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Academics

Past Menno Simons Lectures: 2010s

2017

Timothy J. Wengert – Remembering 500 Years of Reformation Together

Timothy Wengert is Ministerium of Pennsylvania professor emeritus of church history at Lutheran Theological Seminary, Philadelphia. He is widely recognized as a scholar of Martin Luther and the Protestant Reformation, and traveled extensively in 2017 to speak on the 500th anniversary of the Reformation in Europe. Wengert has B.A. and M.A. degrees from the University of Michigan, an M.Div. from Luther Seminary, St. Paul, Minn., and his Ph.D. from Duke University. 

  • Martin Luther, the 95 Theses and the Mennonites
  • What Makes Martin Luther a "Father of the Faith"?
  • What Can Christians Do When their Leaders Err?

2016

Perry J. Bush – American Mennonites, History and the Common Good

Perry Bush has been a professor of English at Bluffton (Ohio) University since 1984. He has a B.A. from the University of California-Berkeley and an M.A. and Ph.D. in U.S. social history from Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh.

  • Grasping the Hand of Politics: Mennonites and the Common Good
  • Saying Yes and No to the State: Mennonites, History and Social Responsibility
  • Guy Hershberger, Unions and the Challenge of Kermit Eby

2015

Jeff Gundy – Wrestling with Mennonite/s Writing

Jeff Gundy, professor of English at Bluffton (Ohio) University since 1984, is the author of seven books of poetry (most recently Without a Plea, Bottom Dog Press, 2019) and four of nonfiction. He was named Ohio Poet of the Year in 2014. Gundy has a B.A. from Goshen (Ind.) College and a Ph.D. in English and creative writing from Indiana University-Bloomington.

  • Imagining Mennonite/s Writing: Wrestlers, Rebels and Assorted Others
  • Hearing Mennonite/s Writing: Somewhere Near Defiance
  • Looking for Mennonite/s Writing: The Village, the City and the So-Called Real World

2014

Walter W. Sawatsky – Going Global with God in the Third Millennium

Walter Sawatsky is professor emeritus of church history and mission at Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary in Elkhart, Ind. He has continued to teach periodically since retiring from AMBS in 2012, as well as working on numerous writing projects. He has a B.A. from Goshen (Ind.) College and earned his M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota.

  • Pluralities of Mennonite History – Why Russian Mennonites as Paradigm?
  • Reconciling Free Churches to Two Millennia of Global Christianity
  • After 500 Years – Pressing Issues on Globalization of Mennonite Witness
  • Full-Orbed Integration of Worship, Ethics, Nonviolence and Public Theology for the 21st Century

2013

Marlene Epp – The Semiotics of Zwieback, Sauerkraut and Spring Rolls: Mennonites and Foodways

Marlene Epp is professor of history and peace and conflict studies and director of Mennonite studies at Conrad Grebel University College in Waterloo, Ontario. She has a B.A. from the University of Manitoba, an M.A. from the University of Waterloo and a Ph.D. from the University of Toronto.

  • Eating Like a Mennonite: Food and Identity
  • Are We Eating ‘Just’ Food?
  • Eating across Borders: Mennonite Missions and Migrations
  • ‘Just’ Recipes: Re-reading Mennonite Cookbooks

2012

Keith L. Sprunger – 60th Menno Simons Lectures, celebrating 125 years of Bethel College

Keith Sprunger is Oswald H. Wedel Professor Emeritus of History at Bethel College, where he taught from 1963-2001. He has a bachelor's degree from Wheaton (Ill.) College, and earned his M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Illinois in early European and English history. Bethel College of Kansas, 1887-2012, the history of the college published in its 125th year, was Sprunger's eighth book.

  • Bethel, the Light in the West: The 19th-century Origins of the College
  • Listening to the Students’ Voices: Postcards, T-Shirts and Underground Opinions
  • Bethel in the 1960s: The Crucial Decade
  • Writing the History of Kansas Mennonite Colleges - Comparative Views (panel discussion)
    Perry White, Bethel College; John Sharp, Hesston College; Richard Kyle, Tabor College, Keith Sprunger, Bethel College

2011

Think, Celebrate, Sing: A Worship and the Arts Symposium

The inaugural Worship and the Arts Symposium, held biennially since 2011, had as its primary resource people Thomas G. Long and John Ferguson. Long is Bandy Professor Emeritus of Preaching at Candler School of Theology, Emory University, Atlanta. He has a B.A. from Erskine College and an M.Div. from Erskine Theological Seminary, Due West, S.C., and a Ph.D. from Princeton University. CNN named him one of the "12 most effective preachers in the English language" in 2018. John Ferguson is Elliot and Klara Stockdal Johnson Professor Emeritus of Organ and Church Music at St. Olaf College, Northfield, Minn. He has a B.A. from Oberlin (Ohio) College and graduate degrees from Kent State University and the Eastman School of Music. He is the author of more than 150 choral anthems and arrangements, and organ volumes.

2010

John D. Roth – The Future of Anabaptism as a Global Movement

John Roth is professor of history, director of the Mennonite Historical Library and editor of Mennonite Quarterly Review, at Goshen (Ind.) College. He has a B.A. in history from Goshen College and earned his M.A. and Ph.D. in history from the University of Chicago.

  • What Hath Zurich to do with Addis Ababa?: Anabaptism as a Global Movement
  • The Christian Faith in Global Perspective
  • Tap Root or Rhizome?: Retelling the Anabaptist Story as if the Global Church Mattered
  • The Coming Shape of Anabaptism: Envisioning the Global Mennonite Church of the Future

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.