A photo of a redbrick building, in downtown toronto. There are large trees growing on the street side, with fall leaves.

Toronto Mennonite Theological Centre

The grebel isignia beside the words "Toronto Mennonite Theological Centre", Conrad Grebel University College

The Toronto Mennonite Theological Centre (TMTC) was founded in 1990, and closed in 2023. Its mandate was to form theological leadership for the church by providing and supporting graduate theological education, particularly at the doctoral level, from a Mennonite perspective in an ecumenical context.

Its activities included:

At the Toronto School of Theology (TST)

  • Graduate teaching and advising
  • Regular “Scholars forums” and student gatherings
  • Special public lectures and forums
  • Women’s group
  • Occasional academic conferences

Across North America

  • Graduate student conferences
  • Mennonite Scholars and Friends Forum and Reception at AAR/SBL
  • Fellows program
  • Anabaptist-Mennonite Scholars Network
  • Muslim-Christian dialogue

TMTC was founded by several Mennonite denominational entities and postsecondary educational institutions, reflecting binational commitments to advanced theological education. For most of its existence, the partners were Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary, Canadian Mennonite University, Conrad Grebel University College, Eastern Mennonite University, Mennonite Education Agency (Mennonite Church USA), Mennonite Church Canada, and Mennonite Church Eastern Canada, or various predecessor entities. Conrad Grebel University College assumed the responsibility to run TMTC in 2000.

On October 24, 2023, the Toronto Mennonite Theological Centre (TMTC) held a virtual Closing Ceremony to mark the end of its 33-year existence. TMTC’s mandate was to develop theological leadership for church and academy, by supporting Mennonite graduate students in theology, biblical studies, and related fields. It worked primarily with students at the ecumenical Toronto School of Theology (TST). As I reflect on what was shared at this closing ceremony, it is evident that TMTC has made important, often behind-the-scenes, contributions to the Mennonite theological ecosystem.

A number of TMTC’s programs and activities are continuing in various ways.

  1. Grebel remains an affiliated member of the Toronto School of Theology. This arrangement enables students in Grebel’s Master of Theological Studies (MTS) program and in TST programs to take courses at the other institution. It also means that several Grebel faculty are available to serve as supervisors or on supervisory committees of doctoral students at TST. The contact person for this affiliation agreement is the Director of Theological Studies, Carol Penner.
  2. The endowment which used to fund the A. James Reimer TMTC Award, named in honour of the founding director, is now used to support students in Grebel’s MTS program.
  3. The annual Mennonite Scholars and Friends forum and reception at the American Academy of Religion/Society of Biblical Literature, is now overseen by the Institute of Mennonite Studies at Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary.
  4. The Anabaptist-Mennonite Scholars Network, which hosts occasional networking gatherings and curates a list of calls for papers, conferences, journals, job openings, grants, and other information relevant to Anabaptist Mennonite scholarship, is now administered by the Institute of Mennonite Studies at Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary.
  5. Mennonite Graduate Student conferences were held every two or three years from 2002 to 2021. While there are no concrete plans to hold another conference, these may be restarted at some future time. For questions related to the history and work of TMTC, contact the last TMTC Director, Jeremy Bergen.