Seminary class during PA 2015 an opportunity to encounter Anabaptism in the Global South

Release date: 
Wednesday, 11 February 2015

Registrants for PA 2015, the Mennonite World Conference Assembly coming in July to Harrisburg, PA, can have a front row seat observing the Global Anabaptist Profile (GAP) study. But it will require some hard work and dedication.

“Encountering Anabaptism in the Global South” is a graduate level course sponsored by Eastern Mennonite Seminary through its extension site in Lancaster, PA. “We are delighted that Anabaptists from around the world are coming to this region,” said Mark R. Wenger, director of EMS Lancaster. “We hope this study honours our guests and provides an opportunity for exposure and exchange with the global church at a deep level.”

The course will be offered in a “hybrid” format, combining face-to-face interaction and online components. Students will attend PA 2015 (July 21-26), participate in the GAP Consultation (July 27-29), meet with the instructor, read sociologists and missiologists who are studying the global church as a whole, and write a paper. Students may audit the course or earn three semester hours of credit.

Sociologist, author, and pastor Conrad L. Kanagy will be the instructor. Kanagy is co-director of the GAP, along with John D. Roth, who leads the Institute for the Study of Global Anabaptism at Goshen College. The Institute and Mennonite World Conference are sponsors of the GAP.

The class is for North Americans and internationals. It will be conducted in English.

“We will look at the church as a global body,” said Kanagy. “And we will hear findings from research associates from each of the 24 MWC member churches from around the world who are part of the Global Anabaptist Profile. We’ll compare and contrast what we hear from those participating churches. We will also compare Anabaptists with other global fellowships of churches. Our scope is the global church as a whole, including beyond Anabaptists. So we want to examine how Anabaptists’ faith-life is alike and different from other global faith fellowships.”

Launched a year and a half ago, the GAP describes its mission as looking systematically at the “beliefs, practices and challenges” of Anabaptist churches around the world.

“I will expect students to keep a journal of their experiences at PA 2015, and then reflect about how their time at the Assembly and what they hear at the GAP Consultation connect with what we’re reading and discussing during the class meetings,” explained Kanagy.

Kanagy and Roth will share leadership of the GAP Consultation at Elizabethtown College, some 30 minutes from the Farm Show Complex in Harrisburg, site of PA 2015.

“This course will have an important and sizable experiential dimension to it,” commented Kanagy. “Students will be able to be highly engaged at both the Assembly and the Consultation. This is also a unique opportunity since the Consultation is not open to the public.”

For more information about the course content and how to register, write to No prior experience in this field is required of the students.

Article by Phyllis Pellman Good, a writer and editor for Mennonite World Conference.

John D. Roth 
Conrad L. Kanagy


Geographic representation: 
North America
MWC group: 
Faith & Life Commission

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