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

Richard A. Yoder (2025)
Vernon E. Jantzi, Director (2024)
John Fairfield, Secretary (2024)
Kajungu Mturi (2024)
Patricia Hostetter Martin (2024)
Melody Pannell (2024) Communications Director
Harold F. Miller (2023)
Nancy R. Heisey (2023) Facilitator
Susan Weaver Godshall (2023)
A Clair Mellinger, Treasurer (2023)

The Steering Committee meets the third Monday of the month, 7:00 to 8:30 pm  via Zoom.

September 18
October 16
November 20
December 18 
January 15
February 19
March 18
April 15
May 20

Monday Morning Presentation Committee

Pat Hostetter Martin, Clair Mellinger, Melody Pannell & Richard Yoder

The Monday Morning Presentation Sessions are held the second Monday of the month, in the the West Dining Room, North Lawn, Eastern Mennonite University, 7:30 to 9:00 am:  

September 11
October 9
November 13                
December 11
January 8
February 12
March 11    
April 8
May 13  

Personnel Committee

The committee works in April to prepare nominations for Steering Committee actions at the May Meeting for mutually renewable terms of service to begin September 1. Criteria and procedures were approved, December 3, 2013.  Members:  Susan W. Godshall, Chair; John Fairfield, Kajungu Mturi

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

International Journal of Responsibility (IJR)

In partnership with the James Madison University Ghandi Center, ARCS members : Vernon E. Jantzi Official Memorandum of Understaning document has been approved by the Steering Committee.

Annual Meeting

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 support 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 deal with stability and change as our faith engages with our society?
  • 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
  • address current issues of the church, university and community in the Monday Morning Presentations
  • 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 for retired persons interested in the interface of society and religion, specifically Anabaptistism.

Contact Us

Call our office at (540) 560-0567 located on the main floor of Heatwole House at EMU. Contact Vernon Jantzi, ACRS Director, at with questions and comments or to get on our mailing list.

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