Ervin R. Stutzman recently retired after 8 years as Executive Director for Mennonite Church USA. Before taking on this role in January 2010, he served for nearly 12 years as a Professor of Church Ministries and then Dean at Eastern Mennonite Seminary, Harrisonburg, Va. He has also served the Mennonite Church in the roles of pastor, district overseer, missions administrator, conference moderator and, from 2001 to 2003, as moderator for Mennonite Church USA.
Ervin graduated with a bachelor’s degree from Cincinnati (Ohio) Christian University. He holds master’s degrees from the University of Cincinnati and Eastern Mennonite Seminary. He received his Ph.D. from Temple University. His master’s thesis at Eastern Mennonite Seminary was “Biblical Interpretation in the Free Church: Appropriating Scriptural Truth Through Communal Discernment.” For his doctoral dissertation he wrote “From Nonresistance to Peace and Justice: Mennonite Peace Rhetoric, 1951-1991.”
Ervin was born a twin into an Amish home in Kalona, Iowa. After his father’s death a few years later, his mother moved the family to her home community near Hutchinson, Kan. Ervin was baptized in the Center Amish Mennonite Church near Partridge. Later, he joined the Yoder Mennonite Church.
Ervin married Bonita Haldeman of Manheim, Pa. Together they served for five years with Rosedale Mennonite Missions in Cincinnati, part of that time in voluntary service. Ervin was ordained to serve as co-pastor of Mennonite Christian Assembly. From there, the Stutzmans moved to Pennsylvania, where they were members of the Mount Joy Mennonite Church.
They currently live in Harrisonburg, Va., and are members of Park View Mennonite Church, where Ervin regularly teaches a men’s Bible study.
Ervin is a preacher, teacher and a writer for Herald Press. His early publications include Being God’s People, a study for new believers, Creating Communities of the Kingdom (co-authored with David Shenk), Welcome!, a book encouraging the church to welcome new members. His two books of family history are Tobias of the Amish, a story of his father’s life and community, and Emma, A Widow Among the Amish, the story of his mother. His latest publications include a scholarly study of the church’s conversation about peace, called From Nonresistance to Justice: The Transformation of Mennonite Church Peace Rhetoric 1908-2008 (2011), and Jacob’s Choice (2014), a historical novel about an early immigrant ancestor.
Ervin enjoys doing woodworking projects in partnership with Bonita. They have three adult children, Emma, Daniel and Benjamin and are the grandparents of Eva and Felix.
Part of Ervin’s Life Purpose Statement reads: In response to God’s love expressed in Jesus Christ, by the power of the Holy Spirit, I purpose to follow after God with all my heart … so that God may be glorified in my life at all times and in every way.