The Mennonite community from which EMU grew is known worldwide for bringing people together to solve conflicts with words, rather than weapons. It’s not always easy, but it’s core to who we are. Peace and restorative justice are regular topics of conversation here, in the classroom and out.
EMU alumna Leymah Gbowee, a 2011 Nobel Peace Prize recipient, is known for her work in organizing a peace movement to end the Second Liberian Civil War. EMU professor Howard Zehr, who co-directs EMU’s Zehr Institute for Restorative Justice, is widely known as “the grandfather of restorative justice.”
Global community and cross-cultural awareness
- Cross-cultural study – always with veteran faculty and staff – is a requirement for EMU students. Some participate in three-week programs in the local community or greater North America. Some spend a semester in urban Washington, D.C., participating in exciting internships. Others spend a semester in another part of the world, often the Middle East, Central and East Asia, Latin America, or Africa.
Our well-known cross-cultural program – over three decades old – is one of the strongest cross-cultural study programs in the country. It is part of what makes EMU a Christian university like no other.
When you’ve traveled to Central America, visited the coffee bean fields, and stayed with the struggling farmers, you begin to grasp the big picture. Or when your cross-cultural studies take you to the South African township of Soweto to learn about the history and lingering impact of apartheid first-hand, your sense of empathy is deepened, along with your understanding of our inter-connected world.
Sustainability and stewardship
Our solar array on the Hartzler Library roof was the largest solar installation in the state of Virginia when it was installed in 2010. Our campus garden provides produce for the dining hall; compostable waste from the dining hall feeds the garden. Sustainability is woven into the curriculum on many levels.
Faith and fellowship
Faith is important at EMU. We’re all journeying together – though we may take different paths – toward deepening our faith, learning how we might live out that faith day to day, and reaching academic and professional goals.
About a third of the undergraduate student body is Mennonite. Dozens of denominations and faith traditions, and more than 30 nationalities, are all part of the EMU family.
Chapels throughout the week, Sunday evening celebrations, worship through music, Bible studies in residence halls, prayer partners willing to support you throughout your year… these are some of of the ways undergraduate students connect to Christ on campus. Other students enjoy being part of a network of adult learners who share similar values and goals.
Service to others
Reaching out to others is important. At EMU, you’ll participate in community service and maybe even find it life changing. Many alumni do voluntary service for a year or more after graduation, or even for a lifetime through church ministry and in other service professions.
EMU is rooted in the Christian tradition and the Mennonite Anabaptist perspective. About a third of undergraduate students come from a Mennonite or Anabaptist background; a much smaller percentage of graduate students have connections to Mennonite congregations.