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Anabaptist Center for Religion and Society (ACRS)ACRS Logo

Who We Are

The Anabaptist Center for Religion and Society (ACRS) is a community of elders bringing critical thinking and a prophetic voice to the engagement with local and world issues. Through the lens of Anabaptism, we strive to be a catalyst to provide leadership in practical ways to pursue responsibility and justice for the common good. (Approved by The Steering Committee, March 19, 2018)

The Steering Committee

Lee M. Yoder, Chair (2022)
Margaret Jantzi Foth (2022)
Vernon E. Jantzi, Vice Chair and Director (2021)
John Fairfield, Secretary (2021)
Patricia Hostetter Martin (2021)
Richard A. Yoder (2022)
Harold F. Miller (2020)
Nancy R. Heisey (2020) 
Susan Weaver Godshall (2020)
Chris D.Gingrich (2022)
A Clair Mellinger, Treasurer (2023)
Calvin W. Redekop, Founding Chair

The Steering Committee meets the third Wednesday of the month, 2:00 to 4:00 pm in the Seminary Room 103 at EMU or via Zoom.

September 16
October 21
November 18
December 16   
January 20
February 17
March 17
April 21
May 10 (Second Monday, as part of AGM)  ACRS Annual General Meeting: May 10, 2021, 7:30 AM, Park View Fellowship Hall

Monday Morning Committee

Terry Burkhalter, Margaret Foth, Pat Hostetter Martin, Vernon E. Jantzi, & Richard Yoder

The Monday Gathering Sessions are held the second Monday of the month, in the Park View Mennonite Church Fellowship Hall, 7:30 to 9:00 am:  

September 14
October 12
November 9                 
December 14   
January 11
February 8  
March 8        
April 12  
May 10, 2021: Annual General Meeting   

Personnel Committee

The committee works in April to prepare nominations for Steering Committee actions at the May Annual Meeting for mutually renewable terms of service to begin September 1. Criteria and procedures were approved, December 3, 2013.  Lee M. Yoder, Chair; Susan W. Godshall, Richard A. (Rick) Yoder

ACRS Environmental Sustainability Committee 

Harold F. Miller, Chair; Douglas S. Graber Neufeld, Kenton K. Brubaker, Paul S. Lehman, Wayne S. Teel, Earl Martin, Evan Knappenberger

Online Resources from ACRS Speakers Bureau Publication

To become an online resource on the ACRS website, including programs, speakers available and other resources.  Lee M. Yoder, Chair; Vernon E. Jantzi, Terry Burkhalter

International Journal of Responsibility (IJR)

In partnership with the James Madison University Ghandi Center: Terry Beitzel, John Fairfield, Calvin W. Redekop, Vernon E. Jantzi.  Official document has been acted upon by the Steering Committee.

ACRS Annual events/programs at the EMU Annual Homecoming—Vernon E. Jantzi

Friday noon, Jubilee Alumni Meeting; Friday and Saturday, ACRS Exhibit at Homecoming Registration, CC Greeting Hall; Sunday noon, Program feature in EMU West Dining Room

Annual Meeting

An Annual Meeting is hosted by the Steering Committee to secure input from all interested ACRS persons to enhance future vision and planning.

Questions that drive us

As Anabaptists, we explore the relation between religion and society including changes at EMU, its community, and their relationship.

  • How do we engage in interfaith dialogue?
  • How does Anabaptism enhance our understanding of and engagement with pluralism? Can pluralism be a positive enforcer of our Anabaptist claims?
  • How should our church institutions relate to prophetic voices and change?
  • What insights and contributions can we offer in making church organizations and institutions more Anabaptist—more faithful to the way of Jesus?
  • How do we hold to some elements of our faith while letting go of others?
  • What do we learn from the life stories of church and community leaders?
  • How can we be more environmentally responsible to God’s creation?

What do we do?

  • interact and move forward with difficult and conflictive theological and social issues, overcoming polarization and avoidance
  • share “Monday Morning Stories,” transmitting the heritage to the next generation through the autobiographies of servants, leaders and heroes
  • hold forums on current issues of the church, university and community
  • sponsor conferences of interest to the Anabaptist constituency
  • dialogue in cyber space on selected core questions
  • critique and encourage writing/research by members
  • mentor scholars, and facilitate research, writing, and publication
  • facilitate the work of visiting scholars at EMU, especially Anabaptist research by post-professional or post-doctoral people
  • bridge the gaps between academia and community
  • serve as a think-tank for EMU administration and faculty
  • provide a social and institutional identity—a point of gathering for community and fellowship—for academic colleagues after leaving the classroom at EMU or one of its neighboring academic institutions

Contact Us

Call our office at (540) 560-0567 located upstairs in the Brunk House on the campus of EMU. Contact Vernon Jantzi, ACRS Director, at vernon.jantzi@emu.edu and get on our mailing list.

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