Conrad Grebel University College
140 Westmount Road North
Waterloo, ON, Canada N2L 3G6
Paul Heidebrecht is the inaugural director of the CPA, and an adjunct assistant professor who teaches courses in Peace and Conflict Studies and Theological Studies. His current research interests reflect a range of academic fields and professional experiences, including the intersection of social innovation and peacebuilding, political advocacy and social ethics, and technology and moral formation.
519-885-0220, ext. 24225
Office: CGUC 4203
BASc '94, University of Waterloo
MTh '00, Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary
PhD '08, Marquette University
You might not expect an engineer to be the director of the CPA, however Paul’s previous experiences make him a great fit for the role. Paul completed his undergraduate degree in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Waterloo, and subsequently worked for over five years in several different engineering positions. Living at Conrad Grebel University College, Paul was first introduced to both peace and conflict and theological studies; he also spent a co-op work term working on appropriate technology projects for Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) in Bangladesh.
Paul went on to pursue theological studies at Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary in Elkhart, Indiana, and then worked for MCC once again, this time teaching peace theology in Nigeria. He later earned a PhD in theology and ethics at Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Both his master’s thesis and doctoral dissertation broke new ground in reflecting theologically on technology, and he has published several articles and a book in this area.
Prior to coming to Grebel and the Kindred Credit Union Centre for Peace Advancement, Paul served as the director of MCC’s Ottawa Office for five years. In this role he led advocacy efforts on a wide range of international and domestic policy issues, including peacebuilding, humanitarian assistance, food security, refugee resettlement, restorative justice, Indigenous reconciliation, and mining justice. Much of this work was done in collaboration with civil society networks and ecumenical coalitions.
Paul is thrilled to support the diverse participants who call the Centre for Peace Advancement home, including Grebel faculty and graduate students, as well as peacebuilding practitioners with affiliate organizations and start-ups in the Epp Peace Incubator. “The CPA is well-positioned to harness and channel the passions, ideas, and skills of a new generation of peacebuilders, social innovators, and community partners to tackle the biggest and most pressing problems of our day.”