Community Life

The students at Eastern Mennonite Seminary become a community. Whether you are here for one course, one year, three years, or many more, the faculty, staff and students at EMS are intentional about creating community.

Community-building opportunities at EMS include:

Seminary Community Council (SCC) is composed of students and faculty members. SCC assists in structuring a community life of Christian sharing and caring. It operates from the understanding that a dynamic community life is vital to the academic process. Since Christian community requires committed individuals, every student and faculty member is expected to use his or her gifts and influence for the enrichment of community life.

SCC appoints the Worship and Fellowship committees and selects student representatives to the Academic Committee, Faculty Meeting, and Strategic Planning Council. The colloquium and forum series are sponsored by SCC. A yearbook, the Torch, is published each year as a project of SCC.

The community gathers for Seminary Chapel twice a week, on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Student groups often provide leadership for chapel. The experience of worship is central to our community life, and students are encouraged to faithfully support the chapel services.

An hour for lunch immediately follows seminary chapel when students and faculty are encouraged to gather in the lounge for food, fellowship and conversation.

Occasionally, we gather with the wider university for special lectures and campus-wide chapels. A university chapel schedule is posted and students are welcome to attend these on days when seminary chapel is not held.

Spiritual Life Week gives students, faculty and staff an opportunity to consider their faith journeys together. Each fall a special guest is invited to campus to share with students. Wednesday afternoon classes are cancelled and students are invited to a retreat with the guest speaker.

The Seminary Study Room provides students with an opportunity to study together, work on projects, and share their lives with each other.

The Fellowship Committee plans seminary-wide events that provide opportunity for students to relax, get to know each other and spend time together when they’re not in class. They plan annual events such as the Fall Picnic and Lenten Lunches.

The Forum Committee provides lunch-time discussion topics occasionally. Students and professors meet together to engage topics of importance to the seminary, church life and students.

The Seminary Kitchen is thought of by some students as the real life-blood of the seminary. Students are invited to bring a mug, hang it on the rack and enjoy coffee or tea together in the morning, after chapel, or just about anytime you have a break.

Learn how the seminary is attempting to “Be Green” and environmentally aware.

The extension site in Lancaster, Pa does not have a campus setting, student organizations and regular chapel. Nonetheless, since classes meet on evenings and weekends, students often share meals together. The small size of the extension student body contributes to familiarity and informality between students and instructors.