The Institute for the Study of Global Anabaptism manages numerous initiatives designed to connect global church members to each other and to relevant scholarship.
Research, Education, Preservation
- In 2021, the ISGA supported the efforts of Costa Rican historian Jaime Prieto Valladarez to digitize recordings of Prieto’s oral history interviews with Latin American Anabaptist church leaders. Prieto conducted these interviews as a part of his research detailing the histories of Latin American Anabaptism. These recordings have now been digitized, remastered, and preserved, and are available to those interested in learning from this research. A 2023 Maple Scholars project created a database to enhance this collection’s accessibility to researchers.
- In preparation for the Mennonite World Conference assembly in Indonesia in 2022, the ISGA supported two significant publications on the history of Mennonite groups in that country. A recent book written by former ISGA Director John D. Roth, A Cloud of Witnesses: Celebrating Indonesian Mennonites, weaves together the stories of Indonesian history, Dutch missionary work in Java, and the indigenous Christian movements that sprang to life in the midst of this. The book also includes travel tips, notes on language/culture, and several recipes, and can serve as a travel guide for those visiting the church in Indonesia. Previously, the ISGA edited and published The Way of the Gospel in the World of Java: A History of the Muria Javanese Mennonite Church (GITJ), written by Sigit Heru Sukoco and Lawrence M. Yoder. This book gives a more detailed account of the history of Muria Javanese Mennonite Church (GITJ), which is one of three strands of the Indonesian Anabaptist church. See our Publications and Purchase pages for more information on past and present projects and purchasing information.
- A past ISGA project on “Anabaptist Baptism in Ecumenical Conversation” was made possible by grant funding from the Calvin Institute for Christian Worship and partnerships with Mennonite World Conference and Mennonite Church USA. This project sought to make recent ecumenical and theological dialogues about baptism accessible to regular church members. The project involved informational webinars, in-person seminars, and a study guide for churches about baptism. Recordings of the webinars are available to watch here and a special issue of the Mennonite World Conference Courier about baptism is available here (these links include translations into Spanish and French).
- The “A Day in the Life of the Global Anabaptist Church” project was initiated to collect, archive, and make public photos and videos of Anabaptist Churches. We hope these glimpses or “snapshots” of churches around the world can help people gain a visual sense of the places and spaces of worship of our fellowship in different parts of the world.
- The Mennonite World Conference Global Anabaptist Profile is a survey of faith and practices (along with basic demographic information) of 25 selected groups, based on the MWC “Shared Convictions” and supported by a series of interviews. The project, completed in the summer of 2015, is the first systematic study of MWC member churches.
- The Bearing Witness Stories Project was a collaborative, web-based effort to gather stories of faithful witness to Christ in the face of persecution and suffering. Publications that grew out of the Bearing Witness Stories Collection include Bearing Witness: Stories of Martyrdom and Costly Discipleship–also translated into French, Spanish (pictured), and Indonesian–and Let the Children Come to Me: Nurturing Anabaptist Faith Within Families.
- Texts in Translation is an effort to make creative theological and historical work from outside North America accessible to new readers, in recognition of the careful, creative reflection on matters of faith and identity that is happening around the world.
Digital Resourcing, Archiving, and Networking
- The Biblioteca Digital Anabautista (BiDA) offers Spanish-language electronic resources to students and pastors of Anabaptist identity in Latin America and North America. BiDA resources include the following topics: Anabaptism, Contextual Analysis, Biblical Studies, History, Christian Ministries, Peace and Justice, and Theology.
- The Bibliothèque Numérique Anabaptiste (BiNA), similar to BiDA, offers French-language electronic resources to students and pastors of Anabaptist identity in Europe and Africa, especially.
- The ISGA Research Fellows are international scholars involved in research related to global Anabaptist-Mennonite history and theology. They keep the ISGA connected to networks of global Anabaptist scholarship and support the work of the ISGA through research, writing, and by providing counsel to the ISGA director. Each individual scholar is also engaged in building connections among their discipline, research findings, and specific church contexts.
- The Global Anabaptist Wiki is a user-generated global archives where church members can post information about their group in the language of choice with space for photos, articles, curriculum, and other resources. We have recently begun adding audio and video material from around the world, particularly Spanish-language materials and a series of French-language sermon recordings.
- The Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online provides reliable and freely-available information on Anabaptist-related congregations, denominations, conferences, institutions, and significant individuals, as well as historical and theological topics. The ISGA serves as the institutional home of GAMEO, in collaboration with six other institutional partners. ISGA Director Elizabeth Miller is the project’s general editor.