Jon Showalter, M.A.

Board of Trustees

Jon’s interest in history and theology began early, as he grew up in a family and church that took their Mennonite identity seriously. While a student at Rosedale Bible College he participated in RBC’s first Anabaptist history study tour to Europe and his interest in the history of Anabaptism developed further.

Studying for an undergraduate degree in philosophy at Ohio State University opened windows to a broader world of ideas. After he married Dawn, they moved to Ecuador as apprentice church planters with Rosedale International, an experience which raised questions about if and how an Anabaptist vision of church and kingdom matters outside of the Mennonite enclaves into which both of them were born. Later, studying theology and church history at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School near Chicago introduced new questions about how Mennonites had been shaped in the twentieth century by the controversies unfolding among American fundamentalists and evangelicals.

While during further graduate work at OSU, Jon was invited to teach a course at Rosedale Bible College, and that relationship eventually turned into twenty-five years of teaching courses there in history, theology and ethics, courses connected by a common thread of shared questions: how did the ideas so unique to Anabaptism in the Reformation era develop in the centuries which followed? To what extent do those themes continue to shape the church in the twenty-first century? And perhaps most importantly, why does that story matter?

Jon and Dawn live in Rosedale most of the time. Along the way, they’ve also lived for months or years in China, North Africa and Costa Rica. They’ve had the privilege of being the parents of four young adult sons—all married—and are loving their new role as grandparents.