Mary Thiessen Nation
Office Phone: (540) 432-4247
Main Campus, Harrisonburg
Office Location: SB 102
The integrative work Mary tackled in her PhD stemmed from her need to process 18 years of intense ministry in a violent inner city community. Her dissertation addressing hope and despair includes the fruit of extensive interviews with several of her African American friends. These mutual interviews inspired her psycho-social studies which in turn led her to new and robust biblical/theological insights. Mary draws on her experiences and these multi-disciplinary studies in the varied courses she teaches and in her mentoring/counseling work. Courses Mary has taught at EMS and elsewhere include trauma ministry, urban ministry, cross-cultural church experience, cross-cultural mission, formation and congregational conflict.
Mary grew up in a Mennonite Brethren family in Alberta, Canada. She earned her teaching degree at Tabor College in Hillsboro, Kansas. After serving with World Impact, an interdenominational urban mission organization in Los Angeles for 18 years, she earned two master’s degrees and her PhD in Intercultural Studies at Fuller Theological Seminary. She met her husband Mark and joined the Mennonite church while at Fuller Seminary. Mary and Mark served with Mennonite Mission Network in London, England for two terms prior to moving to Harrisonburg. Mary served as a consultant in spirituality and urban ministry in London. Mary is a speaker, teacher, preacher and mentor in her local church as well as in the broader Mennonite church.