Canadian Mennonite University (Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada)

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Canadian Mennonite University, Winnipeg, Manitoba

Canadian Mennonite University (CMU) is the result of the amalgamation of three colleges: Mennonite Brethren Bible College/Concord College (established in 1944 and owned by the Mennonite Brethren Church of Manitoba); Canadian Mennonite Bible College (CMBC, established in 1947 and owned by Mennonite Church Canada); and Menno Simons College (established in 1989 and owned by the Friends of Higher Learning).

In the early 1990s people from the Mennonite business community in Manitoba and from four Manitoba Mennonite colleges—CMBC, Concord College, Steinbach Bible College and Menno Simons College—met to talk about inter-Mennonite co-operation in higher education. This led to formal discussions among the colleges, beginning in 1995. Steinbach Bible College withdrew from the process in 1996.

In August 1998, the government of Manitoba proclaimed the charter for the creation of a university-level, degree-granting federation of Mennonite colleges. On 18 November 1998, the three colleges signed a Memorandum of Agreement, signifying final approval for the creation of the Mennonite College Federation. On 4 May 1999, the agreement to purchase 500 Shaftesbury, formerly the Manitoba School for the Deaf located across the road from CMBC, was concluded. The Mennonite College Federation began offering its new, jointly sponsored academic programs in September 1999. By September 2000, CMBC and Concord College located together on a common campus at 500/600 Shaftesbury Boulevard (Menno Simons College remained in downtown Winnipeg as CMU’s campus at the University of Winnipeg.)

Each college retained a president until June 2003 when CMBC president Gerald Gerbrandt was appointed president of the university. In October 2003 the university moved from a federated model with three separate college boards, each elected by the individual college's ownership groups, to an integrated model. The CMU Council was formed, representing the three ownership groups, along with a Board of Governors, elected by the Council.

In October 2008, CMU became a member of the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada.

In 2010-11 CMU offered a variety of academic programs on the Shaftesbury Campus, Menno Simons College (on the campus of The University of Winnipeg), and the Outtatown School of Discipleship – an eight-month program of cross-cultural study, service, and faith formation with a semester in either Guatemala or South Africa.

Programs were organized into four areas: Humanities and Sciences, International Programs (Outtatown), Music, and Social Sciences. CMU (Shaftesbury campus) offered three- and four-year undergraduate degree and non-degree programs and courses in Anthropology, Biblical and Theological Studies, Business and Organizational Administration, Communications and Media, Counselling Studies, Disaster Recovery, Economics, English, Geography, History, International Development Studies, Mathematics, Music, Music Therapy, Peace and Conflict Transformation Studies, Philosophy, Political Studies, Psychology, Science, and Sociology. At the graduate level, CMU offered a Master of Arts with specializations either in Theological Studies or Christian Ministry. Menno Simons College campus offered three- and four-year majors in Conflict Resolution Studies and International Development Studies toward a Bachelor of Arts for students at The University of Winnipeg.

The university also included several schools and institutes: the Canadian School of Peacebuilding, the Community School of Music & the Arts, the Institute for Theology & the Church, the Institute for Community Peacebuilding, the School of Writing at CMU, and the Winnipeg Centre for Ministry Studies.

In 2010-11 approximately 1750 students (920 FTE) were enrolled in courses at CMU. Faculty included 45 full-time faculty as well as part-time faculty and sessional appointments. Its annual budget in 2010-11 was approximately $12 million. The University had no operating debt and a relatively modest capital debt resulting principally from the construction of a student residence (Concord Hall).


Canadian Mennonite University. "Founding Colleges." Web. 15 July 2011.

Harder, Helmut. "The Emergence of a Mennonite University." The Blazer (Fall 2010): 2-9.

Additional Information

University website: Canadian Mennonite University

CMU Presidents

President Years
Gerald Gerbrandt 2003-2012
Earl Davey (interim) 2012
Cheryl Pauls 2012-present

Author(s) Richard D Thiessen
Date Published December 2012

Cite This Article

MLA style

Thiessen, Richard D. "Canadian Mennonite University (Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. December 2012. Web. 23 Jun 2021.,_Manitoba,_Canada)&oldid=167627.

APA style

Thiessen, Richard D. (December 2012). Canadian Mennonite University (Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 23 June 2021, from,_Manitoba,_Canada)&oldid=167627.

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