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What began as a dream at University Mennonite Church, in State College, PA, has evolved into 3rd Way Collective (3WC), a campus ministry focused on peace, justice, and faith at Penn State University. Read what those involved in the ministry are saying, and consider getting involved by providing direct financial support or by becoming a champion for the ministry in your local congregation.

 Hope Schmid, a PSU student involved in 3rd Way Collective, writes,

3rd Way Collective has been an extraordinary resource for me. Being part of the group and going to their events has enabled me to meet new people from diverse walks of life and to be able to think critically with others about justice and peace in relation to faith. It is a warm, open environment for anybody from any faith or non-faith background to foster friendships with each other and create change in our world.”

Check out the 3WC events calendar here.


Ben Quote

Ben Wideman, campus pastor for 3rd Way Collective, writes,

“3rd Way Collective is essential for Penn State because this campus has some people talking about faith, and some people talking about peace and social justice, but no one is working to connect both in the same space. We have a unique opportunity as an organization to do something that no one else is even considering.This is peace, justice, and faith, lived out in real time.”

Read more about Ben Wideman here.

Jim Quote

Jim Rosenberger, Penn State professor and member of University Mennonite Church 3rd Way Collective advisory committee, writes,

“University Mennonite Church has a long history of engaging Penn State students around the Gospel message of peace and justice. Dick Thomas, former moderator of Mennonite Church USA, and Kevin King, current executive director of Mennonite Disaster Service, both count their time at Penn State and involvement in University Mennonite Church as influential in their faith journeys and vocations.”

Read the original vision for the ministry here.

David Miller, Assoc. Professor of Missional Leadership Development, Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary, and Mary Miller, writeDavid and Mary Miller

“During the years we were in State College, we repeatedly saw the significant impact of Christian mentors on the lives, imaginations, hopes and vocational choices of university students. The Third Way Collective provides a place where and people with whom questions of faith, reconciliation in a polarized culture, nonviolence and the gospel can be explored in conversation and action.  We are encouraged to see this ministry take root!

In the lead up to the invasion of Iraq, I (David) participated with a group of PSU students in a witness against war. A student questioned me – “You’re a minister aren’t you? Does your congregation know you are here?” This student’s questions are far too common. For too many who are deeply concerned about matters of peace and justice in our world, the Christian church has appeared as a problem rather than a resource.

                                                                                                                      Third Way Collective offers a way to write a different script!”

Read what others are saying about 3WC on our press release page.

To find out more about 3WC, check out our monthly blogwatch this video featuring 3WC supporters from University Mennonite Church, listen to voices of peace, justice, and faith through our weekly podcast, or get in touch with us.

Will you help support 3WC in one or more of the following ways?

  • Support 3WC directly through a tax-deductible financial contribution from you or your congregation, or pledge to make an ongoing commitment to this initiative for years to come.

Click here to make a donation now with our secure online donation page.

Download a contribution/pledge form and mail to: Treasurer, University Mennonite Church, 1606 Norma Street, State College, PA 16801

  • Complete our Contact Form and we’ll get back to you soon on how to get involved and become a champion for 3rd Way Collective in your local congregation. As a champion you’ll distribute 3WC information to your congregation and encourage prayer and financial support.

Our annual operating expenses for 3WC are approximately $84,000 per year. University Mennonite Church has pledged initial support for three years to launch the ministry and is looking to build partnerships with other churches and individuals to create a sustainable, long-term funding model. View a pdf document with our current budget here.

Thanks for your time and consideration. Peace to you this day,

The 3rd Way Collective advisory committee at University Mennonite Church

Ben Wideman, campus pastor 3WC
Marv Friesen, pastor UMC
Joel Weidner (co-chair)
Rosita Benner Derstine (co-chair)
Eric Sauder
Fran Osseo-Asare
Jim Rosenberger, treasurer UMC
Kris Charles
Leland Glenna