With experience as both a historian and a pastor, Nate Yoder poses for students the question of whether the past is a resource or a hindrance to contemporary believers. Is the church best served by being rooted in adherence to tradition or by being freed to chart new territory? Nate has a vested interest in not answering that either/or question as it is framed. Instead, he takes a both/and approach that engages the past as resource and challenge for the present and the future. His goal is to equip students to take ventures in scholarship and ministry with a view to how the church discerns faithfulness and experiences renewal. He welcomes opportunities to engage the diverse members of the student body in assessing critical developments such as fourth-century developments signaled by reference to Constantine/constantinianism – he has been known to observe that Anabaptist DNA tells Mennonites to boo-hiss upon hearing those terms and then to ask students why and what alternative reads sound like – or the twentieth-century emergence, withdrawal and re-emergence of fundamentalism – much of his scholarly output described below aims to bring more nuance to understanding fundamentalism’s impact.
Nate focused his dissertation on Mennonite fundamentalists, including the founders of the Eastern Mennonite School in 1917. One way that Nate describes this project’s contribution highlights grammatical construction. Previous scholarship portrayed fundamentalism as infiltrating Mennonitism, positioning the movement as subject and lamenting its influence as detrimental. In pursuing an interpretation with more nuance, Nate focused on specific Mennonite leaders, describing them as actors rather than objects – and therefore the subjects of the sentence – who had chosen to engage the broader fundamentalist movement. He sees his work on Mennonite fundamentalists as an effort to provide better understanding of a movement whose influence he is personally ambivalent about.
Nate’s current research project takes the Conservative Mennonite Conference as a case study in Mennonite-evangelical relations, particularly in the latter part of the twentieth century. Headquartered at Rosedale, Ohio, CMC has a long history of interacting selectively with the Mennonite Church. As Conservative Mennonites laid aside many of their cultural distinctives such as plain dress and as they became increasingly concerned about theological diversity among Mennonites more broadly, they identified themselves more closely with currents in popular American evangelicalism. This book has been accepted for publication in the Series in Anabaptist and Mennonite History.
As EMU’s University Archivist, Nate is preparing sources for examination by Donald Kraybill, author of the centennial history to be released in 2017. During the 2013-2014 academic year, Nate is on sabbatical. He will be focusing on the experience of minority/immigrant/racial/ethnic groups within the Mennonite church, with particular attention to dynamics related to leadership. The best way to reach him while he is on sabbatical is at his EMU e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dr. Brubaker started her long EMU career in the nursing department, which she chaired for 10 years. Recognized for her administrative ability, she was appointed vice president for enrollment management in 1994 and then provost, EMU’s second-highest post, 2000-2008. She also served briefly as interim president and at one point took on double duties as music department chair (an area that was her first major in college). After that, Brubaker led EMU’s reaccreditation effort with the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. Currently she serves half-time as director of Hartzler Library.
In semi-retirement, Brubaker is active in her church, Park View Mennonite, and chairs the board of Valley Brethren-Mennonite Heritage Center. Previously she chaired the board of Mennonite Mutual Aid (now Everence).
Bonnie started working at Hartzler Library as Circulation/Office Manager, summer 1997. She manages the library student assistants through the work-study program and she believes the students are an energizing force in her job. She lives in the Park View area with her husband Henry. Bonnie and Henry have two grown children, Mary K and William.
A California native, Stephanie moved to Virginia in 2004. She currently lives in Harrisonburg with her three children; Grace, Katie, and Jack.
Before coming to EMU, Stephanie worked as a librarian at the Massanutten Regional Library and on staff at JMU. She completed her Master of Science in Library and Information Science from Florida State University and her Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of California, Davis. Stephanie enjoys the challenge of helping students navigate through the information fog to help them find resources that are both appropriate and interesting for their research work.
Stephanie devotes her free time to her family. She enjoys the challenge of balancing meaningful work with the responsibility of raising her small children.
Dawn, a 1985 graduate of Eastern Mennonite University, began her library experience at the Staunton Public Library while living in Waynesboro, Virginia. In 1994 she relocated to Lancaster Pennsylvania, where she was employed at the Lancaster County Public Library. Dawn was happy to move back to “the Shenandoah Valley” and began her work with EMU in 2006 as the interlibrary loan/serials co-ordinator. Dawn enjoys learning about all aspects of library work as well as getting to know the students that she encounters.
Dawn lives with her husband Doug and three children. She enjoys traveling, hiking, reading and knitting/crocheting.
Audrey grew up in East Petersburg, Lancaster Co., PA and graduated from Lancaster Mennonite High School. She graduated from Eastern Mennonite University with a B.A. in Mathematics. Her love of reading led her to work in the library in high school and college. Upon graduation she started working full time in the library as a cataloging and acquisitions assistant. She enjoys working with computers and new technology which led to her current position of Library Automation Coordinator & Acquisitions Administrator. Her hobbies include singing and doing a variety of crafts, especially counted cross-stitching.
Jennifer comes to EMU from plains of the Midwest having grown up in Illinois and attended college & graduate school in Indiana. Travel and study experiences in Haiti, the Dominican Republic, and Finland have provided a wider world view. Jennifer has seen great changes in the library world since receiving her library degree in 1988. She enjoys seeing how these changes will better serve libraries and their patrons. Jennifer received a 2nd Master’s degree in Applied Women’s Studies during her sabbatical in 1999-2000.
Jennifer enjoys volunteering at Patchwork Pantry (a local food bank) and at Ten Thousand Villages, a fair trade retailer. She is actively involved at Community Mennonite Church, teaching Sunday school and serving on Worship Committee for Worship Arts. She participates in Virginia Mennonite Conference as a delegate for CMC and serves as secretary for Harrisonburg District.