First certified Anabaptist educator
Dietzel completed four Anabaptist Learning Institute courses.by Rachel Nussbaum Eby
Mennonite Education Agency and Mennonite Schools Council has named Daniel Dietzel, a Bible and English teacher at Lancaster (Pa.) Mennonite School (LMS), as the first recipient of the MEA seal as a certified Anabaptist educator.
Daniel Dietzel (left) addresses the Lancaster (Pa.) Mennonite School staff after be named the first certified Anabaptist educator. LMS superintendent Dick Thomas is at right. Photo provided.
Dietzel completed all four courses offered by the Anabaptist Learning Institute (ALI), a joint program of MSC and MEA, designed to provide a Christ- centered orientation and professional education program for teachers, pastors and other leaders.
Dietzel was recognized during a staff meeting at LMS on Feb. 21. “I was often asked why I was taking ALI courses after 16 years of Mennonite education and 36 years as a teacher in a Mennonite school,” said Dietzel. “I can answer that with three words: curiosity, integration and affirmation.”
J. Richard Thomas, superintendent of Lancaster Mennonite School, said that this program is a way that schools, colleges and MEA provide needed services to MSC schools to empower them as missional centers for Mennonite Church USA.
“Lancaster Mennonite School is pleased with the way the Anabaptist Learning Institute empowers our teachers to be Anabaptist educators who are valued by community,” Thomas said. “These classes have been helpful to new teachers as well as experienced teachers, and all new teachers are now required to earn the Certified Anabaptist Educator designation or its equivalent.”
Even with the knowledge of Anabaptist history and theology Dietzel had acquired, he had never undertaken a formal study of Anabaptism and wanted to know more. “I was not disappointed. My first class put together many of the pieces that I picked up along the way.”
Dietzel said the ALI courses not only taught him how faith can be integrated into teaching others but reinforced how faith is part of all aspects of life.
“It’s invaluable to learn from someone who has synthesized the concepts after much research—research that I don’t have time to do."
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