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Alternative Academic Programs

In addition to traditional life and studies on campus, students can take advantage of these special academic programs.


Contact: Cross-cultural programs faculty and staff

BCA study abroad programs are rooted in the values of peace and justice and provide opportunities for students, especially foreign language majors and minors, to meet EMU requirements. Students consult Cross-Cultural Programs for general information and work with their advisors in choosing appropriate coursework for a semester or year. Application materials and information are available on-line. Completed applications must receive approval from EMU Cross-Cultural Programs, as financial assistance and credit for the programs are received through EMU. BCA offers programs in the following countries: Austria, Belgium, China, Ecuador, England, Germany, Greece, India, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Morocco, Netherlands, New
Zealand, Palestine, and Spain.

Central America Study and Service (CASAS)

Contact: Cross-cultural program faculty and staff

CASAS, a 12-week summer program based in Guatemala City, offers students an independent summer immersion experience similar to our spring semester cross-cultural program. Coursework includes Spanish language studies, Introduction to Central America, and elective courses chosen from history, peace and justice, anthropology, and religion. Students participate in orientation activities, home stays, internships, and numerous field excursions. Application materials and information are available on-line. Students register through EMU with approval from cross-cultural program faculty and staff.

Council for Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU)

Contact: Cross-cultural program faculty and staff

The CCCU offers study abroad programs in a variety of disciplines and locations. Students consult with cross-cultural programs and work with their advisors in choosing appropriate coursework for a semester. Application materials and information are available from the CCCU web site. Completed applications must receive approval from EMU cross-cultural programs, as financial assistance and credit for the programs are received through EMU. CCCU offers these study abroad semester programs: Australia Studies Centre, China Studies Program, Latin American Studies Program (Costa Rica), Middle East Studies Program (Jordan), The Scholars’ Semester in Oxford (England), and Uganda Studies Program. U.S. programs that do not fulfill cross-cultural credit are available in American Studies (Washington, DC), L.A. Film School Center, and Nashville Contemporary Music Center.

International Business Institute (IBI)

Faculty representative: Spencer Cowles, professor of business

EMU is an “affiliated school” with the International Business Institute (IBI), a cooperative overseas program in international economics and business. An essential component of this summer institute is to provide a learning experience in settings other than the usual classroom. For example, lectures take place in corporate headquarters, manufacturing plants, governmental and international agencies.

There are three distinctive features of the International Business Institute. First, is significant involvement with distinguished faculty from leadership appointments in private business and finance, government and academic life. Second, the program focuses on leading companies and institutions in the field of economics, business, and finance.Examples include Mars Candy, Credit Suisse, DaimlerChrysler, Deutsche Bank,LKM, European Union, Nestle, Black and Decker, and Shell Oil. Third, classroom content typically covered in an on-campus course is augmented by enriching and complementary field seminar experiences.

Because the IBI is a rigorous academic program all participants are expected to have completed a full year of principles of economics, a semester of accounting or finance, and one course in management or marketing. A minimum GPA of 2.75 (on a 4.0 scale) is required at the time of participation which is usually following the completion of the junior year. Positive recommendations and an official transcript are also required. Further information and application forms can be found at

Upon successful completion students will receive credit for four 300-level business and economics courses.

Lark Leadership Scholarship Program

Coordinator: Kenyetta Aduma Twine, African-American Mennonite Association (AAMA)

The Lark Leadership Scholarship Program is designed to enhance the ministry and church leadership skills of persons serving African-American Mennonite Association (AAMA) congregations. By empowering leaders, the program also promotes the development of AAMA congregations. AAMA church leaders receive financial assistance to enroll in college-level courses which will enhance their ministry skills. Students can enroll in a school in their home area, allowing them to remain active in the ministry of their congregation and immediately apply new learning. The program emphasizes urban and Mennonite/Anabaptist perspectives.

Students attending non-Mennonite institutions will be required to fulfill some form of course work in Anabaptist history and theology. Therefore, those students attending non-Mennonite schools are required to complete Unit III of the Pastoral Studies Distance Education Course entitled “Leading God’s People”. Lark is administered jointly by the African-American Association, Mennonite Education Agency, and EMU.

Ministry Inquiry Program

Contact: Bible and religion faculty at

The Ministry Inquiry Program is an opportunity for students who have completed two or three years of university studies and who are considering pastoral ministry and/or seminary study to have a first hand experience in ministry. This 11-week summer program is a full-time position as intern within a congregation that involves the student in all aspects of pastoral service under the mentoring of the congregation’s leadership. When at all possible, the student is placed in the congregation of his/her choice.

Through a cooperative arrangement with the Mennonite denomination, the area conference, the home congregation of the student, and Eastern Mennonite University, the student receives a scholarship of at least $2,000 applied to university or seminary expenses during the following academic year. In addition, the congregation in which the student serves provides housing and $500 cash. Academic credit can also be earned, however registration and payment at the summer school tuition rate are required for earning academic credit.

To be considered for the Ministry Inquiry Program a student must have completed at least 2 years of undergraduate study with a GPA of 3.0 or higher. An online application form, which includes references, are required for acceptance.

Orie Miller Center

Contact: Gloria Rhodes, Director

As a well-known Mennonite leader, Orie O. Miller modeled the integration of business, mission, development, education, and peace in his generation. Today through the center in his honor, EMU provides a forum for the integration of programs related to development, mission, peace, and justice. The Center promotes increased awareness and interest in these areas by organizing special conferences,providing off-campus resource persons and experiences, convening faculty and students from the respective programs to engage in discussions to stimulate creativity and mutual understanding, supporting students to attend related conferences for personal and professional development, and offering mini-grants for collaborative projects focused on improving EMU in areas related to development, mission, peace, and justice.

Global development studies, located in a number of departments at Eastern Mennonite University, go beyond the concept of Western progress and focus on the biblical invitation to the fullness of life. This commitment calls for a lifestyle that values human life, diverse cultures, and a sustainable relationship to the environment. It envisions a world that provides for the basic survival needs of all, dignity derived from respect, and justice free from exploitation and disempowerment. However, commitment to a more peaceful, just, and sustainable world also requires specific perspectives, knowledge, and skills that equip people to join with others to create ways to meet basic survival needs and open possibilities for meeting needs beyond survival.

A number of majors and programs at EMU join together under this overarching understanding of development to provide specialized preparation in particular areas. Students may select their focus of choice by pursuing the environmental sustainability major in the biology or applied social sciences departments, the community health focus in nursing, the peacebuilding and development major, the religious and intercultural studies major, minors in peacebuilding or development, or the graduate program in conflict transformation. Linked together by a commitment to the fullness of life in a more humane world, these programs prepare people for development work in local, national, and international settings. For details on specific development study options, consult the respective programs cited above. Mission-related information and programs appear in the Bible and religion department section.