Toronto Mennonite Theological Centre

Classification scheme: 

Title: Toronto Mennonite Theological Centre fonds

Dates of creation: 1985-2010
Note: Further accruals are expected

Physical description: 50 cm of textual records

Administrative history: The Toronto Mennonite Theological Centre (TMTC) is a centre within the Toronto School of Theology (TST). It was originally sponsored by institutions and educational agencies of the General Conference Mennonite Church and the Mennonite Church. In 1998, the TMTC board asked if Conrad Grebel University College would consider taking on primary financial and administrative responsibility for the Centre as "steward" on behalf of Mennonite schools and agencies committed to graduate theological education within the context of Mennonite Church Canada and Mennonite Church U.S.A. This transition to Conrad Grebel oversight was completed in 2000.

TMTC is supported by an advisory board made up of representatives from Mennonite educational institutions, conference bodies and church agencies in both Canada and U.S.A. This advisory board has a consultative function, and plays a significant role in financing TMTC together with CGUC, and setting the overall vision and direction of the program.

From 1983 to 1990 A. James Reimer, a faculty member of Conrad Grebel University College, taught courses at the Toronto School of Theology (TST). On 3 July 1990, TMTC was incorporated as a centre within the TST. Reimer served as director from 1991-1995. Lydia Harder became interim director in 1994, and was appointed director from 1995-1999, while Jim Reimer served as academic advisor. Subsequently, Jim Reimer served as director until 2005, after which time he returned to the role of academic advisor. Jeremy Bergen was then appointed interim director until 2007. Jim Pankratz then took on the responsibilities of director until 2012 when John Rempel was appointed to the role.

TMTC was the first centre of its kind in the Mennonite world. It was formed to promote graduate teaching, research, and publication in the Anabaptist-Mennonite tradition; to engage in ecumenical and interfaith dialogue; to be a Mennonite presence on the TST campus; and to offer Anabaptist-Mennonite courses at TST. In 2005, TMTC presented its first annual A. James Reimer Award to support TST doctoral students of Mennonite identity who associate with TMTC.

Custodial history: Files have been received directly from TMTC; Ralph Lebold and Henry Paetkau both contributed accruals in 2010.

Scope and content: The fonds consists of minutes, reports and correspondence related to TMTC's founding and subsequent annual membership meetings and other committee meetings. Academic activities include the organization of conferences and other academic events, scholarly exchanges, and visits by prominent Mennonite scholars. Some papers given at these events have been retained.

Notes: Original description created by Sam Steiner. Updated by Laureen Harder-Gissing in 2012.

File list:

Series 1: Administration

  1. Minutes and correspondence, 1985-2010
    Scope and content: Includes early discussions surrounding the formation of TMTC, and minutes of the board/advisory council and other committees. General correspondence of both the board and director are interfiled here. Some correspondence for the years 2003-2010 was received from the files of Conrad Grebel University College president Henry Paetkau and interfiled here. Other files were received from Ralph Lebold and directly from TMTC. Correspondence regarding the personal information of students was removed and not kept by the Archives.

    TMTC's letters patent are located with the 1990 minutes. The memorandum of agreement with the Toronto School of Theology is located in the 1992 correspondence file. The 1995 lease agreement and memo of understanding with Toronto School of Theology is located in the 1995 correspondence file. The memorandum of agreement between Conrad Grebel University College and TMTC is located in the 2000 minutes/correspondence file.
  2. Fundraising
    Note: Not all fundraising letters were retained by the Archives; a representative sample was kept. Lists of donors and potential donors were not kept.
  3. Fundraising - Lilly Endowment grant
  4. Fundraising - Churches' Council of Theological Education in Canada
  5. Brochures
  6. TST Miscellaneous
    Scope and content: Contains some TST annual reports and catalogues. The following were not retained by the Archives: Advanced Degree Council minutes, 1996-2001; TST theology department minutes, 1998-2003; Biblical department minutes, 1997-2003.
  7. Historical lists and data

Series 2: Activities

Scope and content: TMTC has organized various academic conferences and other academic presentations. Files for these events, listed below, may include schedules, publicity materials and academic papers. TMTC scholars have met with Mennonite scholars from other institutions during the  American Academy of Religion (AAR) annual meeting, and played key roles in forming the Anabaptist Mennonite Scholars Network. TMTC hosted the Mennonite Central Committee/ Imam Khomeini Institute of Research and Education student exchange, which began in 1998. Building on relationships established through this exchange, TMTC organized the first Muslim-Christian Dialogue with scholars from Iran in 2002. Routine correspondence regarding lodging, travel arrangements, etc. was removed from conference files.

  1. Consultations, Churches' Council of Theological Education in Canada
  2. Various academic papers and responses, 1990s
  3. Gordon Kaufman visit, "Mystery, theology and conversation", 1994
  4. AAR/SBL "Mennonite meeting", "Following Jesus : which one?", 1994
  5. William Klassen visit, "The flower of peace in the garden of theology,"  1994
  6. Formation of Anabaptist Mennonite Scholars Network, 1994-2001
    Note: The following were not retained by the Archives: Institute of Mennonite Studies minutes, 1997-1999.
  7. Anabaptist Mennonite Scholars Network minutes and correspondence, 1998, 2000-2007
  8. AAR meeting, "Mennonite minority self-identity and multiculturalism", 1995
  9. John Howard Yoder visit, 1997
    Note: See also Conrad Grebel College Seminars/Lectures, XXVI-7/13; Miscellaneous recordings, Hist.Mss.9.27.51.
  10. Mennonite Central Committee/ Imam Khomeini Institute of Research and Education student exchange, 1997-1999
  11. MCC/IKIRE student exchange evaluation, 2005-2006
  12. Supervised experience in teaching ministry project, 1998-1999
  13. Consultation, "Mennonite worship", 1999
  14. Consultation, "Living with a history of suffering : addressing the repercussion of the Soviet Mennonite experience", 1999
  15. Alan Kreider visit, "Conversion and culture in early Christianity",  2000
  16. Academic papers and responses, 2001, 2002
  17. Muslim-Christian dialogue, program and planning, 2001-2002
  18. Muslim-Christian dialogue, follow-up and evaluation, 2002
  19. Muslim-Christian dialogue papers, 2002
    Note: Removed from this file during processing was a photocopy of parts of the publication "Guidelines for dialogue between Christians and Muslims" / Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue. - Mahwah, NJ : Paulist Press, 1990, pp. 25-27, 115-127, 28-44.
  20. Student conference, "Issues in the future of Anabaptist-Mennonite scholarship", 2002
  21. Conference, "Ritual in Anabaptist communities", 2003
  22. Student conference, "Religious texts", 2004
  23. Student conference, "Exclusion", 2006
  24. Symposium, "Inheriting John Howard Yoder : a new generation examines his thought", 2007

Series 3: Photographs

Photographs are described in the Mennonite Archival Information Database.


Generally 8:30-4:30 Monday to Friday. An appointment in advance is recommended.


Mennonite Archives of Ontario
Conrad Grebel University College
140 Westmount Road North
Waterloo, ON N2L 3G6

Phone: 519-885-0220 x24238