The Story of CMU
Canadian Mennonite University is the result of the amalgamation of three colleges: Mennonite Brethren Bible College/Concord College (est. 1944); Canadian Mennonite Bible College (est. 1947); and Menno Simons College (est. 1989).
• Location: Winnipeg, Manitoba (population approximately 634, 000)
• Type: Liberal Arts University offering 3 and 4 year Bachelor degrees and Graduate degrees
• Mission: 'Canadian Mennonite University is an innovative Christian university, rooted in the Anabaptist faith tradition, moved and transformed by the life and teaching of Jesus Christ. Through teaching, research and service CMU inspires and equips women and men for lives of service, leadership and reconciliation in church and society.'
• Core commitments: Educating for Peace-Justice; Learning through Thinking and Doing; Generous Hospitality... Radical Dialogue; Modelling Invitational Community
• President: Dr. Cheryl Pauls, appointed 2012
• Accreditation: Universities Canada (formerly known as Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada)
• Religious affiliation: CMU is formally supported by 2 denominational groups: Mennonite Church Canada and Mennonite Brethren Church Manitoba.
• Admissions: CMU welcomes students from all backgrounds. In 2013-2014, 47% of students were from Mennonite background and 53% from diverse Ecumenical traditions, with approximately 15% of students disclosing no faith or church background.
• Undergraduate Degrees: 16 Bachelor of Arts majors include Biblical and Theological Studies, Communications and Media, English, History, International Development Studies, Mathematics, Music, Peace and Conflict Transformation Studies, Philosophy, Political Studies, Psychology, Social Sciences, as well as Bachelor of Business Administration, Bachelor of Music, and Bachelor of Music Therapy degrees. Concentrations and minors within these degrees, along with pre-professional studies, vary within programs of study.
• Graduate Degrees: Master of Arts degrees in Theological Studies and in Christian Ministry; Master of Business Administration; and Master of Arts in Peacebuilding and Collaborative Development.
• Outtatown: An eight-month Outtatown Discipleship School provides experiential, cross-cultural, off-campus learning in Canada, South Africa and Guatemala; and a four-month French Outtatown program offers options for study and learning in Winnipeg, Montreal, Paris, and Burkina Faso.
• Menno Simons College: Canadian Mennonite University operates a college located on the campus of the University of Winnipeg. Menno Simons College offers undergraduate degree programs in Conflict Resolution Studies and in International Development Studies in affiliation with the University of Winnipeg.
• Practica: A practicum component, as a graduation requirement, exists in all degree programs to extend learning through community engagement.
• Student/Faculty Ratio: 1:18 including 1st and 2nd year courses
• Geographical Representation:
o 70% of students from Manitoba
o 30% of students from other parts of Canada, the United States and from 14 other countries around the world
• Athletics: CMU competes in the Manitoba College Athletic Conference (MCAC) in Men's and Women's Soccer, Volleyball and Basketball. MCAC includes seven universities and colleges in Manitoba: Assiniboine Community College Cougars, Canadian Mennonite University Blazers, University of St-Boniface Voyageurs, Oak Hills Christian College Wolf Pack, Providence College Freemen, Red River College Rebels, and University of Winnipeg College Wesmen.
What are the "Liberal Arts"?
Studying the 'Liberal Arts' goes back to the Ancient Greeks who considered a thorough knowledge of the arts and sciences to be the defining mark of an educated person, and essential for free and active participation in civic life. In the ancient world the liberal arts referred to a certain core curriculum that included only three subjects: grammar, rhetoric and logic. Later, arithmetic, geometry, music and astronomy were brought in as well—all of which were seen as preparatory for serious studies in philosophy and theology. The aim of a liberal arts education was to produce a person who was virtuous and ethical, knowledgeable in many fields and highly articulate.
While modern liberal arts curricula include a larger range of subjects, they still retain the core aims of developing well-rounded individuals with general knowledge of a wide range of subjects and with mastery of a range of transferable skills. The goal of a liberal arts education is to produce 'global citizens', with the capacity and the inspiration to continue learning through their lives, and to contribute in valuable ways to their communities.
Today, the phrase "liberal arts" generally encompasses the following disciplines, often pursued in inter-disciplinary ways to provide a broad spectrum of knowledge and skill:
• Humanities – includes art, literature, linguistics, philosophy, religion, ethics, modern foreign languages, music, theater, speech, classical languages (Latin/Greek) etc.
