Global Anabaptist Education Networks (GAEN)

Meet Your Global Anabaptist Education Networks (GAEN)

The Faith and Life Commission facilitates the Global Anabaptist Education Networks (GAEN). GAEN connects educational institutions operated by MWC members working with students from Early Childhood to Secondary, and Higher Education (colleges, universities, seminaries and informal training institutes).

GAEN Mission

We see our mission to strengthen collaboration in education (schools, administration, teachers, and scholars) to live out and teach Anabaptist convictions and spirituality, so that our communion can more fully embody a Christ-like way of being in the world

GAEN Vision

  • We believe our schools have the potential to instill our Statement of Shared Convictions deeply into our worldwide movement, starting with little children through to church leaders.
  • We see our institutions as tools to help provide identity and cohesion to our national and regional churches as centers of theological reflection and teaching.
  • We see MWC as a great space within which to strengthen our schools and their engagement with Christ-centered faith formation, and their role in strengthening the church

Organization

GAEN is organized into two groups, each with a steering committee for focused attention and for planning events. An Organizing Committee provides direction for both groups. Representatives are: Elaine Moyer, Gloria Fumana, and Conrad Swartzentruber (GAPSEN) and David Wiebe and Victor Wall (GAHEN).

  • GAPSEN: Global Anabaptist Primary/Secondary Education Network focuses on connecting Early Childhood through Secondary institutes.
    • GAPSEN Steering committee members: Moses David Livingstone, Theo & Gloria Fumana, Delbert Unruh, Conrad Swartzentruber, Elaine Moyer.
  • GAHEN: Global Anabaptist Higher Education Network focuses on the post-secondary level, including colleges, universities, seminaries or combinations thereof, plus non-accredited informal training institutes/programs which typically serve pastors through extension or correspondence approaches.
    • GAHEN Steering committee members: Cheryl Pauls, Hironori Minamino, Marlene Wall, Rebecca Stolzfus, Sara Wenger Shenk, Victor Wall, Gishu Jebecha, David Boshart.

GAEN is supported by MWC Staff member/Network Coordinator Rebekah Doerksen

Objectives

GAPSEN’s objectives:

  • Promote networks for mutual encouragement
  • Share best practices
  • Promote collaboration on curricula or other resources
  • Promote exchanges of teachers, students and resources
  • Promote online education, accreditation and development of new schools
  • Create occasional events to facilitate relationships and networks, and showcase education models

GAHEN’s objectives:

In addition to the above GAHEN works toward

  • Writing, sharing and publishing papers to address issues in higher education
  • Exploring means to extend theological education throughout remote regions

GAEN Values and Approach

  • Start small and grow organically to remain sustainable
  • Use in-person events sparingly, focusing on internet tools to maintain and strengthen networks
  • Decentralized to allow people to find and support one another along lines of greatest interest
  • Pay attention to smaller schools that often need the most resources and support

Membership

There are approximately 400 Early Childhood through Secondary schools operated by members of MWC. There are another 50-60 institutes and programs of Higher education (post-secondary).

Beyond the above institutional identities, we are eager to include Anabaptist-oriented centers within larger institutes, and Anabaptist scholars and teachers who may work outside of a member institute, including Anabaptist scholars networks.

All are invited to membership in GAEN based on the following criteria:

  • Engages in educational ministry
  • Self-identifies as Anabaptist with commitment to the MWC Shared Convictions
  • Exhibits formal organization (has bylaws, or is a department within another organization, holding regular leadership/board meetings, etc.)
  • Participates in the fair share contribution for involvement (“Membership fee”)

Join our Network!

Attend GAEN 2022 (more information coming soon!)

Key Documents

Terms of Reference (proposed as of 2020, pending approval at Assembly 2021)

GAEN Memorandum of Clarity

Proposed structure of the Faith and Life Commission/GAEN and its potential participant groups

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