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Founding Colleges

Canadian Mennonite Bible College

The Conference of Mennonites in Canada established the Canadian Mennonite Bible College (CMBC) in 1947. For its first two years the college operated in the Bethel Mennonite Mission Church in Winnipeg. Then CMBC moved to a large private home on Wellington Crescent. When these facilities proved to be too small, CMBC moved to its present location at Grant and Shaftesbury in January 1956.

CMC established this college in order to offer Christian education beyond high school and Bible school and to educate lay leaders for its congregations, thereby promoting unity within the conference. The college offered programs in Christian Education, Theology, and Music. From its beginning, CMBC also offered courses in liberal arts.

In 1964 CMBC achieved recognition as an "approved teaching centre" of the University of Manitoba. At first the agreement permitted students to earn a maximum of one year of credit for course work completed at CMBC toward a Bachelor of Arts degree at the University of Manitoba. In 1970, the agreement was expanded to permit students to earn as much as two years of credit.

Concord College

In 1944, the Canadian Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches established the Mennonite Brethren Bible College (MBBC) at the intersection of Henderson Highway and Talbot Avenue in Winnipeg. Since the purpose of this college was to educate people for a variety of Christian ministries, the college began offering four programs: theology to prepare preachers and pastors; Christian education to prepare Bible and Sunday School teachers; missions to prepare missionaries, both at home and abroad; and sacred music to prepare choir conductors and music teachers. Later, MBBC added a general Bible program for students who simply desired a solid, basic knowledge of the Bible. From its beginning, MBBC also offered a selection of courses in the liberal arts.

In its search for accreditation and broader opportunities for its students, MBBC entered into an affiliation agreement with Waterloo Lutheran University (presently Wilfrid Laurier University) in 1961. This agreement enabled students to earn two years of credit at MBBC toward a three-year Bachelor of Arts degree at Waterloo Lutheran University. Then, in 1970, MBBC reached an agreement with the University of Winnipeg that enabled MBBC’s students to cross-register most college courses for credit toward degrees at the university. University of Winnipeg students were able to enrol in music and other courses at the college.

In 1992, MBBC was reconstituted and renamed as Concord College. Concord College belongs to the Mennonite Brethren Church of Manitoba but also enjoys a working relationship with the provincial Mennonite Brethren conferences of Ontario and Alberta.

Menno Simons College Menno Simons College

In response to a petition presented by the Friends of Higher Learning, the Manitoba government passed legislation in 1982 providing a charter for the establishment of Menno Simons College, an autonomous institution with degree granting powers. Three years later the Mennonite Studies Centre was established on campus at the University of Winnipeg to conduct teaching, research, and service activities, and to create Menno Simons College. On August 4, 1988, Menno Simons College officially came into existence as an undergraduate college affiliated with the University of Winnipeg. During the following academic year, the college offered its first courses toward majors in International Development Studies and Conflict Resolution Studies.