Media Centre photo

News Releases

Due to COVID-19, CMU Outtatown Discipleship School discontinued indefinitely

The 2019-20 Outtatown cohort in San Pedro, Guatemala (April 2020) The 2019-20 Outtatown cohort in San Pedro, Guatemala (April 2020)

With lament, CMU announces its decision to discontinue the operations of the Outtatown Discipleship School indefinitely due to the uncertainties perpetuated by the global COVID-19 pandemic.

The evolving scope and effect of the global pandemic and the unpredictability of future conditions have clarified CMU's need to discontinue the Outtatown program. The university cannot anticipate how the ground will settle within church and society, or what kind of program may be feasible and desirable to students in the aftermath of the pandemic. We acknowledge the impact of this decision for CMU, the church, the many students whose lives have been profoundly shaped by Outtatown, and the cherished partners in Canada and Guatemala—many of whom bear a disproportionate burden of these very challenging times.

In this moment of disruption and sadness, CMU continues to steward the Outtatown mission "to inspire and nurture students in their life of discipleship with Jesus Christ in a journey towards knowing God, knowing yourself, knowing the world." To that end, CMU will engage in deep listening with the church over the coming year. The university seeks to understand the church's yearnings and honour its call as CMU attends to faith-filled, cohort-based experiential learning dimensions in all its current and future program designs.

CMU calls the broader Outtatown community (former students, staff, and church and community partners) to celebrate Outtatown's two extraordinary decades of transformative discipleship education. When the program was created by the Mennonite Brethren Church of Manitoba through Concord College, the far-reaching value and longevity of this nimble program could barely be imagined. Over the years, many church and community leaders and CMU faculty have given witness to the gifts of insight, leadership, and courage in Outtatown alumni.

CMU expresses its profound and lasting gratitude to all partners, program developers, staff, and site leaders who have invested their skills, passion, and creativity in Outtatown. Over the course of 22 years, Outtatown formed communities with 1,500+ students led by 100+ staff, travelled in six countries, and created countless local and international collaborative partnerships. Thank you to all who have invested deeply in this program.

Watch for further notice of an Outtatown celebration later this fall.

Print This Article