S20C01 Mennonites in the ValleyThis course will focus on up-close-and-personal interaction with the spectrum of separate and distinct groups of Mennonites in and around Harrisonburg. 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 different groups, ranging from the most conservative, buggy-driving "Old Orders," to progressive Mennonites who operate a thriving local liberal arts university and are involved in all sectors of public life. The course will include local trips to visit Mennonite institutions, churches, schools and businesses.
Phil Kniss has spent 35 years in the local Mennonite community, most of that in church leadership. He has been senior pastor at Park View Mennonite Church since 1996. He holds an M.Div. from Eastern Mennonite Seminary in Harrisonburg, and a D.Min. from Northern Seminary in Lombard, IL.
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