Students Host Intercollegiate Peace Conference

Some 60-70 students from five Anabaptist-related colleges are expected to converge at EMU for the annual student-run Intercollegiate Peace Fellowship Conference.

This year’s gathering will focus on the theme, “Backyard Peacebuilding – Cultivating Peace in Our Neighborhoods.”

Keynote speaker

Nicholas Stoddard
Nicholas Stoddard, a 2007 EMU graduat, will give the keynote address

Nicholas Stoddard of Harrisonburg, a 2007 EMU graduate, will give a keynote address 9 a.m. Friday, Feb. 19, and speak several additional times on the conference theme.

Stoddard received first place in the bi-national C. Henry Smith Peace Oratorical contest his senior year. His oration focused on how one’s actions have direct effect on others, even those at a great distance. He is currently is a first-year student in the master of divinity program at Eastern Mennonite Seminary.

Conference details

The program, entirely organized by students in EMU’s Peace Fellowship, will open 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 18 and end noon Saturday, Feb. 20. Participating schools include Conrad Grebel College, Ont.; Bluffton (Ohio) University; Goshen (Ind.) College; Hesston (Kan.) College; and Messiah College, Grantham, Pa.

Workshops will be offered on a wide range of topics from “Conflict as a Metaphor for Peacebuilding” and “A Biblical Perspective on Immigration” to “Biking as Peacebuilding” and “Morally Responsible Investment” and others.

Most sessions will be held in Martin Chapel of the seminary building and seminary classrooms.

Full schedule of events

Creating connections

The purpose of the conference is “to gather together fellow students who care about issues of peace and justice,” said EMU senior Jennifer K. (Jenny) Hochstetler, conference co-organizer. “These students are our peers, soon to be colleagues, and this will be a great time to connect and build relationships as well as have meaningful discussions on being active in building peace in our own neighborhoods,” she added.

Participants have been invited to remain on campus until Sunday. Those who do will take part in a service activity Saturday afternoon, making relief kits for Haiti.

For more information on the conference, contact co-organizers Kate Nussbaum,, or Jenny Hochstetler,

Peace Fellowship is a student organization that organizes campus-wide activities, regular space to share meals and discussions, and special speakers to spark meaningful dialogue.