The Five Life Standards for the Healing Professions

Join in MHF's 2022-2023 Exploration of Anabaptist Values and Healthcare

Where and how it all began…

Little did anyone know that at the virtual MHF Board Retreat in 2021, the discussion would turn to tackle the topic of how we can utilize the unique Anabaptist perspective to integrate faith into healthcare practice.  The inspiration came from the success of Doris Janzen Longacre’s More with Less cookbook.  Longacre’s book was not only about food preparation and nutrition but was seen as a testimony resource book and as models for applying Anabaptist values into daily life.


The Five Life Standards for the Healing Profession

In her book, Longacre addresses Five Life Standards that could be applied to all.  The MHF Board examined those standards and considered how they connect to healthcare.  This resulted in adapting More with Less 5 Life Standards for the Healing Profession.

  1. Do justice for the health and well-being of all
  2. Learn from the world’s health wisdom and communities
  3. Nurture all people’s health and well-being
  4. Cherish the natural order for healthy bodies and the earth
  5. Nonconform freely to serve, care and live as Jesus taught

(original five standards in bold)

What is the Nurture Council and what are they doing? 

The Nurture Council is the name coined for the volunteer committee that formed to guide the 5LS project.  In addition to discussing and developing the 5LS further, they have also evolved into the Annual GAthering (AG) Planning Committee, with a large component of the 5LS Project being accumulated at MHF AG this year.  The Nurture Council members include:  Malinda Berry, Cate Desjardins, Rachel Eash Scott, Donna Minter, Lyubov Slashcheva, Elisa Troyer, and Jennifer Wiebe 


Malinda Berry is a member of the teaching faculty at Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary. In addition to an undergraduate degree in English and history from Goshen College, Malinda received a Master of Arts in Peace Studies from AMBS and a PhD in theology from Union Theological Seminary in the City of New York. She writes and teaches about the “organic theology” Doris Janzen Longacre developed through Living More with Less. Malinda and her spouse, John Stoltzfus, have two school-aged children and an urban menagerie. They are part of both Fellowship of Hope Mennonite Church and Faith Mennonite Church.


Cate Desjardins – based in Philadelphia, in addition to being ED of MHF is also the co-pastor of Germantown Mennonite Church, and involved with research on chaplaincy and spiritual care.  She hopes the project will weave the personal and service.  


Rachel Eash-Scott is a family physician practicing in Milwaukee, WI. She loves working  with under-resourced populations, delivering babies, and being outdoors. She is glad to be part of a council that is working to integrate faith and daily life in a concrete way. 


Donna Minter – Member of the MHF Board of Director, Donna Minter, PhD is MN Peacebuilding’s Founder and a Master Certified Strategies for Trauma Awareness and Resilience) STAR Trainer. She is a licensed psychologist who has practiced  neuropsychology for  25+ years in outpatient and inpatient clinics and educational settings. For 20+ years she has conducted court-ordered mental health evaluations and provided expert court testimony. As a peacebuilding instigator, she administers, implements, and conducts trainings and talking circles in Minnesota, throughout the USA, and internationally.


Lyubov Slashcheva- facilitator of Nurture Council, lives in Harrisonburg, VA, working as a clinical dentist and dental public health research consultant. She currently serves on the Board of MHF and is past president of MHF.


Elisa Troyer– Family Medicine physician based in Western AZ, practices whole person care,  She sees this project somewhat self-serving- in talking with other people who are also invested in the lifestyle of More with Less as an inspiration to those she works with as well.


Jennifer Wiebe is a family physician in Canada who served an inner city Indigenous community for 18 years, and is now working at a northern remote reserve. She is excited to be a part of the Nurture Council since she finds the Life Standards to be principles or goals to strive for in both her professional and personal life. (Jennifer is married to her best friend John, and they have two grown sons).


Learn more

There are many ways to get involved. Attend a Circle Process Training (next one Sat June 18), register and attend Annual Gathering at the Welcome Place in Akron, PA (Oct 14-16, 2022), support the 5LS Virtual Event in the fall, submit an article or write a blog or share your experiences with the Five Life Standards for the Healing Profession. We want to hear from you.  Contact our project coordinator Lyubov Slashcheva for ways to be involved or learn more it.


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