Valerie Rempel, Ph.D.

Associate Dean, Associate Professor, J.B. Toews Chair of History and Theology, Director of the Center for Anabaptist Studies
Valerie Rempel
I teach in these programs


Ph.D., Vanderbilt University, 2003
M.A., Vanderbilt University, 1999
M.A., Mennonite Brethren Biblical Seminary, 1992
B.A., Tabor College, 1978

Why I teach at FPU

My primary mission in teaching is to encourage students to deepen their love for the church and its complexities and to gain both knowledge and appreciation for the Christian tradition. I want students to think about what they believe and why they believe it and to see how those beliefs have been shaped by their theological tradition, their culture and their own experience. As an Anabaptist, I am also committed to the belief that theological reflection is a community task. I want to encourage students to engage in theological conversation with each other as preparation for ministry in the church and world.
I teach the following courses

Scholarly Interests

19th and 20th century American evangelicalism and fundamentalism

Religion and popular culture

Women in society and religion


  • “When Leaders Fail” in Christian Leader, November 2008; also published as: “When Leaders Disappoint Their Followers,” in MB Herald, November 2008
  • Contributions to: The Westminster Handbook to Women in American Religious History, edited by Susan Hill Lindley and Eleanor J. Stebner, published by Westminster John Knox Press, 2008
  • “North American Theology,” in Global Dictionary of Theology, edited by William A. Dyrness and Veli-Matti Karkkainen, published by IVP Academic, 2008
  • “Response to Hope Nisly’s 'The Church and Women: Power, Language, and Institutions,’” in Pacific Journal, 2007
  • “Conference Call,” in Christian Leader, February 2007
  • “What Do We Do With the Past?” in Mennonite Brethren Herald, April 2005
  • “Senior Ministry: Aging Our Vision Gracefully,” in The Christian Leader, August 2005
  • “To Be, Not Do: Hearing God’s Call on Our Lives,” in Out of the Strange Silence, edited by Brad Thiessen, published by Kindred Productions, 2005
  • "Where We’ve Been," in The Christian Leader, Sept. 2004
  • “Congregational Life,” in For Everything a Season: Mennonite Brethren In North America, 1874-2002, an Informal History, edited by Paul Toews and Kevin Enns-Rempel, published by Kindred Productions, 2002
  • Review of Power, Authority, and the Anabaptist Tradition, edited by Benjamin W. Redekop and Calvin W. Redekop, in Direction, Fall 2002
  • “Paulina Foote: Under God’s Hand,” in Profiles of Mennonite Faith, Fall 2002
  • Review of Calling God Father: Essays on the Bible, Fatherhood, and Culture, by John W. Miller, in The Conrad Grebel Review, Winter 2001
  • Review of Harold S. Bender, 1897-1962, by Albert N. Keim, in Direction, Spring 2000
  • Review of Leaving Anabaptism: From Evangelical Mennonite Brethren to Fellowship of Evangelical Bible Churches, by Calvin W. Redekop, in Direction, Fall 1999
  • Review of The New Age Movement in American Culture, by Richard Kyle, in Direction, Spring 1997
  • “In Spite of the Lions,” in All Are Witnesses, edited by Delores Friesen, published by Kindred Productions, 1996
  • “Early Missionary Society Activity among U.S. Mennonite Brethren Women,” in Direction, Fall 1995
  • “She Hath Done What She Could: the Development of the Women’s Missionary Service in the Mennonite Brethren Churches of the United States,” in Bridging Troubled Waters: The Mennonite Brethren at Mid-Twentieth Century, published by Kindred Productions, 1995
  • Your Daughters Shall Prophesy, co-edited with John E. Toews & Katie Funk Wiebe, published by Kindred Press, 1992

Professional Experiences

I graduated from Tabor College in Hillsboro, Kansas, with a degree in social work and served for two years as a volunteer with a church planting team in Federal Way, Washington.

After working for an insurance company, I accepted a staff position at Mennonite Brethren Biblical Seminary. For eight years I worked a variety of assignments including publicity, admissions counseling and finally as the administrative assistant to the academic dean. It was during this time that I decided to further my education and began work on my master's degree in historical and theological studies at the seminary.

In 1992, I left to pursue doctoral studies in church history at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee. My particular area of focus is north american religious history, but I maintain a strong interest in the intersection of religion and culture as well as the roles of women in church and society. I returned to MBBS in 1996 to teach in the areas of history and theology.

I served two terms as secretary of the General Conference of Mennonite Brethren Churches and was a member of the task force charged with the last revision of the North American MB Confession of Faith.  I currently serve on the Faith and Life Commission of the Mennonite World Conference.