan Forster Mysel Gomez-Landis Yvonne Goshow Shaun Hackman Krista Halteman Jamie Hartless Stu Hatter Brent Hensley Becky Hill Krissy Hoober Jill Horn Maria Jativa Lori Johnson Kathi Kanagy Twila Kanagy Keba Lewis David Marsh Andrea Martin Peter Matt Sawako Nishi Rachel O'Hara Maxim Petrushkin Ryan Shultz Kimberly Smith Kim Stauffer Matthew Thomas Brad Thorpe Patricia Underhill Courtney Winn Heather Wyse Jason Yoder Lisa Yoder

Class of 1994 Katrina Bergel Mike Berkey Gina Clymer Rupert Kevin Dorsing Jackie Edwards Rebecca Fry Monica Haines Andy Harnish Ikue Kudo Dorwon Lam Karin Lambert Loretta Lewis-Seidel Krys Lindberg Angel Lockhart Marc McDermid Burt McGrath Lance Miller Matt Moyer Pendo Muganda Donald Otieno Swaoh Kevin Russ Kim Sandy Jason Shaner Kari Snyder Cheryl Swartley Crystal Tyree Class of 1989 Michele Andes Enie Belete Rick Boshart Cathy Cardinale Nancy Chupp Brian Collins Mimi Copty Lisa Gerhart Michael Irving Tomoko Kame Mike Lapp Vickie Leatherman Susan Long Dawn McDonald Lydia Miazza Neil Monger Brenda Moyer Christine Mullett Tom Pierantoni Wayne Roggie Curtis Sharp Trevor Yoder Dean Zullig Class of 1984 Stephfan Allen Ronald Bender Frances Boitnott Marilyn Burkholder Cathy Custalow Elaine Davidson Yvonne Desjardins Terrie Goode Randy Harry Jeff Helmick Julie Helmuth Vivian High Sue Hooley Lynn Kambic Chris Karamata Eric King Rebecca King Scott Marker Chris Masincup Jane Miller Steve Miller Ted Moyer Jeff Newman Cynthia Perkins Mary Potter Kathy Sue Rhodes Scott Rupp Denise Sabin Ruma Singh Tim Slavens Gary Smith Sandy Snow Karla Soukup Ella Toy

Class of 1979 Lois Arndt Mitch Avnaim Jolene Bearden Ketema Belete Lora Boronow Elaine Brelsford Daryl Byler Sonia Chaves Mary Dendrinos Carole Fisher Marilyn Harpine Herbert Himmelberger Letitia Horn Gail Hornung Kenneth Jackson Ruth Jones Joyce Lehman Harold Marker III Philip Metzler Margaret O'Brien Celia Plett William Range Elaine Robbins Patricia Rohrer Vicki Shelly Marcella Stoll Susan Stoltzfus Carol Sumner Irene Tegrar Lionel Weaver Joyce Witmer Janet Witwer Mark Zehr Class of 1974 Elverne Bauman Carol Beyeler Ronald Branch Michael Clem Sharon Darcus Raymond Denlinger Ralph Dewitt Jr Nandaseela Dissanayake Aden Frey Naomi Grove Orie Harrison Eunice Hartman Ted Hartman Marilyn Hughes Dale Hurst-Long Barbara Kauffman Ophie Kier Jeanne Lanser Gloria Martin Janice McIntosh Gene Ross Mike Sarco Diann Sheffer Richard Speers Marcella Tams Lana Turner Christine Welfley Howard Wells Charlene Westgate Sara Williams Keith Yoder Class of 1969 Carolyn Althouse Elaine Barr Gail Bennett Warren Bennett Alice Bridges Kathleen Brubaker Linda Carroll Sandra DeRitter Edward Dover Jr Ruth Dunn Mildred Funkhouser Jean Haskins Cheryl Landis Janice Langstaff John Liskey Judith Mansour John Manuel III Phyllis Michael

Sharon Miloradovix Virginia Nemeth Miriam Okadigbo Thelbert Ponton Faith Roth Mary Roth Goldie Sawyers Regina Sharif Walid Sharif Joan Shedd Kenneth Shomo Elam Stoltzfus Mohamoud Togane Melva Vaughn Richard Weber Irvin Wenger Kenneth Wenger Polly Zaremba Class of 1964 Nancy Blanco Mary Brown Ray Brubacher Sandra Cardinal Lydia Chuang Esrom Maryogo Nora Miller Orpha Newswanger J Marlin Nissley Martha Nissley Twila Rawlings George Saufley Carol Yamamoto Mary Yoder Class of 1959 Norma Brunk Ethel Edmonds Abdullahi Egal Ali Margaret Harmon David Hege Nancy Hostetler Ruth Mukasa Ernest Mullett Maria Ortiz Vera Overholt Elias Saig Raymond Schlabach Carl Shenk Dorothy Zook Class of 1954 Robert Detweiler Glen Good Wolfgang Hege Emma Martin Naomi Ressler Esther Wenger Class of 1949 Pearl Gamber Class of 1944 J Willard Maloney Class of 1939 Paul Bucher James Buckwalter Polly Good Dora Harnish Margaret Schrock Clarence Stauffer Class of 1934 Kathryn Cullen Grace Cunningham Josephine Martin Virginia Powell Esther Ritchie Class of 1929 Ruth English Harry Kauffman Class of 1924 Marion Burkholder | crossroads | 47

