Vision, mission and values of the college


Goshen College is recognized as an influential leader in liberal arts education focusing on international, intercultural, interdisciplinary, and integrative teaching and learning that offers every student a life-orienting story embedded in Christ-centered core values: global citizenship, compassionate peacemaking, servant leadership and passionate learning.


Goshen College is a liberal arts college dedicated to the development of informed, articulate, responsible, and compassionate Christians. As a ministry of the Mennonite Church, we seek to integrate Christian values with educational, social and professional life. As a community of faith and learning, we strive to foster personal, intellectual, spiritual and social growth in every person. We view education as a moral activity that produces servant-leaders for the church and the world.

Core values

At Goshen College we intend to create a community of faith and learning built on five core values: Christ-centeredness, passionate learning, servant leadership, compassionate peacemaking and global citizenship. Our academic program and co-curricular programs prepare graduates for:

A life that is CHRIST-CENTERED, with

  • a reflective faith that nurtures spiritual growth in individual and corporate contexts.
  • an active faith that informs all of life’s choices.

A life of PASSIONATE LEARNING, through

  • the mastery of a major field of study as the basis for life-long learning, service, relationships and work in a socially and culturally diverse context.
  • an extensive foundation of knowledge, skills, processes and methodologies derived from a liberal arts curriculum that are required for systematic study and problem solving.

A life of SERVANT LEADERSHIP, based on

  • a leadership ability that empowers self and others.
  • a healthy understanding of self and others that is reflected in relationships of interdependence and mutual accountability.


  • a personal integrity that fosters the ability to resolve conflict and to promote justice.
  • a commitment to diversity in all of its forms, both conceptually and in practice.


  • an intercultural openness with the ability to function effectively with people of other world views.
  • a responsible understanding of stewardship for human systems and the environment in a multicultural world.

See the Goshen Core section of the catalog for more information about student learning outcomes at Goshen College.

Historic church relationship, open to all

Goshen College was established in 1894 and is affiliated with Mennonite Church USA, a Christian denomination that grew out of the 16th-century Anabaptist movement in northern Europe. With the Friends (Quakers) and the Church of the Brethren, Mennonites are one of the three historic peace churches in the United States. From the church in which it is rooted, Goshen College has derived a spirit of peacemaking, simplicity, mutual support and biblically-based service to those in need. The college motto since 1904 is “Culture for Service.”

Around 40 percent of students and 70 percent of faculty members are Mennonite affiliated. Other students come from approximately 40 different Christian denominations and several world religions, and include strong representations from Catholic, Methodist and Baptist traditions, as well as non-denominational churches. All full-time faculty members are active Christians, and many have lived or worked outside the United States, often in church-related mission or service work. Students are not required to be Christians to attend Goshen, but must be willing to accept and live by the Goshen College Commitment to Community Standards. All who are willing to search for truth with integrity are welcome.


Goshen College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission [] and is classified as a Baccalaureate-Arts & Sciences college by the Carnegie Foundation.

Goshen College is authorized by the Indiana Office of Educator Licensing and Development and accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education [] for the preparation of elementary and secondary school teachers.

The division of nursing is approved by the Indiana State Board of Nurses Registration and Nursing Education and by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education [].

The social work program is accredited by the Council on Social Work Education [].

Alumnae of Goshen College are admitted to membership in the American Association of University Women. Goshen College is authorized by name by the State of Indiana. Goshen College participates in the National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements (NC-SARA) as an approved Indiana NC-SARA institution. Goshen College is registered with the Regents of the University of the State of New York.

Student consumer information

Goshen College maintains a student consumer information web page, which provides links to all information required by federal or state authorities for “student right-to-know” regulations. See

Equal opportunity

Goshen College is in compliance with all federal regulations pertaining to nondiscrimination on the basis of sex, race, color, sexual orientation, gender identity, national or ethnic origin, and disability in its recruitment, admission, educational, athletic, financial aid and employment policies and programs. We welcome all students as God’s creation regardless of color, gender, gender identification, religion, ethnicity or nationality, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, and social or economic class.

Ecological stewardship

In 2007, President Brenneman signed the President’s Climate Initiative which commits Goshen College to work toward climate neutrality. Also in 2007, the Rieth Village complex of buildings at Merry Lea Environmental Learning Center of Goshen College earned a Platinum LEED certification, the highest level possible. Merry Lea is home to the college’s Sustainability Leadership Semester for undergraduates, a master’s degree in environmental education and the Institute for Ecological Regeneration.  In 2008, the campus named its first Sustainability Coordinator. An ecological stewardship committee of students, faculty and administrators is leading the campus in collaborative efforts to encourage sustainable practices and reduce use of fossil fuels. The college has been included on Sierra magazine’s list of “Cool Schools,” a ranking of America’s greenest colleges. President Brenneman was invited to participate in the American Campuses Act on Climate roundtable in 2015 at the White House.

Between 2008 and 2013, the campus reduced its carbon footprint by an estimated 22 per cent. Goshen College now purchases all electricity from renewable energy sources such as wind and solar power. In student-initiated projects, solar energy warms water for the Gingerich Recreation-Fitness Center. Waste food from the cafeteria is composted, and food is grown in a community garden. In addition, native landscaping covers large areas of the campus, requiring less irrigation and mowing to maintain. Goshen College recently earned a silver rating from the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment and Rating System (STARS) report, which recognizes colleges and universities for their commitment to sustainable practices on campus. There has been significant growth in academic course material related to sustainability. The college offers 20 courses specifically about sustainability and 17 others with a sustainability component.

Learn more about the college’s ecological stewardship at