Core Values

The story we will tell throughout the time you are with us — in classes, in our co-curriculars, in small groups, on Study-Service Term, in worship, and in our fun — is a story shaped by five core values. Our core values are woven together like a web of belief at the center of who we are and hope to become.”

~ Jim Brenneman, former Goshen College President


We believe God is the foundation of all wisdom and knowledge. Through Christ we find merciful forgiveness and an invitation to a daily, personal walk empowered by the Holy Spirit. We are led by Christ in our search for truth.

I Corinthians 3:11: “For no one can lay any foundation other than the one that has been laid; that foundation is Jesus Christ.”

Passionate learning

We believe our faith is supported by knowledge. As a learning community, we foster a journey of lifelong learning, encouraging one another to seek truth with fervor. This spirit of academic excellence enriches our relationships, our world and our faith in Jesus Christ.

II Peter 1:5-8: “For this very reason, you must make every effort to support your faith with goodness, and goodness with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with endurance, and endurance with godliness, and godliness with mutual affection, and mutual affection with love. For if these things are yours and are increasing among you, they keep you from being ineffective and unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

Servant leadership

We believe that servant leadership is embodied perfectly in the life and person of Jesus Christ. We humbly set aside self-interest for the interests of others, leading in the strength of love given by God, because love for others builds up God’s community. By following Christ’s example, we create a culture of leadership characterized by joyful servanthood.

Matthew 20:26-28: “But whoever wishes to be great among you must be your servant.”

Philippians 2:5,7: “In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: Who … taking the very nature of a servant, was made in human likeness.”

Compassionate peacemaking

As Christian peacemakers, we embrace “shalom” – the peace that God intends for humanity. We are committed to build the “peaceable kingdom” by practicing loving kindness, restoring justice, practicing anti-racism, loving our enemies and advocating for the dispossessed. We renounce the oppressive, violent destructive powers of this world – and are willing to live our lives as examples of God’s peace.

Matthew 5:9: “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.”

Global citizenship

As responsible global citizens, we see, encourage and celebrate the image of God in others. We welcome and include the ‘stranger’ in our midst – respecting differences in world views while seeking common ground. We wish to transcend barriers between people not only through academic teaching and learning, but also in meaningful cross-cultural exchanges. We go into the world offering our gifts and lives in service to others.

II Corinthians 5:18-20: “All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting the message of reconciliation to us. So we are ambassadors for Christ, since God is making his appeal through us; we entreat you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.”