Growing up in Cuba and Mexico as son of missionary parents, Michael A. King experienced multiple cultures and faith understandings. He learned to cherish the Anabaptist-Mennonite commitment to faithfully follow Jesus while wondering what alternate convictions another tradition might have shaped in him. Immersion in Christian thought and life at a time his Mennonite community forbade watching TV even as he gulped down secular books and novels made him wonder what was real and true and good amid competing perspectives. He also wrestled with the gap between Christians’ talk and walk. As a result, into early adulthood King came to question the existence of God and the validity of Christianity even while craving the divine. Often feeling at the margins, unsure to which culture he fully belonged, bred in him compassion for others marginalized by life circumstances or unjust structures.
Although refined and chastened by life journeying, experience as pastor and publisher, academic training, and turning toward a faith in Christ enlarged by doubts and questions, lessons from King’s background continue to nurture his passions at Eastern Mennonite Seminary. There he is articulating such themes as "treasures of not being sure,” “transforming the shadows,” and “using power for the less powerful.”
King writes “Unseen Hands,” a column for Mennonite World Review, and blogs at Kingsview & Co. He has long been an editor and publisher, first through Herald Press (Scottdale, PA, 1989-1997) and then more recently as owner and publisher, Cascadia Publishing House LLC (Telford, PA, 1997-). He has been pastor in congregational settings ranging from Germantown Mennonite Church (Philadelphia, PA, 1982-1989), Spring Mount (PA) Mennonite Church (1997-2008), and more.
King is married to Joan Kenerson King, of Olean, NY, a family therapist and an advanced practice nurse who consults nationwide with public behavioral health systems. They are parents of three adult daughters and have three grandchildren.
Jim Smucker is Vice President and Dean of Graduate Studies at Eastern Mennonite University, Harrisonburg, VA. Prior to this appointment in the summer of 2013, Jim served for 25 years as President and a Partner in the Bird-in-Hand Corporation, a hospitality management company that employs 450 people in the Lancaster, PA area. He also spent a number of years as an adjunct faculty member at several universities teaching courses in the classroom as well as on-line in Entrepreneurialism, Leadership, Change, and Organizational Behavior. He holds a Ph.D. in Management (specializing in leadership and organizational change). His research interests include self direction and empowerment in the workplace, hiring and developing authentic leaders, and the contribution of the Believer’s Church to governance and leadership models. He is Past Chair of the Lancaster County Chamber of Commerce and the Pennsylvania Dutch Convention and Visitor’s Bureau, is a member of a number of for-profit and non-profit boards and coached high school basketball and baseball for over 14 years. In his spare time he enjoys reading and training for and running ultra-marathons. He lives in Harrisonburg, VA with his wife Anna and has three adult children Jordon, Rachel, and Kate. He is a member of Akron Mennonite Church.
Brian telecommutes for EMU from rural Iowa, helping train and support faculty who are teaching online or blended courses, and with academic program directors seeking to further their engagement in online or blended education. In addition to his work for EMU, Brian operates a small specialty coffee roasting business and is helping plant a church in his local community.
Brian is a graduate of EMU’s Seminary (MDiv ’12) and Center for Justice and Peacebuilding (MA ’11), and is an ordained minister in the Church of the Brethren (Northern Plains District).