Five members of the Hesston College nursing faculty who earned degrees at sister Mennonite colleges (all further earned master’s degrees): from left, Bonnie Sowers, BSN ’69 at Goshen; Rita Peters, BSN ’92 at Goshen; Ruby Graber, BSN ’75 at EMU; Sondra Leatherman, BSN ’98 at Bethel; Jean Smucker Rodgers, BSN ‘68 at Goshen.

Nursing the Spirit, Mind & Body at Four Mennonite Schools


en and women interested in being holistic nurses – i.e., as concerned with patients’ spirits and minds as with their bodies – will appreciate the nursing programs at these four Mennonite institutions: Eastern Mennonite University in Virginia's Shenandoah Valley, Hesston and Bethel, both colleges in south-central Kansas, and Goshen College in northern Indiana. “A very strong point of the Hesston program is the art of nursing learned here,” wrote one Registered Nurse (RN) graduate in a statement posted on the Hesston College website. “The art is relating to people. Positive interpersonal skills were demonstrated by faculty in relating to each other, students and patients. “This is an aspect of nursing often forgotten in our high-tech world. I’m convinced that a smile, well-timed humor, a hand to hold, or a shoulder for a patient or a family member to cry on can do more for healing than any pill or knife. It’s the art of nursing…it’s the art of Jesus.” Webster Contreras, a graduate of EMU’s nursing program, offered similar words of appreciation for “learning to care for the whole person” as he was wrapping up his Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree in the spring of 2009. Bethel College’s webpage on nursing

48 | crossroads | spring 2009

stresses the importance of the “total human being, with biological, psychological, social, cultural and spiritual dimensions of life.” To mark Goshen College’s 50 years of educating nurses, the June 2003 issue of the Goshen College Alumni Bulletin offered these six characteristics of Mennonite-style nursing education, as summarized by their nurse alumni:

1. critical thinking; 2. cultural awareness; 3. faith that is active and reflective; 4. holistic nursing care; 5. excellence in nursing education; and 6. Christ-centered education The first Mennonite college to offer nursing training was Bethel in North Newton, Kansas, which enrolled Frieda Kaufman in 1900 to prepare her to be a deaconess. In Mennonite church history, “deaconesses” were usually full-time, unmarried female church-service workers, tasked to assist people in need, especially those who were ill. In 1902, Kaufman was sent for further training to Deaconess Hospital in Cincinnati, Ohio. In 1908 a hospital opened in Newton – whereupon Kaufman returned to that institution, then known as the Bethel Deaconess Hospital and School of Nursing.

In 1988 that institution merged with Axtell Christian Hospital to become Newton Medical Center (site of the photo above), a nurse-training site for both Hesston and Bethel colleges. While Mennonite-college nursing programs share a common base of values, the degrees, and the years required to earn them, differ somewhat among the institutions: As a two-year liberal arts college, Hesston specializes in producing RNs; it also prepares students to transfer to four-year colleges to complete BSN degrees, if they so desire. Bethel, Goshen and EMU offer BSN degree programs for traditional and transfer students, as well as for those who hold a bachelor’s degree in another field. All the colleges cater to RNs earning BSN degrees. Bethel and EMU also offer opportunities for Licensed Practical Nurses (LPNs) to earn BSN degrees. Goshen College and EMU – the latter at both its Lancaster (Pa.) site and main campus – offer an Adult Degree Completion Program (generally evening classes) for working registered nurses who wish to earn their BS degree in nursing. Goshen is the only Mennonite college to offer a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) degree, though EMU is exploring the possibility of doing so.

My Income...

By Jack Rutt ’72

Why I give some back

From the time I entered grade school I was pretty sure I would go to EMC – it was called Eastern Mennonite College back in 1967. My parents did not tell me that I “had to go to college” or that “I had to go to EMC.” Somehow they just made it seem like it would be a very good thing to do. My parents were the first persons to provide me with an example of “first fruits giving.” There was never a doubt in my mind as to whether they would give away a tenth of their income, even if they had barely enough to support the seven children in our family. When my father was paid, he would bring cash home and place it in a book of envelopes. Each envelope was marked with a budget category: groceries, gasoline, clothing, music lessons and such. The very first envelope in the book was labeled “tithe.” It was always filled first and that money was what my parents took to church on Sunday. What a powerful message I received from that very visible practice! Sam Strong, who was a development associate for EMC, would sometimes pay a visit to our home. I had the impression my parents occasionally sent a few dollars to EMC. He was letting them know that they had made a good investment and, in sharing the good things happening on the campus, he also was subtly nudging me to attend EMC. Mid-way through my first year I met Gloria Short, a wonderful classmate from Ohio. We married between our sophomore and junior years. From the time Gloria and I graduated in 1972, we made it a practice to give regularly as alumni. We both felt like EMC had a huge im-

