Staff & Advisory Council

CSOP Staff

Wendy Kroeker is the Academic Director of the Canadian School of Peacbuilding and specializes in community conflict transformation processes as an instructor in CMU's peace and conflict transformation studies department and in locations around the globe. She has over 15 years of experience as a community mediator, conflict transformation trainer, peace program consultant, program manager for international development projects and university instructor. The Philippines, Indonesia, Myanmar, India, Bangladesh, and Palestine are some of the locations in which she has worked over the past two decades with indigenous groups, NGO staff, community and religious leaders, and various educators.

The focus for Wendy's teaching is upper level Peace and Conflict Transformation Studies (PACTS) courses such as: Models for Peace and Conflict Transformation, History and Strategies of Nonviolence, The Art of Peacebuilding and Building Workplace Conflict Transformation Systems. Wendy is also contributing to the new MA in Peacebuilding and Collaborative Development program. In addition to her teaching in PACTS, Wendy is the Academic Director of the Canadian School of Peacebuilding, an annual teaching institute of CMU, bringing students from around the globe for credit/professional development courses in the fields of development, conflict transformation and peacebuilding.

Wendy completed her MA Theology at the Mennonite Brethren Seminary in California. After significant years of practice within the conflict transformation field, she entered the Peace  and Conflict Studies PhD program at the Arthur Mauro Centre in the University of Manitoba and graduated in January 2018.

Among Wendy's contributions to the conflict transformation and peacebuilding field here in Canada are years of teaching and course development at the Mindanao Peacebuilding Institute (the Philippines), the Resolution Skills Centre/Mediation Services (Winnipeg) and most recently at the Northeast Asia Regional Peacebuilding Institute in Korea and Japan. Her work with the Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) has seen her and her family spend 5 years working in the Philippines, assisting in strategic planning and training for the peace programs in India and Bangladesh and most recently resourcing the program in Palestine and Laos.

Wendy, her partner Gordon Zerbe, and two children are all active in the CMU community.

 

Valerie Smith is the Program Director of the Canadian School of Peacebuilding. She has worked with CMU's Canadian School of Peacebuilding since its creation in 2009. Prior to her work at CMU she worked with Mennonite Central Committee for three years in Bosnia and Herzegovina, working with a local relief and development agency and teaching theology, peace studies and English at the Novi Sad Theological College. 

She has taught writing and served as an editor in a variety of settings and co-edited Voices of Harmony and Dissent: How Peacebuilders are Changing Their Worlds (CMU Press, 2015), a collection of writing by CSOP instructors. Valerie has a BTh from Canadian Mennonite Bible College, a BA in philosophy from the University of Manitoba and a MDiv from Associated Mennonite Biblical Seminary. Valerie is currently working on a Mediation Skills Certificate through Mediation Services in Winnipeg.

 

CSOP Advisory Council

Dan Epp-Tiessen is Associate Professor of Bible at CMU where he has taught since 1998. Dan has also worked as a pastor, and from 1982–86 he served with Mennonite Central Committee in the Philippines, in a rural area beset by land-grabbing, human rights violations, and civil war. His current teaching and research interests include Old Testament prophecy, apocalyptic literature, Pentateuch, and preaching, with particular focus on how biblical materials intersect with contemporary issues of peace and justice, personal healing, creation care, consumerism, and resistance to forces of empire. Dan is a frequent speaker in churches on issues related to grief and loss, and recently helped teach a course at the Africa Peacebuilding Institute in Johannesburg, South Africa on Anabaptist perspectives on peace and justice. Dan holds an MA from the University of Manitoba and a PhD from the University of St. Michael’s College in Toronto.

STRUCTORS

Neil Funk-Unrau is the Associate Dean of Menno Simons College, and is Associate Professor of Conflict Resolution Studies and has taught courses in the MSC Conflict Resolution Studies program at CMU and at the University of Winnipeg since 2000. His teaching and research interests include relations with Indigenous peoples, Indigenous and restorative justice, public apologies, and other processes for post-conflict reconciliation. In addition to his current teaching responsibilities at MSC, Neil has also taught courses and lectured on restorative justice and public apologies in Germany, Croatia and Lithuania. He also currently serves as a Board member of the Canadian Restorative Justice Consortium. In 2017, Neil also became the senior editor of Peace Research: The Canadian Journal of Peace and Conflict Studies, published biannually by Menno Simons College. Neil holds an MA in Peace Studies from Associated Mennonite Biblical Seminaries and a Ph.D in Social Sciences from Syracuse University.

 

Kenton Lobe is a teacher/practitioner at heart and is as likely to be found at the farm as in his office. He brings a background in international advocacy work on agriculture and hunger to his work in the classroom. His six years as Policy Advisor at Canadian Foodgrains Bank, an international development NGO, examined the structural injustices that surround hunger, focusing in particular on international agricultural trade, the human right to food, and development assistance for small-scale farmers in the global South. The politics of people and place, particularly the discourse of food justice, continue to shape Kenton’s imagination and academic interests. Closer to the ground, he is a founding member of CMUs community garden, continues to participate in local food justice initiatives, and worked with students and alumni to form the Metanoia Farmers Worker Cooperative at the on-campus CMU Community-Shared-Agriculture Farm (www.metanoiafarmers.ca). 

 
kerrysanerharvey

Kerry Saner-Harvey is the Program Coordinator for the Indigenous Neighbours Program of Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) Manitoba. He has served with MCC for the last 9 years, including working with First Nations youth in Cranberry Portage, Manitoba, and doing restorative justice, community building and advocacy work in Happy Valley-Goose Bay, Newfoundland and Labrador. More recently Kerry worked as a peacebuilding advisor in Dhaka, Bangladesh, to a team developing an adult peacebuilding education initiative for local organizations. Trauma awareness, nonviolence theory, comparative theologies and music are other areas of continued interest and pursuit. Kerry completed graduate work at Harvard Divinity School and the Center for Justice and Peacebuilding at Eastern Mennonite University. Kerry also studied in Amman, Jordan, spent time in various Middle East and Asian countries and has worked as a youth pastor and mental health worker.