• Social sciences – includes history, psychology, law, sociology, politics, gender studies, anthropology, economics, geography, business informatics, peace and conflict transformation, international development etc.
• Natural sciences – includes astronomy, biology, chemistry, physics, botany, archaeology, zoology, geology, Earth sciences, etc.
• Formal sciences – includes mathematics, logic, statistics, etc.
Why are Liberal Arts important and how does CMU's Liberal Arts vision shape teaching and learning?
Since September of 2000, CMU has nurtured a particular vision of a Liberal Arts education, shaped within the embrace of the Christian church, an Anabaptist orientation and a unique trajectory of commitments. A broad spectrum of programs, with a focus on cross-disciplinary learning, opens students to engage the world and their place within it.
a. Faith: We present students with a reading of the world shaped by scripture and the Christian faith.
b. Dialogue: We affirm the importance of holding strong convictions and committing to dialogue across the many chasms which divide humanity.
c. Holistic: We teach students to question the artificial division between theoretical and practical knowledge so that their thinking and living are impacted.
d. Peace-Justice: We seek to colour all our programs with a commitment to peace-justice and the witness of Jesus.
e. Community: We nurture diverse communities in which students learn and experience the faith, hope and love that strengthens their compassion for others.
f. Life-Preparation: We provide students with foundational education for life and preparation for their careers.
How do CMU's students benefit from Christian Liberal Arts learning?
a. Capacity for Analysis, Perspective and Commitment: Students are grounded intellectually in ways that open critical thinking, deep analysis and broad perspective, and that strengthen their faith commitments, dispositions and habits of love, peace and justice, and social responsibility.
b. Clear and Careful Thinking: Students learn to think clearly and carefully about the world in which we live as they receive the wisdom and knowledge of past generations, and participate in and contribute to a larger communal search for truth.
c. Learning for Life: Students learn to approach learning as an ongoing process that shapes all aspects of how they choose to live and they gain broad skills applicable to many different jobs or careers over the course of their working life.
d. Active Engagement: Students are inspired into active engagement with the world around them, understanding their power and responsibilities to the common good as citizens, participants in the market, and members of local neighborhoods, church and global communities.
e. Skilled in Collaboration: Students hone their capacities for creative, integrated thinking and living as they learn by working collaboratively with others.
f. Agents of Change: Students' awareness of how politics, philosophy, religion, art, economics, and environmental realities have shaped our world helps them to actively serve, lead and be agents of good change in their faith communities and in society.
What services are available for students?
a. Free Counseling Services: University students can face many challenges and at times, may benefit from conversation with a trained professional. CMU provides qualified counselors who volunteer their services free of charge to students on the campus. Confidentiality is maintained at all times. Students wishing to book an appointment with a counselor simply make arrangements through one of our receptionists.
b. Spiritual Direction: Spiritual direction involves the ministry of one believer accompanying another on their faith journey, helping them to be attentive and responsive to God in their life, and to grow in intimacy with God. A Spiritual Director is one uniquely qualified for this ministry by virtue of special training and careful attention to his or her own spiritual life. CMU encourages students committed to a closer walk with God to consider spiritual direction with one of several individuals trained in this area who are associated with CMU. Interested students are invited to contact the Spiritual Life Facilitator regarding referrals. Some cost may be involved.
c. Academic Advising: Every student admitted to CMU is assigned an Advisor from amongst the faculty, who commits to being available to studetns as needed for advice on school-related matters. This person may also act as an additional academic mentor to his or her assigned students. Faculty Advisors can provide students with valuable counsel regarding course selection, academic support services, career aptitude, graduate opportunities and more. Further academic advising, especially pertaining to degree requirements and course planning, is available by appointment from the Coordinator of Student Advising.
d. Academic Resource and Writing Support: Peer tutors are available for students looking for extra help. Tutoring can be made available in a private context—this can be arranged through the coordinator of student services and usually comes with an associated hourly fee—or through CMU's volunteer-tutor collective, PAL [Peer Assisted Learning]. PAL hold's drop-in sessions a couple of times a week (depending on demand), which are open to all CMU students; students can come to PAL for help with homework, test prep, study strategies, essays, and more. Whatever the subject—Math, Science, Music, English, Psychology, Theology—chances are we will have somebody in sometime this week who can help you. Essay coaches are upper level students who volunteer their time to work with other students specifically on essay planning, research and writing. Student Learning Assistants, sometimes referred to as Academic Tutors, are professionals who are volunteering their time to CMU. They are available to work with students one day/week and can offer academic counseling, time management skills, overall strategizing and more. For more information, contact the Coordinator of Student Advising.
