Sustainability Major & Minor


Do you have a passion for improving our human relationships to the environment and
each other? Are you a creative problem-solver who wants to tackle some of the biggest challenges of our time? Do you love thinking about the connections between science, the arts, humanities, and the natural world? Then a major or minor in Sustainability at Goshen College might be for you!

Sustainability will prepare you to think deeply and act effectively for positive change in
our modern world. At heart, it’s a way of understanding the world that will help you see
connections, and build solutions that will help us all live more lightly and joyfully on this
precious planet.

Studies in Sustainability are even more effective when paired with another major or
minor that helps to round out your skills and pursue your passions. In the last few years,
students have graduated from Goshen connecting Sustainability through their choice of
majors & minors with Accounting, Art, Biology, Computer Science, Engineering Physics, Environmental Science, History, Music, and more. Reach out to any of the faculty in our program if you’d like more ideas about how to best bring your interests together.

SPECIAL NOTE: A lot of students are a little confused at first about the differences
between Sustainability, Sustainability Management, and Environmental Science /
Studies. That’s OK! There is a lot of overlap in these, although they each equip you with different tools for analyzing and tackling problems. And because these programs use a lot of the same classes in the first two or three semesters at Goshen, you’ll have some time to figure out what is the best path for you.

What makes Sustainability at Goshen unique, powerful, and fun?

Goshen College is committed to sustainability, and that commitment is evident in
everything from our food services to our core courses. Sustainability students have many
chances to get involved on-campus, in the region, and even internationally, as leaders to
help our communities create and implement solutions.

We also want to make sure you come out of college with solid experiences that prepare
you well for the workplace, and life in general. In any given semester, you will go on
various field trips to learn how professionals and community members do their jobs and
how they connect to sustainability. Along the way, you will also learn practical skills
like baking bread, preserving food, and canoeing as a form of local tourism.

Learn from Experienced Faculty in a Supportive Environment

No matter what your interests are, our experienced faculty will help you find a way to connect to sustainability. You’ll get to know each other quickly with small class sizes and low student-to-teacher ratios. Our professors challenge students to think deeply about the issues that matter most, helping you develop the systems-thinking skills you need to be a leader in the natural and social sciences.

Environmental health is crucial work that will make a difference in the global community, and we’re proud to be playing a part in training tomorrow’s sustainability professionals.

Get Hands-On Experience Solving Real-World Problems

The Sustainability Semester at the Merry Lea Environmental Learning Center of Goshen College is for any major interested in making a positive change in their community. It is also the foundation of the sustainability major and sustainability minor. During this 13-week program, you will:

  • Live with other students in sustainable LEED Platinum-certified “green” buildings (at Rieth Village)
  • Learn about the local watershed by investigating Merry Lea’s diverse 1,189-acre nature preserve and travel through the surrounding region
  • Learn about societal and environmental problems, and a growing list of solutions
  • Wrestle together with the “big picture” questions of life: identity, meaning, community, faith, peace-making, and how they all connect to sustainability
  • Cook food from produce you’ve helped to raise on site
  • Make group decisions about limiting consumption to preserve natural resources
  • Spend a week canoeing on the Elkhart and St. Joseph Rivers to better understand the whole watershed

We believe that the best learning happens not in the classroom, but embedded in real life – seeing how things work and how people get stuff done in marshland, prairies, conference rooms, and kitchens. Even our classroom time is usually outdoors being close to the rest of Creation!

The Bottom Line

Regardless of what you want to do after college — whether pursue further studies in one of many sustainability-related fields or dive right into the challenging and thrilling work of solving problems in communities — studying sustainability at Goshen will prepare you for it!

In the sustainability program, you will learn to:

  • Analyze environmental and social problems
  • Develop sustainable solutions for modern challenges
  • Communicate across disciplines and to the general public
  • Think critically about your own consumption habits
  • Understand the connections between environment, economy, and society

We hope you’ll consider joining us on this journey!

Request InfoVisit CampusApply Now

Watch Video

Learn more about the Sustainability Semester, a key part of the sustainability major or sustainability minor. (The video references an older term for this semester, but many of its pieces are still right on point!)

News & Events


Learn more about Goshen College's exceptional academic outcomes and national rankings.

Students & Alumni

Faculty & Staff

Jonathon Schramm

Professor of Sustainability and Environmental Education

Contact me with questions!

John Mischler

Assistant Professor of Sustainability and Environmental Education & Director of ASI

Ruth Mischler

Assistant Professor of Sustainability and Environmental Education

Luke Kreider

Assistant Professor of Religion and Sustainability

Jeremiah Sharp

Residence Life Coordinator & Environmental Educator