New peacebuilding, development and sustainability majors begin in fall 2010

EMU now offers two new majors that uniquely combine concern for the earth and God’s people with practical skill training.

“Peacebuilding and development” and “environmental sustainability” will offer students hands-on opportunities to prepare to be agents of change in their local communities and around the world, motivated by their commitment to Christ.

Peacebuilding and development

Emily Derstine, Maria Bowman and Amanda Styer, students in the current peace studies program, represented EMU at the 2009 Philadelphia Peace Conference. Real-world experiences away from college help students hone their skills.This new major is a combination of the “justice, peace and conflict studies” major and the “applied sociology” program, with its international development and environmental sustainability emphasis.

Peacebuilding and development studies are geared toward intentional social change around issues of conflict, poverty, inequality, sustainability and social justice.


The new major offers students the chance to combine the theory of justice and conflict studies with the practice of peacebuilding and sustainable development in communities far and wide.


“Peacebuilding and development go hand in hand,” says professor Gloria Rhodes, who will be leading the classes along with fellow prof Terry Jantzi. Learn more…

Environmental sustainability

EMU grad Trevor Weaver and an Au Sable Institute classmate study environmental science in the field. Rhodes and Jantzi will also work closely with the biology department to offer a new major focusing on forward-thinking sustainability practices.

Students who major in environmental sustainability will choose between two tracks of study:

  • the traditional environmental science track with courses from the disciplines of ecology, chemistry and physiology
  • the new environmental and social sustainability focus, which combines traditional environmental science coursework with revised applied sociology courses emphasizing international and community development and conservation.

“Traditional” environmental science courses, offered by biology professors Dr. James A. (Jim) Yoder and Dr. Douglas Graber Neufeld, have been revised and augmented over recent years with hard looks at local and global sustainability and hands-on research projects. Learn more…