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Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Letter to The Mennonite, February 2014

Eastern Mennonite University, USA
Dear Editor,

I read with interest the January 2014 issue of the Mennonite featuring Mennonite Church USA educational institutions. I found it concerning, however, that there was no mention of any of our sister schools anywhere else in the world. I know the magazine is largely for and about U.S. members, but even this issue, like most, included numerous articles with an international flavor, including one on how cross-cultural experiences benefit our college students and another on how our high schools benefit from having students from other countries.

MCUSA has five colleges and two seminaries with a total enrollment of over 5000, while our rapidly growing sister church in Ethiopia, for example, with more than twice the number of members as MCUSA, can barely afford one college, with a capacity enrollment of under 200.

Our institutions have well-financed development departments working year round to raise budgets of millions, plus having expanding (and expensive) Admissions Departments competing to recruit students to reach enrollment needs. Ethiopia's Meserete Kristos College has no problem attracting students, but struggles to meet its annual operating budget of $325,000, likely less than our Mennonite schools and colleges spend each year for lawn care.

Sincerely,

Harvey Yoder
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