Kim Penner is the 2013 winner of the A. James Reimer Award. Kim is a ThD student currently in her second year at Emmanuel College at the Toronto School of Theology, studying in the ethics department. Kim’s research brings together feminist and womanist understandings of the authority of scripture and the value of women’s experiences as sources for sexual ethics in conjunction with Anabaptist-Mennonite approaches to social ethics. From her work in this area she hopes to lay a foundation for a Mennonite-feminist approach to sexual ethics that recognizes the importance of scripture and experience as sources for sexual ethics and establishes criteria and norms for discerning their authority in community.
In addition to her formal studies Kim is very much a part of the TMTC community. She is on the planning committee for the 2014 Graduate Student Conference being held at Canadian Mennonite University (May 30 – June 1), coordinates the TMTC Women’s Group, and works with Director John Rempel as the Graduate Student Assistant at TMTC. For Kim, the TMTC community is an important part of her success at the Toronto School of Theology since it offers an Anabaptist-Mennonite setting for scholarly discussion, which is important for her research, the support of peers and educators, times of communal worship, and opportunities to hone new skills.
Thanks to the financial support of the A. James Reimer award, this semester Kim is pursuing her passion for academia and furthering her research by attending and presenting a paper at the Mennonite Church USA Women’s Conference, “All You Need is Love: Honoring the Diversity of Women’s Voices in Theology.” The title of her paper is: “Sacred yet Insufficient: The use of Scripture as a source in a Mennonite-Feminist approach to Sexual Ethics.” The award also makes it possible for Kim to progress more quickly through her degree by allowing her to focus primarily on her studies rather than on seeking additional employment to help fund her degree.
The A. James Reimer award is awarded annually to a Mennonite student completing an advanced degree program at the Toronto School of Theology. The award was established to recognize the work of A. James Reimer in establishing the Toronto Mennonite Theological Centre. TMTC provides a Mennonite presence at the University of Toronto in order to engage in theological conversation at an advanced degree level as well as to support Anabaptist students pursuing advanced degrees.