New faculty member in Practical Theology

Monday, April 18, 2016

Carol PennerThe Conrad Grebel University College Board of Governors, at its April 12 meeting, enthusiastically approved the recommendation of the Search Committee to hire Dr. Carol Penner as Assistant Professor of Practical Theology.

“The Theological Studies department is excited about the impressive background that Carol Penner brings to our program,” said Troy Osborne, Acting Director. “Her academic background and experience leading congregations will shape the theological training of our students in profound ways.”

Teaching in this area is becoming increasingly important as students are searching out graduate programs in Canada to prepare them for ministry.

“After pastoring for many years, I welcome the opportunity to reflect academically on what leadership means in Anabaptist churches,” says Penner.  “The Grebel community is well equipped to resource the next generation of ministry leaders.”

Penner is well known to the Grebel community, having taught courses in Theological Studies on campus and at the Toronto Mennonite Theological Centre on behalf of Grebel. She completed a PhD in Theology at the University of St. Michael’s College in 1999, where she focused her teaching and research on feminist theology and violence against women.

Penner was initially called to ministry at Welcome Inn, in Hamilton, then at The First Mennonite Church in Vineland, and after almost 10 years in this congregation became senior pastor at Lendrum Mennonite Brethren Church in Edmonton in 2014.

“I am thrilled to be returning to the Grebel community, it’s a place where I’ve always felt at home.   Over the years I’ve been an associate student, a sessional lecturer, a board member and even a parent, as our daughter Katie lived at Grebel. When I was pastoring in MCEC, Grebel was a frequent destination for resources and events and I look forward to returning this September.”

Penner will be fulfilling some of Marianne Mellinger’s role who is retiring in June. This will include coordination of the Supervised Experience in Ministry program as part of the Master of Theological Studies degree.  In addition to congregations, these students are placed in a variety of settings including First Nations communities, long-term care facilities and a variety of social service agencies.

Founded in 1963 by Ontario Mennonites, Conrad Grebel University College is a Christian liberal arts college affiliated with the University of Waterloo. The College’s mission is “to seek wisdom, nurture faith and pursue justice and peace in service to church and society.”

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