What advantages does CMU offer?
a. CMU is committed to offer students a first-class university education within a dynamic Christian community, where rigorous academics and Christian faith shape character, thinking and life commitments. Our graduates are well-rounded, critical thinkers and communicators committed to making a difference in their communities and the world.
b. Given their average class size and faculty teaching commitments, CMU classes are rich with challenge and learning possibility. Our professor-to-student ratio is excellent, at approximately 1:18 (even in 1st and 2nd year courses), with a notable 88% of faculty holding PhDs. Students find CMU courses to be engaging both in content and interaction. CMU students tend to write more and to hone their writing and oral communication skills significantly over their 3 or 4 years of study as they benefit from mentoring relationships with faculty and dialogue with peers.
c. CMU's welcome of students from many backgrounds opens them to learn graceful interaction, understanding, humility and to value those whose convictions and backgrounds may be different than their own.
d. CMU's commitment to inter-disciplinary learning invites students to explore and learn from a broad variety of important disciplines. In addition to diverse Liberal Arts programming, CMU offers Bachelor of Music degrees (including the only Bachelor of Music Therapy program in western Canada) and a Bachelor of Business Administration degree. Further, CMU's commitment to colour all programs with a commitment to 'peace-justice' flourishes particularly in the Canadian School of Peacebuilding, affiliated with our Peace and Conflict Transformation Studies program, attracting peace practitioners from around the world.
e. Finally, CMU is committed to connect classroom academics with experience in the community. In addition to 18 hours of Biblical and Theological Studies in every student's program of study, a Practicum (a supervised learning opportunity structured over an entire year or within an intensive block of time) is a requirement for every graduating student. Practica connect student classroom learning with learning in a wide range of community and international settings opening both vocational discernment and professional connections. CMU partners with over 160 community and church partners in opening these learning experiences. 41% of Shaftesbury practica are typically in church related placements in congregations, church camps, conferences, schools or with church based development and inner city programs and 59% take place with partners engaged in food issues, homelessness, business, education, journalism, health care, refugee work and crisis counselling. Practica opportunities connect academics with learning in a wide range of community settings opening both vocational discernment and professional connections. They are vital to CMU's educational mission.
For what kinds of careers does a CMU education equip students?
a. CMU graduates leave not only having matured in personal character and commitments but with versatile skills, equipped with core, marketable skills needed for success in many job and career sectors. They graduate having developed the following and more:
i. Capacity to navigate quickly changing job markets effectively
ii. Strong written and oral communication and critical thinking skills
iii. Creative problem-solving capacities and a strong ability to work collaboratively with others
iv. Ability to integrate and distill information from varying sources
v. Many in-demand job skills including emotional intelligence, strong self-awareness, cultural sensitivity and adaptability and skills in self-discipline and personal responsibility
b. We routinely hear from graduates entering graduate and professional programs across Canada that they feel well equipped and prepared for the challenges they face. Acceptance to and after degree and professional programs is very high. Universities including U of Toronto, McGill, McMaster and others communicate frequently their interest in CMU sending them more of our graduates.
Undergraduate Degrees Offered
• Bachelor of Arts
four-year honours degree, four-year degree, and three-year degree
• Bachelor of Business Administration
four-year degree and four-year degree with co-op option
• Bachelor of Music
• Bachelor of Musical Therapy
four-year degree and two-year after degree
Undergraduate Programs & Subject Areas
• Biblical & Theological Studies
• Business & Organizational Administration
• Communications & Media
• Counselling Studies
• Intercultural Studies
• International Development Studies
• Music Therapy
• Peace & Conflict Transformation Studies
• Political Studies
• Social Service
• Theatre, Film, and Art
A year or more at CMU can prepare students to enter the below professional programs. For more information on pre-professional studies at CMU, click here.
• Dental Hygiene
• Human Ecology
• Occupational Therapy
• Physical Education
• Physical Therapy
• Respiratory Therapy
• Social Work
• Veterinary Medicine
• Graduate School of Theology and Ministry
• MA in Peacebuilding and Collaborative Development
• The Collaborative MBA