pact on our lives and that we would be pleased to also have our son Eric and/or daughter Megan come here for college. Both did come. After earning their degrees, they married – Eric to a classmate from Ethiopia and Megan to a German whom she met while working for the German Mennonite church – and both are leading highly productive lives. I am pleased that I see in them some of the same values Gloria and I received from our time of study here – a world view that is global and a passion for justice informed by a Christian, Anabaptist perspective. I left my career in the corporate world to work here and hopefully contribute in a positive way to the educational experience of EMU students so that there can be more of EMU in the world. I return some of my salary to EMU, but I am not alone. I am pleased that 62% of my colleagues have joined with me to give some of their compensation back to EMU. This year, because of special needs created by the global financial crisis, 107 EMU employees have given or pledged an additional $38,000 to the Emergency Student Aid Fund. In my case, I have the added incentive of wanting to honor my parents for providing a profound model of first fruits giving. To be sure, each of us has a different financial reality so our gifting will be different. When we give to EMU we are helping to prepare a special place which educates students who will leave here and make unique contributions to a world that so desperately needs more of what EMU offers.

Jack Rutt directs Information Systems at EMU, supervising its 14 staff members. He and his staff just completed a mammoth, 18-month, $800,000 project of integrating EMU’s disparate databases, which had been running on various types of software, into a seamless, university-wide data system called Jenzabar EX.

Jack Rutt ’72

Eastern Mennonite University Development Department 1200 Park Rd. Harrisonburg, VA 22802 (800) 368-3383 Phil Helmuth Executive Director of Development (540) 432-4597 (800) 368-3383 E-mail: Art Borden Associate Director of Development (540) 746-5127 (direct line) (800) 368-3383 Email: | crossroads | 49


EASTERN MENNONITE UNIVERSITY Harrisonburg, VA 22802-2462 Parents: If this is addressed to your son or daughter who has established a separate residence, please give us the new address. Call (540) 432-4294 or e-mail

Closing Thoughts On Keeping Our Doors Open “If I were advising a high school student, I would not recommend that he or she attend a large public university – or even a large private one, no matter how prestigious. I would recommend that the student attend a small liberal arts college where he or she could receive personal attention from professors whose first priority is to teach. In my experience, Mennonite colleges rank among the best in giving students a strong foundation from which to pursue careers or enter graduate school after their undergraduate years.” Gordon D. Kaufman, Mallinckrodt Professor of Divinity Emeritus, Harvard Divinity School (AB, Bethel College; MA Northwestern U.; BD, Yale Divinity School; PhD Yale U.)

“Just as Bethel College changed my life, Mennonite higher education helps students deepen their faith, develop knowledge and skills, and prepare for a changing world. Our diverse campus communities provide learning environments that reflect ethics of service, peace, and global perspective, crucial values for people from all backgrounds in these challenging times.” Barry C. Bartel, President, Bethel College (BA, Bethel; JD, Willamette University College of Law)

“I like the way Mennonites view Christianity as a way of life, rather than merely a system of belief.” Brian McLaren, author of bestselling Everything Must Change – Jesus, Global Crisis and a Revolution of Hope (2007) and 12 other books on Christianity

“Mennonite colleges, universities and seminaries share a mission of educating and promoting values that Jesus modeled for us. This work nurtures individual faith, builds church leadership, and motivates service to the world.” James M. Harder, President, Bluffton University (BA, Bethel College; MA & PhD, U. of Notre Dame)

“If some of the liberal arts schools in this country disappeared, I believe students could go to a number of others and get approximately the same education. However, if the Mennonite colleges were to cease to exist, there are precious few other institutions that offer their unique combination of peace, service, and discipleship.” Lawrence W. Miller, EMU student programs director (BA, Bridgewater College; MEd, James Madison U.)

“Mennonite schools offer high-quality education in an Anabaptist, Christ-centered context, reflecting our commitment to peace, justice, and discipleship. Our alumni transform many lives as agents of healing and hope. Why would anybody hesitate to offer our youth this experience? Why would we not share this precious gift?” Carlos Romero, Executive Director, Mennonite Education Agency

“I’m so pleased when young persons choose any of the Mennonite colleges!” Jane Wenger Clemens, EMU associate professor of social work (BA, Goshen College; MSW, Marywood University)

Crossroads Spring 2009 - Alumni Magazine of Eastern Mennonite University