Shacking Up: Sex, Love and Church Commitment - February 9, 2019


Saturday, February 9, 2019


9:00 AM-12:30 PM


Community Education Room (CGR 2202), Conrad Grebel University College (Waterloo, ON)




Is there a difference between “shacking up” and making a long-term commitment? In human relationships, some people choose co-habitation, others choose marriage, and others choose to stay single. In the context of church, some people choose baptism, some people pursue membership without baptism, and others choose to participate without needing to make any commitments. Why does “making a commitment” feel so wonderful to one person and unappealing to another person? In this interactive workshop we will learn together about the meaning of commitment through the lenses of Christian baptism and co-habitation.


Irma Fast Dueck, Associate Professor of Practical Theology, Canadian Mennonite University

Headshot of Irma Fast Dueck standing in library among books.Irma Fast Dueck: 

Irma was born and grew up in Winnipeg, Manitoba. She has been a university chaplain and a pastor before beginning her teaching career at CMBC (a predecessor college of CMU) in 1991. She received her Doctorate of Theology from Victoria University at the University of Toronto, a Masters of Divinity from the University of Winnipeg, and a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Waterloo.

Irma's teaching and research interests frequently lead her to themes connected to the practices of the church and the theology purveyed/conveyed by those practices. In the past few years she has given more sustained focus on the rituals of the church such as worship and baptism and on themes related to power. More recently Irma's commitment to peacemaking has led her to participate in a number of reconciliation endeavours including Muslim-Christian dialogue (sponsored by Mennonite Central Committee); she also continues to be involved with Mennonite-Catholic dialogue groups around Winnipeg. Irma is currently working on a book on the topic of baptism in the contemporary Anabaptist context. She has also published articles on cohabitation and the church, and she has done numerous presentations in Canada and the USA on the subject.

Irma Fast Dueck is the 2019 Bechtel Lecturer in Anabaptist-Mennonite Studies. Her lecture, "Like a Fish in Water: Reclaiming Baptism in an Anabaptist Church" will take place Thursday, February 7, 2019 at 7:30 PM. For more information, visit Bechtel Lectures.

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