A new program developed by the center will be the Millennial Scholars. The initiative will bring together young adults to learn about Anabaptism and how to apply its principles in today's world.
The center will foster communication about the study of Anabaptist theology, history, ecclesiology and peacemaking through academic scholarship and theological training. There will also be theological resources for denominational leaders, particularly those in the Mennonite Brethren Church. An institute of Fresno Pacific University, the center is a partnership of Fresno Pacific Biblical Seminary and the Division of Biblical and Religious Studies, the Center for Peacemaking and Conflict Studies and the Center for Mennonite Brethren Studies.
Directing the center is Valerie Rempel, Ph.D., associate professor of history and theology at the seminary. As part of her duties, she was named to the J.B. Toews Chair of Anabaptist Studies, a position established by the MB Biblical Seminary board.
The center was established through a generous gift from Herb and Jessica Penner, Bakersfield. Herb is a retired chiropractor who served alternative service in World War II in a mental hospital. Jessica passed away recently.
Among the speakers were Penner; Rempel; D. Merrill Ewert, Ph.D., FPU President; Lynn Jost, Ph.D., seminary dean and university vice president; and Paul Toews, Ph.D., professor of history and director of the Center for Mennonite Brethren Studies, located in Hiebert Library.