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Mennonites in the Valley

A nearly 500-year-old Christian group with origins in 16th-century Europe, Mennonites were among the earliest settlers in the Shenandoah Valley, and historically 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 all 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 over 30 years in the Mennonite community in Harrisonburg. He has pastored two local Mennonite congregations, including 20 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 Fees: A sumptuous lunch in an Old Order Mennonite home, plus bus/van transportation, will cost each participant an additional $30 payable to the instructor at the first class.

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

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