Malone University in Canton, Ohio, and the newly formed Zollikon Institute of Holmes County have begun a partnership to provide educational services for Amish and conservative Mennonite communities.
Malone is affiliated with the Evangelical Friends Church and is partnering for the accredited portion of the program being developed.
The Zollikon Institute, expected to offer its first classes this fall, is a nonprofit organization that will provide skills training relevant within a conservative Anabaptist context.
Holmes County native, historian, author and educator Norita Yoder will direct the programs. She has a master’s degree in the history of Christianity from Yale University.
“My collegiate experience allowed me to feel the joy of learning, as well as the difficulty of crossing cultural barriers to access that learning,” she said in a March 17 announcement at the Amish and Mennonite Heritage Center in Berlin. “My desire is to find ways of crossing the cultural barriers to better facilitate educational opportunities and career training among the Amish and Amish-Mennonite groups.
“We named the Zollikon Institute after a village near Zurich, Switzerland, where the 16th-century Anabaptist movement emerged. It was a place where faith and learning came together in a changing world and was walked out in the shoe-leather of life.”
Malone President David King, who was raised in the Mennonite church and grew up in Wayne and Holmes counties, said Yoder’s vision for the Zollikon Institute aligns with the mission of Malone, and the program is filling a need for the Plain community.
“The Anabaptist community in our region has a need for educational opportunities that are deemed trustworthy, safe and faith-aligned,” he said. “From its founding, Malone has welcomed students from all backgrounds. We respect, welcome and mentor students to prepare them to serve their communities, their churches and the world.
“Our partnership with the Zollikon Institute is born of God’s providence and rich common ground that includes shared vision, shared values, shared objectives and strengths that dovetail well together.”
Yoder will partner with Malone faculty to develop the accredited portion of programs to be offered at the Amish and Mennonite Heritage Center in Berlin, Ohio.