Our Approach

Mission Statement

Within the community of faith and learning at Goshen College, the women and gender studies program enables students to examine women’s experience in a gendered society. This interdisciplinary program is dedicated to the study and cultivation of feminist scholarship and practice. Feminist scholarship addresses the value of the roles and contributions of women across time and space in the arts, the sciences and the professions. Feminist practice emphasizes the development of personal and professional competencies. The goal of the program is the transformation of individual as well as cultural paradigms.

Criteria for Women’s Studies Courses

Courses listed or cross-listed for this program should embrace values of fairness, inclusiveness, truth-telling, self-worth, curiosity, imagination, openness, confidentiality, spirituality, lifelong learning, friendship, collaboration, and analysis and synthesis. Pedagogical principles include feminist scholarship and theory, relationship of race and ethnicity to social class and gender, the critique of cultural paradigms in both research and lived experience, feminist methodology (active participation = engagement and synthesis), and woman as subject.

Women’s and gender studies courses should meet the following criteria:

  • Critically examine cultural assumptions about gender as well as race and class;
  • Explore the production of knowledge in disciplines that reflect on women’s lived experiences;
  • Equip students to identify factors that constrain women’s lives;
  • Examine feminist genres, research methods, structures, analytical tools, aesthetics, criticism, contemporary issues, and pedagogy.