Indiana-Michigan Conference apologizes for ‘trial[s] by fire’

Indiana-Michigan Mennonite Conference of Mennonite Church USA has apologized for harm caused by past credentialing interviews.

The conference’s Ministry Credentialing Team offered an institutional apology in an April 11 letter acknowledging it became aware that some interviews have caused harm through institutional tension and fear.

“We acted as gatekeepers of God’s call instead of as collaborators seeking, in community, to discern and carry out God’s will,” the team wrote. “We insisted on doctrinal and theological purity instead of listening for the prophetic voice, seeking unison instead of harmony. We expected academic achievement of our leaders instead of remembering that esteemed rabbis had much to learn from the 12-year-old son of a carpenter.

“In short, we held a narrow view of what a credentialed leader should look like, and we made the credentialing interview a trial by fire for anyone who did not fit the perceived mold.”

The team has invited individuals who have been negatively impacted to participate in listening sessions ahead of a report to be shared at the conference’s annual sessions in 2024. The process is open to written or in-person sharing, anonymous or named, shared directly or via someone familiar with their story. Written accounts can be sent to or mailed to the conference, marked Attn: MCT Listening Process.

Ministry Credentialing Team members are Suella Gerber, Kelly Carson, Ruben Chupp, Angy Moore and Phil Waite.

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