Mennonite Partners in China was founded for the purpose of building bridges of understanding and partnership between Chinese and North American education institutions.
When Mennonite Partners in China (formerly CEE) was founded in 1981, the following goals were established as guidelines for the program:
- To be in relationship with the people of China, one part of God’s larger human family.
- To be in the world as a Christian presence in the spirit and way Jesus was in the world.
- To initiate personal exchange programs in English, agriculture, medicine, nursing and mental health, demonstrating to each other our common humanity, unity, diversity and friendship and respect of value systems.
- To build a climate of understanding by providing opportunities for North Americans and Chinese to learn about and experience each other’s culture and understand each other’s achievements and problems.
The following assumptions are the foundation for how MPC carries out its programs:
- That there is an integrity in a “theology of presence,” which bears witness with sensitivity, cares deeply about others, is not passive but listens carefully and shares honestly one’s faith and self-understanding as opportunities arise.
- That we respond to invitations from our Chinese partners to serve where they identify needs. Such presence leads to meaningful relationships built on mutual trust.
- That exchanges help to correct historical hurts and injustice and combat stereotypes and harmful prejudice.
- Program administration will be carried out jointly with our Chinese partners, understanding that they will have the primary responsibility for the work, support and care of MPC personnel; similarly, MPC will endeavor to provide support and care to Chinese guests in North America.
- That MPC will work with Chinese partners to carry out programs in universities and colleges, churches and seminaries and among China’s poor and marginalized.
- That Mennonite colleges and seminaries will participate actively both in the hosting of Chinese students and professors, and in identifying persons to serve in China.
- That the sponsoring agencies will assume responsibility for the recruitment of personnel, who are personally, spiritually and professionally suited and ready to serve in a context which sometimes controls, limits and frustrates.