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The Sider Institute

E. Morris and Leone Sider

The Sider Institute for Anabaptist, Pietist, and Wesleyan studies is named for Messiah College professor emeritus of history and English literature, E. Morris Sider, and his wife Leone, in honor of their faithful and continuing service to Messiah College and the Brethren in Christ Church.


Professor Sider’s teaching career has spanned five decades in a variety of educational settings.  In the late 1940s, he taught elementary school in Ontario; in the 1950s, he served as principal at Niagara Christian College; and in 1963, he joined the history faculty of Messiah College.  Since completing his Ph.D. at the State University of New York at Buffalo in 1966, he has authored or edited over thirty books, including a new and updated history of the Brethren in Christ, to be released in 2012.  In addition, he has contributed chapters to a dozen other books (see Publications of E. Morris Sider).  And since 1978, he has served as editor of the journal Brethren in Christ History and Life.


In addition to his scholarly pursuits, Professor Sider has served the Brethren in Christ denomination in numerous ways, most notably as the church’s archvist (1979-2000).  He has also served on various denominational boards and committees, including the Board of Administration and the Board for Ministry and Doctrine.  He was the Assistant Moderator for the Brethren in Christ General Conference during the 1986-88 biennium and, more recently, served as Assistant Moderator for the Susquehanna Conference of the Brethren in Christ Church.


In April 2002, Pandora Press US published a festschrift honoring Morris Sider entitled, Minding the Church: Scholarship in the Anabaptist Tradition.  Edited by David Weaver Zercher, professor of Christian history at Messiah College, and with a foreward by Richard T. Hughes, director of the Sider Institute, the book contains essays by fourteen scholars representing fourteen different academic disciplines.


Leone Sider has been a strong partner in this work of education and ministry.  During the Sider’s years in Canada, she was both a teacher and dean of students at Niagara Christian College.  After their move to the States, she served as the dietician at Messiah College.  At the Grantham, Pennsylvania Brethren in Christ Church, she has been a Pioneer Club leader and has served many years on the church’s Peace and Social Justice Committee and its Hunger Task Force.  She is much beloved in her community for the generosity of time, energy, and compassion she extends to those in need of care.


Publications of E. Morris Sider


Essays in honor of E. Morris Sider