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Gaining a Voice: Hispanic Mennonites in America

Faculty Supervisor:
Penelope Moon
Year of Project Completion:
Jordan Penner


Although Hispanic Mennonites comprise the largest and fastest growing non-traditional (not ethnically Mennonite) group in the Mennonite Church USA (MC USA), little has been written about their growth, development, and relationship with the wider MC USA structure and culture. The traditional bias towards the European roots of Mennonite ethnicity and religion makes the study of non-ethnic Mennonites all the more important and interesting. Hispanic Mennonites, as a result of gains made in terms of internal organization, education, and population were able to shift from a focus on internal concerns to an outward focus on their relationship with the broader church culture and structure. With pressure from the organized Hispanic churches, a growing interest in the immigration issue in the larger American culture, and a push from the Mennonite Central Committee, the MC USA has begun to emphasize an ethnic and cultural diversity that was previously ignored.

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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.