ELKHART, Ind. (Mennonite Education Agency, Mennonite Church USA) —The Board of Directors of Mennonite Education Agency (MEA) has suspended its six-month search for an executive director to pursue a possible leadership collaboration with Mennonite Church USA (MC USA), according to Dick Thomas, MEA board chair. MEA is an agency of MC USA.

MEA and MC USA have a history of collaboration with each other and other church agencies, including sharing staff, according to Glen Guyton, executive director of MC USA and ex-officio member of the search committee.

Thomas said that the executive director search process yielded an unexpected outcome, noting, "The search process led the boards of MEA and MC USA to discuss how a shared staff person could provide leadership to MEA, foster continued collaboration with the MC USA Executive Board and allow both organizations to be the best stewards of financial resources provided by congregations and donors."

Moving forward, the boards of MEA and MC USA will explore this collaborative leadership model more fully.

Thomas, who led the 10-member search committee, acknowledged the work of the committee members.

"The search committee listened closely to stakeholders and supporters of Mennonite education, and we appreciate their significant work," Thomas said, speaking on behalf of the board. He also expressed appreciation for those who prayed for and participated in the search process.

In coming to this decision, Thomas said the MEA board prayed for discernment and considered how God is working in this process.

Guyton said, "As we seek to be transformed, God sometimes leads in mysterious ways. We must be open to hear and heed that leadership as we seek to serve a new generation."

Mennonite Education Agency, headquartered in Elkhart, Indiana, partners with Anabaptist-Mennonite schools and programs to provide resources, networking and support to school administrators, faculty and staff. As an agency of Mennonite Church USA, MEA ties church and school together in a complementary and cooperative way to ensure students receive a quality Anabaptist-Mennonite education. mennoniteeducation.org

Mennonite Church USA is the largest Mennonite denomination in the United States with 16 conferences, approximately 530 congregations and 62,000 members. An Anabaptist Christian denomination, MC USA is part of Mennonite World Conference, a global faith family that includes churches in 58 countries. It has offices in Elkhart, Indiana, and Newton, Kansas.  mennoniteUSA.org

Contributed by Mennonite Church USA/MEA Staff  –  7/21/2021