Bechtel Lectures in Anabaptist-Mennonite Studies

The Bechtel Lectures in Anabaptist-Mennonite Studies were established in 2000 through the generosity of Lester Bechtel. As a devoted churchman with an active interest in Mennonite history, Lester’s dream was to make the academic world of research and study accessible to a broader constituency and to build bridges of understanding between the academy and the church. This lecture series provides a forum through which the core meaning and values of the Anabaptist-Mennonite faith and heritage might be communicated to a diverse audience and be kept relevant and connected to the rapidly changing world of our day.

The Bechtel Lectures provide the opportunity for representatives of a variety of disciplines and professions to explore topics that reflect the breadth and depth of Mennonite history, identity, faith and culture. Conrad Grebel University College is pleased to host this annual event.
 
Food and faith invitation

“Food & Faith: Mennonites farming at home & around the world”

Mennonite sociologist Winfield Fretz called farming the ‘sacred vocation.’  Even though fewer and fewer Mennonites are involved in it, we are all dependent on, if not blessed by it.  We used to talk together about farming and faith a lot more when more of us were farmers.  Maybe it’s time to talk again. 

Seven Points on Earth: Film and discussion with Paul Plett
Film Screening | January 31 at 7:30 PM | Conrad Grebel University College

Filmmaker Paul Plett captured the lives of seven Mennonites farming in Manitoba, Iowa, Bolivia, Netherlands, Zimbabwe, Siberia and Indonesia. His film offers an unprecedented look at Mennonite farming and faith around the world. Come view the film and engage in discussion with Paul.

This event is free. Please register to reserve your spot.
Reception to follow.

Farmers Breakfast Panel: Breakfast and discussion with Ontario Mennonites in Agriculture
Breakfast and Discussion | February 1 at 9:00 AM | Conrad Grebel University College

This breakfast roundtable is a panel discussion of the way farming, food, family and faith come together in our various lives.  Whether you make your living feeding others or have your life because of their work, you are welcome to join this breakfast roundtable.

This event is free. Register here.
Breakfast provided.

2020 Bechtel Lectures Guest: Filmmaker, Paul Plett

Film Maker Paul PlettPaul Plett studied at the Toronto Film School, and has spent the last 10 years developing a reputation as a maverick filmmaker in the festival circuit. His passion is to tell stories that explore the human condition, wherever that may lead him or his viewers.  His independent films have won him acclaim internationally, having been officially selected by the Toronto Independent Film Festival, the Global Peace Film Festival, the Victoria Independent Film Festival, and the Canadian International Film Festival.

Past Lectures

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Multimedia Videos

watch past lectures

Watch our special event videos: the Bechtel LecturesMennonite Literature series, the Eby Lecture, and the Sawatsky Lecture.