IMS response to ministerial sexual misconduct by John D. Rempel

Published: October 28, 2020

–Institute of Mennonite Studies Executive Committee

At the Institute of Mennonite Studies (IMS), we are grieving the news of findings of ministerial sexual misconduct and ministerial misconduct by John D. Rempel while he was employed at Conrad Grebel University College in Waterloo, Ontario, early in his professional career. Rempel later served as Associate Director of IMS from 2003 to 2012 while on the faculty at Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary.

As an institute and publisher, we seek to be survivor centered. This involves not only standing in solidarity with survivors and prioritizing their voices and experiences but also reckoning with our own history and publications.

During his tenure as Associate Director, Rempel served as one of the translators of the Classics of the Radical Reformation (CRR) volume Confessions of Faith in the Anabaptist Tradition 1527–1660; editor of the CRR volume Jörg Maler’s Kunstbuch: Writings of the Pilgram Marpeck Circle; one of the editors of According to the Grace Given to Her: The Ministry of Emma Sommers Richards; and guest editor of a volume of Vision: A Journal of Church and Theology on worship.

Rempel also served as one of four editors of Take Our Moments and Our Days: An Anabaptist Prayer Book, which many churches, small groups, and individuals utilize for daily prayers.

Since his tenure at IMS, Rempel has continued to serve on the CRR reference council, most recently writing a new preface for the CRR volume The Writings of Pilgram Marpeck.

In light of the findings of ministerial sexual misconduct and ministerial misconduct, we have accepted Rempel’s resignation from the CRR reference council. While we desire for Rempel to find healing and peace, this decision is made in the interest of survivors who might utilize IMS publications.

We ask all churches and institutions who utilize any of these resources to consider the experience of survivors asked to read a text edited or translated by a scholar with a history of ministerial sexual misconduct. We ask that they follow the lead of survivors with decisions on whether and how to continue utilizing these resources.

Anyone who decides to discontinue using an IMS publication edited by Rempel may return their volume, in whatever condition, to IMS for a full refund or in exchange for another IMS publication by contacting managing editor David Cramer at [email protected]

At IMS, we seek to be an institution that not only promotes peace but also actively works to undo violence in its many forms. Toward this end, we renew our commitment to supporting projects that center the voices of survivors of sexual violence and that expose abuses of power within our churches and institutions.

Beverly Lapp, Chair
Vice President and Academic Dean

Jamie Pitts, Director
Associate Professor of Anabaptist Studies

Andy Brubacher Kaethler, Associate Director
Associate Professor of Christian Formation and Culture

David C. Cramer, Managing Editor
Sessional Faculty

Janna Hunter-Bowman, Faculty Member
Assistant Professor of Peace Studies and Christian Social Ethics

Drew Strait, Faculty Member
Assistant Professor of New Testament and Christian Origins

October 2020

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