Our Philosophy

The educational task of Eastern Mennonite University is rooted in the Christian faith and its scriptures as they have been interpreted and lived out in a unique 476-year Anabaptist-Mennonite tradition. This tradition embraces God’s gift of reconciliation through the cross and the power of the resurrection to create new life in conformity to the teaching and spirit of Jesus.

Principles of EMU Beliefs

Eastern Mennonite University, in continuity with the Anabaptist- Mennonite tradition, is guided by several particular theological principles. We believe that Jesus Christ is the word of God Incarnate. We believe the Bible is the inspired book for the church and the authoritative guide for faith and life. The church is a community of work and worship where Christ is made known and where truth and meaning of life are discovered.

Discipleship, which includes personal devotion to Christ, simplicity of life, peacebuilding (which expresses itself in reconciliation, active pursuit of justice and non-participation in the military), evangelism and Christian service, is the mark of an authentic Christian life. Agape love, the style of life modeled in Jesus, should shape our common life. EMU affirms the Confession of Faith in a Mennonite Perspective together with other statements regarding faith and practice endorsed by the Mennonite Church. EMU recognizes its accountability to the Mennonite Church.

Deepening of Student Faith

Students are encouraged to embrace this faith heritage while their own convictions and experiences and those of other religious heritages are respected. EMU seeks to deepen students’ faith and life in Christ, while also encouraging them to critique their own faith tradition in wholesome ways.

Recognizing God as the creator of all, EMU exposes students to many ways of knowing. By studying a broad-based liberal arts curriculum that features knowledge in a particular field and significant experience in a cross-cultural setting, undergraduate students deepen their understanding of the human condition and commitment to Christian service. Specialized graduate programs that express EMU’s particular strengths and commitments combine the rigor of academic specialization with practical preparation for service in the larger church and world.

Learning has great consequence when it occurs in the intimacy of a campus village conscious of its own faith heritage, but open to and connecting with the vitality of a variety of world cultures.

The Importance of Teachers

Teaching and learning require mutuality in which teachers and students share opportunities and responsibilities. The faculty bring to their task specialized knowledge as well as an ability to make broad connections across the disciplines. They take responsibility for the direction of the learning process. The student is an active participant in learning, setting goals, determining procedures and evaluating results.

Faculty are expected to practice what they teach, demonstrating the creative possibilities of devout faith combined with serious reflection. The spiritual, moral and intellectual persuasiveness of faculty comes from significant engagement in congregational life, Christian service, and a demonstrated love for learning.

Creative teaching and learning affect the mind and character of the student. At its best education engenders in students a sense of idealism and responsibility, as well as a reverent humility before the awesome complexities and ambiguities of life.

Approved by EMU Board of Trustees, November 1994
Approved by Mennonite Board of Education, January 1995