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Menno Simons Lectures

This fund promotes research and public lectures by recognized scholars relating to Anabaptist-Mennonite history, thought, life and culture, both past and present.

In 1950, the John P. and Carolina Schrag Kaufman family established the Menno Simons Lectureship Endowment. In 1997, the family of William E. and Meta Goering Juhnke contributed substantially to the endowment. The Kaufman and Juhnke families had their roots in the Eden Mennonite Church, Moundridge, Kan.

2019 Featured Speaker

Alain Epp Weaver presents "In the Name of Christ: Missiological Reflections on Mennonite Central Committee’s Past, Present, and Future." For the past ten years, Alain has directed strategic planning for Mennonite Central Committee (MCC), working from Akron, Pennsylvania. He previously worked with MCC in the Middle East for 11 years. Alain holds a Ph.D. in theology from the University of Chicago and is the author and editor of several books, including Mapping Exile and Return: Palestinian Dispossession and a Political Theology for a Shared Future (Fortress).


All lectures will be in Krehbiel Auditorium.

Lecture 1

Oct. 27, 2019, 7 p.m.
"Constructing Christian Service: Landscapes of MCC"

Lecture 2

Oct. 28, 2019, 11 a.m. (convo)
"Listening and Waiting: MCC and Shifting Understandings of Christian Service"

Lecture 3

Oct. 28, 2019, 7 p.m.
"First to the Household of Faith? MCC, Humanitarianism, and the Church"

Lecture 4

Oct. 29, 2019, 7 p.m.
"Accompanying, Connecting, Measuring, Dismantling: Missiologies in Tension within MCC"

2018 Featured Speaker

Rachel Waltner Goossen presents "Sexual Identities and Leaders in the Faith," Sunday, Oct. 21 – Monday, Oct. 22. Goossen, professor of history at Washburn University, teaches topics such as Mennonite history and the history of pacifism and conscientious objection. She earned her bachelor's in history from Bethel College in 1982, a master's in history from University of California (Santa Barbara) in 1984, and her Ph.D. in history from the University of Kansas, 1993. Among her accolades, Goossen was awarded the DeBenedetti Prize in Peace History by the Peace History Society in 2015 and her peer-reviewed articles include "Historical Justice in an Era of #MeToo" scheduled for 2019 publication in Sightings: Reflections on Religion in Public Life, ed. Brett Colasacco (Grand Rapids, Mich.: Eerdmans).


Sunday, October 21
7 p.m. 'Coming Out': Mennonite Leaders Departing Krehbiel Auditorium
Luyken Fine Arts Center
Monday, October 22
11 a.m. 'Coming Out': Mennonite Leaders Arriving
Krehbiel Auditorium
Luyken Fine Arts Center
7 p.m. Finding a Home: LGBTQ+ Leaders
(reception following)
Krehbiel Auditorium
Luyken Fine Arts Center

Opportunity for discussion will follow each session.

List of past speakers (PDF)

Past Lectures

About Bethel

As the first Mennonite college founded in North America, Bethel College celebrates a tradition of progressive Christian liberal arts education, diversity within community, and lifelong learning.