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S18C1 Mennonites in the Valley

Mennonites are a nearly 500-year-old Christian group with origins in 16th-century Europe, and were among the earliest settlers in the Shenandoah Valley. Historically, they were an agrarian society with deeply religious communal commitments and practices. Today, their descendants consist of a number of separate and distinct Mennonite groups in and around Harrisonburg, ranging from the most conservative buggy-driving "Old Orders," to progressive Mennonites that operate a thriving local liberal arts university and are involved in all sectors of public life. This course will focus on up-close-and-personal interaction with Mennonites from across this spectrum, and will include local trips to visit Mennonite institutions, churches, schools, businesses, and homes.

Instructor: Phil Kniss grew up in a Mennonite family in Florida, but has spent 33 years in the Mennonite community in Harrisonburg, most of that time in church leadership. He has pastored two local Mennonite congregations, including 22 years as senior pastor at Park View Mennonite Church. He holds an M.Div. from Eastern Mennonite Seminary in Harrisonburg, and a D.Min. from Northern Seminary in Lombard, IL..

Suggested Reading: A reader will be provided to class participants.

Additional Fee: A sumptuous lunch in an Old Order Mennonite home, plus bus transportation to various Old Order sites, will cost each participant an additional $30, payable to the course assistant at the first class.


Payment Information: Payment is due at time of registration and must be made by credit card (AMEX, MasterCard, Visa and Discover.) There is a $5 credit card convenience fee assessed at the time of payment. You will be redirected to the payment web site after clicking submit. Please have your credit card ready. Once payment is successfully completed, you will receive a payment receipt and a registration confirmation by email.

Withdrawal/Refund Policy: You may cancel your registration up to one week before the class start date, and receive a full refund (minus any credit card processing fees.) After that date, no refunds will be given.

For registration questions, please contact Lifelong Learning Institute at or 540/568.2923.

There are no scheduled sessions at this time. Sign up to be notified when this course is available.

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