Jonathan M. Sears

Associate Dean, Menno Simons College
Associate Professor of International Development Studies

Jonathan M. Sears


International Development Studies






MS241, 520 Portage Ave.

As Associate Dean of Menno Simons College (MSC), Jon Sears oversees the daily operation of  Canadian Mennonite University (CMU) programs affliated with the University of Winnipeg: International Development Studies (IDS) and Conflict Resolution Studies (CRS).

Jon approaches International Development Studies and Comparative Politics of Sub-Saharan Africa in English, et en Français from a multi-disciplinary background in political studies, philosophy, and anthropology.

Areas of Teaching

Development: Ethics, Aid Policies, Development Theory, African Politics, Political Theory,


PhD, Political Studies, Queens University (Kingston, ON), 2007; MA, Political Philosophy, Brock University (St. Catharines, ON), 1999; B.A., Honours Anthropology, Saint Thomas University (Fredericton, NB), 1994

Work in Detail


Menno Simons College Campus

  • Introduction to International Development Studies (IDS)
  • Participatory Local Development Fall 2020
  • An Analysis of Development Aid Policies
  • Senior Seminar in IDS / Seminar in Social Change Winter 2020, 2021
  • Crisis, Humanitarian Aid, and Development
  • Regional Development Issues: West African Sahel
  • Development Ethics Winter 2021
  • Development Theory
  • Honours IDS Thesis
  • Conflict and Construction of the Other (Conflict Resolution Studies & IDS)

CMU Shaftesbury Campus

  • Global Politics
  • Comparative Politics of Development: Africa
  • Gender and Politics        
  • Social and Political Philosophy
  • Outtatown Discipleship School French Africa program (pre-departure classes on history, geography, and culture in Francophone West Africa)



Jon seeks to place events in Mali and Sahelian Africa since 2011 in historical and cultural context as the focus of recent writing, and as part of ongoing investigation of how citizen identity in African contexts is rooted in multiple cultures, and how these political cultures are affected by responses by individuals and groups to economic and political liberalization, and post-conflict peaceabuildng at the interface of international and national actors and institutions.

Related are Jon's ongoing research projects,

  • SSHRC-funded research (joint with Bruno Charbonneau): "A New Theory of Post-Conflict Governance: Transforming the State at the Security -- Development Nexus of Intervention." Insight Development Grant 2015-2017.
  • External member, Centre FrancoPaix at the University of Quebec at Montreal (UQAM), and Mali Project research team.
  • "Faith formation and democratic citizenship: Faith-based organizations (FBOs) in West Africa"
  • Member, West Africa Peace and Security Network.
  • 2016. Mennonite Central Committee Country Program Review: Chad (Review Team Leader).
  • 2012. "Becoming the men 'we might become'" (Letter to editor In response to Klassen, D., "Shifting Male roles. Canadian Mennonite May 28, 2012)." Canadian Mennonite 16(14). 9 July. www.canadianmennonite.org/articles/readers-write-32

Jon and his partner attend with their son Fort Garry Mennonite Fellowship.

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