Extending the Grebel Table: Strategic Visioning 2015-2020

Extending the Grebel Table


Conrad Grebel University College is an Anabaptist-inspired liberal arts college affiliated with the world-class University of Waterloo. Our mission is “to seek wisdom, nurture faith and pursue justice and peace in service to church and society.” 


In the early 1960s, the recently established University of Waterloo offered the Mennonites in Ontario an amazing gift: the invitation to establish a Mennonite liberal arts college alongside three other faith-founded colleges on its new campus. Visionary church and civic leaders from three Ontario conferences—that later came together to form Mennonite Church Eastern Canada (MCEC)—worked together to establish a college in 1963. They named the school “Conrad Grebel” after the first Anabaptist of the Radical Reformation from Zurich, Switzerland in 1525, for his articulation that infant baptism be replaced with voluntary baptism of adults.   

Conrad Grebel University College continues to seek and foster links within the broader Mennonite Church. We gift the church with our academic resources and contribute to the scholarly excellence and vibrant student experience at the University of Waterloo. Our distinctive residence draws nearly half its students from Mennonite and other historic peace churches, while our undergraduate and graduate programs attract thousands from the main campus. Grebel is the only Mennonite academic model of its kind in North America.

Grebel’s “signature” programs—Peace & Conflict Studies, Music, Theology, and Mennonite Studies—grow out of our faith tradition. Through our connection to the Faculty of Arts and our support from the wider church, the College is an integral, welcoming community on the larger Waterloo campus. We are strongly committed to “challenging mind & spirit”; to educating the whole person in the spirit of active peacemaking and compassionate service.


community supperToday we launch our next half-century. We are mindful of the strong reputation Conrad Grebel has cultivated inside and outside the classroom around building community, promoting peace, and modeling a life of service at home and around the world. Our many loyal friends and strong alumni base have spoken eagerly and clearly in our commissioned research as to why they generously support us!

In the next five years we envision “extending the Grebel table.” We do so in the spirit of the round table and our all college Community Suppers first envisioned by founding president, Winfield Fretz. We will focus on community building through innovative and collaborative goals that engage our growing constituencies, elevate our distinctive programs, enhance our facilities and campus presence, and enrich people and positions. These four priorities and more than a dozen initiatives constitute the strategic visioning “placemat” to “set the table” for our next five years.

Grebel Strategic Placemat

Symbol LEgend