About Eastern Mennonite University
On campus, in our community and around the world, EMU offers an outstanding Christian liberal arts education.
Here you'll meet professors who know your names, who challenge you to grow in your faith in a caring community, to broaden your worldview through study and relationship-building in another culture, and to work side-by-side to reach new academic heights. EMU grads are serving and leading all over the world.
Located in Harrisonburg, Va., our campus community grows produce for the dining hall in a campus garden nourished by composted dining hall waste; has registered its new Cedarwood residence hall for EnergyStar and LEED certification; and collects recyclables with a bicycle-powered cart.
EMU is a four-year liberal arts Christian college that emphasizes the core Mennonite values of service to others, sustainability, peace building and cross-cultural understanding. For decades the university's objective has been to provide a Christ-centered education that prepares student to serve and lead in a global context. A cross-cultural program providing immersion in another culture has long been a requirement for all students.
The main campus is located in Harrisonburg, Va., with an extension site in Lancaster, Pa., which offers undergrad and graduate courses. Contact us for more information...
The humble beginnings of EMU in 1917 came on the heels of America's first real encounter with modern warfare as the U.S. entered World War I. It seems an odd time for pacifist Mennonites who celebrate peacebuilding to be launching a new venture, but it is a moving counterpoint in an era of violence abroad.
Eastern Mennonite School, as it was first called, began as a Bible academy that has grown into a fully accredited university with over 1,400 students in the undergraduate, seminary and graduate programs.
EMU was founded to provide a place for young men and women of the Mennonite Church to deepen their biblical faith, study the liberal arts and gain specific skills in a variety of professions.
That tri-part objective has remained central to the purpose of the university, and its history is the story of an everbroadening curriculum and program. In 1930 the university was accredited by the Virginia Board of Education as a junior college.
Seventeen years later, in 1947, a four-year degree program was approved by the state of Virginia, and the school received regional accreditation by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools in 1959.
In 1948 Willis Johnson, a local African American, enrolled, making EMU one of the first Southern universities to admit a black student. Peggy Webb became the first African American graduate of EMU in 1954.