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February 1-3, 2018

National Conference Center, Leesburg, VA 


Objectives and purpose:

  • To inspire, support and encourage educators in our Early Childhood - Grade 12 schools
  • To build understanding of Anabaptist vision, pedagogy and best practice
  • To provide professional development opportunities for educators to learn from each other and to establish working networks, enabling them to keep connected between conferences
  • To cultivate opportunities for current educators and education students in our colleges and universities to network with one another and to catch a wider vision of Anabaptist Christian education
    • To engage with Encounter, the Mennonite Schools Council (MSC) Bible and faith formation curriculum that is being piloted.

In light of these broader objectives, MEC 2018 seeks to create a time and space for us to explore the broad, beautiful image of God as manifested in our schools. We will talk about what it means to be academically excellent and prepared for innovation in the 21st century.

Cost of Registration

$500 per person

$465 MSC member's discount

$105 MSC travel pool cost per person

Total MSC cost: $570

After December 15, 2017

$540 per person

$505 MSC member's discount

$105 MSC travel pool cost per person

Total MSC cost: $610


Register Here




ALI Course Offering at MEC 2018

Participants will also have the opportunity to register for the on-site ALI course, Learning the Language of the Community. An ​overview ​of ​key ​concepts ​critical ​to ​successful ​operation ​within ​the ​Mennonite ​Anabaptist ​community ​will ​be ​presented ​including ​an ​introduction ​to ​the ​people, ​the ​organizations ​and ​the ​vision ​of ​the ​church. ​ Dr. ​Gerald ​Mast, ​professor ​of ​communication ​at ​Bluffton ​University ​(BU), ​will ​teach ​the ​course. ​Click the button below for more information, or to register for the course.  


Register Here






Daniel R. Porterfield, Ph.D., has served as president of Franklin & Marshall College since 2011. Under his leadership, F&M has developed a visionary strategic plan, an innovative approach to student success, and a distinctive student talent strategy built upon an expanded financial aid program. Porterfield writes and speaks frequently on education issues, including presentations at three White House summits in 2014. He sits on the boards of the College Board and the Lenfest Scholars Foundation, advises Teach For America and the College Advising Corps, and has received awards from the KIPP and “I Have A Dream” foundations. In 2016, he was named one of the “Sixteen Most Innovative People in Higher Education” by Washington Monthly and one of eleven “Champions of Change for College Opportunity” by the White House, and helped to found and launch the American Talent Initiative—an alliance of top colleges and universities committed to expanding college opportunity. Prior to leading F&M, Porterfield served as a Senior Vice President at his alma mater, Georgetown University, and as a senior aide to U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Donna Shalala. He received a Rhodes Scholarship and a Mellon Fellowship in the Humanities, and earned his Ph.D. at The City University of New York Graduate Center.



 Sarah Ann (Gehman) Bixler is a PhD student in practical theology at Princeton Theological Seminary, where her study focuses on Christian education and formation and she also works as the assistant to the director of the Center for Church Planting and Revitalization. Sarah is a graduate of West Fallowfield Christian School '94, Lancaster Mennonite High School '98 and Eastern Mennonite University '02. She earned her BA in English education from EMU and her master of Divinity from Princeton Theological Seminary. Sarah taught at Eastern Mennonite Middle School and has worked in education, youth ministry, curriculum writing and conference leadership. She lives with her husband, Benjamin, and their three children in New Jersey, and they attend Oxford Circle Mennonite Church in Philadelphia.



Mennonite Educators Conference Schedule                                       
February 1-3, 2018                                                                        
THURSDAY, February 1
3:00 – 10:00 p.m.        REGISTRATION - Pre-Function
Look for displays and bookstore in the Pre-Function and Atrium areas
5:30 – 6:30 p.m.          DINNER - Dining Court
6:45 – 9:00 p.m.          GENERAL SESSION - West Ballroom 
7:00 – 7:18                  Welcome & Intro to Conference                                  
7:19 – 7:36                  Music & Worship – Marcy Hostetler                                
7:37 – 7:54                  Keynote #1 – Academic Excellence and Innovation, Daniel Porterfield
8:15 – 9:00                  Hub with Daniel Porterfield
9:00 – 10:00                Snack
                                    Menno Camps - inspired by the Ed Camp model – sign-ups & assign locations
FRIDAY, February 2
6:30 – 8:00 a.m.         BREAKFAST - Dining Court
8:30 – 8:49                 Music & Worship – Marcy Hostetler
8:50 – 9:09                 Keynote #2 – Education in & for the 21st century, Daniel Porterfield
9:15 – 9:45                 Hub with Daniel Porterfield
9:45 – 10:15               REFRESHMENT BREAK
                                   Menno Camps – sign-ups & assign locations
10:15 – 11:30             All disciplines & Faith Formation - GENERAL SESSION
                                   MSC Bible Curriculum – Encounter
11:30 a.m.-1:00 p.m.  LUNCH - Dining Court
1:15 – 1:20                 Gather for Keynote - #3
1:20 – 1:40                 Keynote #3 – Education & Faith Formation – Unexpected Encounters, Sarah Bixler
1:45 – 2:30                 Hub with Sarah Bixler
2:30 – 3:00                 REFRESHMENT BREAK
3:00 – 3:45                 Menno Camps
4:00 – 4:45                 Menno Camps
5:00 – 6:00                 FREE TIME
6:00 – 7:30 p.m.         DINNER - Dining Court
7:30 – 9:00 p.m.          MOVIE
SATURDAY, February 3
7:00 – 8:00 a.m.         BREAKFAST - Dining Court
8:30 – 8:49                 Music & Worship – Marcy Hostetler
8:50 – 9:09                 Keynote #4 – Anticipating (Keep looking for..) Unexpected Encounters, Sarah Bixler
9:15 – 9:45                 Hub with Sarah
9:45 – 10:00               REFRESHMENT BREAK     
10:00 – 10:45             Music & Worship
                                   Closing and Sending
10:45 – 11:30             School group meetings / Pack up and check out
11:30 a.m.-1:00 p.m.  LUNCH - Dining Court
Academic Excellence and Innovation, Daniel Porterfield
How can educators inspire students to create the educations they seek? Using real examples of effective, innovative practices, this session will challenge educators to adapt to evolving student needs. The accelerating social and economic changes of today's society call  for  educators  who  are  open-minded, brave, relentless and  prepared to put  students first.  Engaging  and innovative classrooms will be where today's active and eager leaners thrive.  
Education in and for the 21st Century, Daniel Porterfield
In a time of wrenching change, societal unrest, and information overload, fostering critical thinking and life-long learning in today's youth is more important than ever. This session attacks three disempowering myths about education and challenges today's educators to stimulate self-knowledge, citizenship, and confidence along with intellectual growth. How can educators create a new tradition of transformational education centered upon the dignity of each learner? What can educators do to ensure education is the foundation on which students build the rest of their lives?
Education and Faith Formation - Unexpected Encounters, Sarah Bixler
This session reimagines education as transformation rather than transaction. It explores pedagogical strategies that open up classrooms as more hospitable spaces for unexpected encounters with God, persons outside and inside the classroom, the self, and curricular content. By weaving spiritual reflection into these encounters, the Christian school becomes a fertile environment for growing faith.
Anticipating (Keep looking for...) Unexpected Encounters, Sarah Bixler
What expectations might teachers hold that can prevent us from witnessing and experiencing God's transformation? By reframing the concept of classroom control, this session considers how educators can sustain a faithful discipline of expecting the unexpected. Stories of Jesus' noticing the kingdom of God in unexpected places will guide our imaginations as we consider how to nurture a posture of anticipation for encountering God.