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Jonathan Dueck: A sort of homecoming

For Dr. Jonathan Dueck (CMBC '97), Canadian Mennonite University is a dream come true.

While studying at Canadian Mennonite Bible College in the early ‘90s, Dueck and one of his fellow students wrote a series of posts on the Wittenberg Door, an on-campus forum for student discussion.

During the debate, Dueck and his friend mused about what it would look like if CMBC and Concord College took what they were offering and built on it in a bigger, interdisciplinary way.

Little did they know that a few years later, CMBC, Concord, and Menno Simons College would come together to form CMU, a Christian university that aims to inspire and equip women and men in a variety of disciplines.

Last month, Dueck returned to Shaftesbury Boulevard to take over as Vice President Academic and Academic Dean at CMU.

“Seeing the institution that CMU has become, and the way that it’s engaging the community and church and world, are really exciting for me, and something I’ve long wanted to be a part of,” Dueck says. “I’m more convinced than ever of the vibrancy, potential, and energy of CMU.”

Prior to coming to CMU, Dueck was the Assistant Professor of Writing and Deputy Director of Writing in the Disciplines at George Washington University in Washington, D.C., an interdisciplinary position that gave him the opportunity to work with scholars and students in a variety of different faculties.

An ethnomusicologist by training, Dueck holds a PhD from the University of Alberta in Music.

He does research in the areas of writing and music. He is coeditor of The Oxford Handbook of Music and World Christianities (2016) and author of Congregational Music, Conflict, and Community (2017) as well as Performing Basketball (Oxford, under contract).

While working at George Washington University, Dueck and his family lived in Greenbelt, Maryland. They worshipped at an Anabaptist-rooted congregation, Community House Church in D.C., where Dueck and his wife, Celia Mellinger, were involved with speaking, leading music, and teaching Sunday School.

Dueck and Mellinger have an eight-year-old son, Ben, and a five-year-old daughter, Anna.

As he begins his work at CMU, Dueck is looking forward to interacting and having conversations with professors and students from all faculties. He is excited about the new initiatives on campus, like the Centre for Ecological and Economic Resilience.

He is also happy to be back at a university that is very much a community of faith.

“As part of the interview process, one of the things I appreciated the most was being invited to chapel,” Dueck says.

Seeing people from different disciplines and stages of life come together to make music, speak, read scripture, and think about their lives together was meaningful.

“That’s something I have really missed, is the chance to be part of a community of faith that is also a community of scholarship,” Dueck says. “That really came to me in chapel.”