Four short stories on CMU


  • Cheryl Pauls Canadian Mennonite University Author



Anabaptist faith, innovative Christian university, real university, social and ecological justice, generous hospitality, radical inclusion


“Four Short Stories on CMU” presents an account of how Canadian Mennonite University embodies the significance of its mandate. Seeking to resist common bifurcations of “real university” and “faith-based university,” Cheryl Pauls takes inspiration in a phrase from CMU’s mission statement, “innovative Christian university.” In exploring the provocative potential of the phrase’s blend of inventiveness and faithfulness, Pauls draws connections across the university’s Four Commitments, their theological impulses, the substance of CMU education programs and scholarship, and dimensions of growing relevance to Canadian universities today. Through glimpses into the development and character of CMU, Pauls makes a case for the vitality of theologically generated impulses within the university sector today.

Author Biography

  • Cheryl Pauls, Canadian Mennonite University

    Cheryl Pauls became President of Canadian Mennonite University in November 2012. She began teaching at CMU’s predecessor colleges in 1994 in the areas of piano performance and music theory. As a musician, Cheryl is known best as a player and theorist of new music. She credits many living composers with shaping her love of music for which there’s no set template on how it goes. Cheryl’s research areas extend across music theory, theology, performance, and cultural expression. Cheryl holds a doctorate in piano performance from the University of British Columbia. 


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Huebner, Chris. 1923. “Hope-drawn” impulses of the Anabaptist Tradition. Canadian Mennonite University.

Matties, Zoe. 2023. “What gives you hope?” Discipleship in an age of ecological angst. Unpublished sermon. Winnipeg: River East Church.

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Paul, Ross H. 2011. Leadership under Fire: The Challenging Role of the Canadian University President. McGill-Queen’s University Press.

RBC Study. 2018. The Coming Skills Revolution: Humans Wanted, 2018.

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Usher, Alex. 2022. The State of Postsecondary Education in Canada, Higher Education Strategy Associates.



How to Cite

Pauls, C. (2023). Four short stories on CMU. Religious Studies and Theology, 91–104.