Eastern Mennonite University professor Melody Pannell (right) works with students during registration. EMU has announced five new majors and as many new minors for the fall 2018 semester. (Photo by Andrew Strack)

EMU to offer five new majors, five new minors

Beginning this fall, Eastern Mennonite University will offer five new majors – and as many new minors.

“As the professional marketplace evolves, so do educational priorities,” said Deirdre L. Smeltzer, vice president and academic dean at EMU. “As a small university, we are uniquely positioned and strive to be nimble in how we equip students to pursue their career interests and passions.”

The new majors include global development, marketing, music with a musical theater emphasis, organizational leadership, and peacebuilding.

Clara Bush as Hannah (right) and Emma Roth as Effy rehearse a scene from the musical “The Spitfire Grill” at EMU. (Photo by Macson McGuigan)

The new minors include interfaith studies, leadership, marketing, nonprofit management, and philosophy and theology.


  • Global development major: With course topics spanning sociology and theories of social change, economics, globalization and justice, social policy analysis, international relations and more, the global development major prepares students for careers addressing social, political and economic inequality and injustice. Students will also complete a peacebuilding and development practicum.
  • Marketing major: A collaboration between the visual and communications arts (VACA) and business and economics departments, the marketing major has two tracks: media and design, and management. Each includes curriculum from the traditional marketing and business perspective as well as the arts, and will prepare students for dynamic careers at any organization. Click here to read more about the marketing and organizational leadership majors.
  • Music major with a musical theater emphasis: Students pursuing a music with a musical theater emphasis major will take courses such as music history and techniques, conducting, American popular music, listening to film, world music, theater history, acting for the stage and screen, screenwriting and directing, and more. They will complete a theater practicum as well as a senior capstone project.
  • Organizational leadership major: The organizational leadership major will equip students to manage human capital and organizational systems. It will draw heavily on psychology and applied social sciences courses to prepare graduates for middle management or project management early in their careers, teaching skills in project management, team dynamics and team-building, interpersonal conflict and mediation, and personal leadership development. Click here to read more about the marketing and organizational leadership majors.
  • Peacebuilding major: For students seeking careers in conflict transformation and restorative justice, the peacebuilding major provides a foundation in topics such as understanding violent conflict, Biblical theology of peace and justice, social stratification, mediation of facilitation, theories of social change, methods of social research, and more. Students will also complete a peacebuilding and development practicum.

    Professor Timothy Seidel is director of EMU’s Center for Interfaith Engagement. (Photo by Andrew Strack)


  • Interfaith studies minor: The minor in interfaith studies will be housed in the Bible and religion department and jointly managed with the Center for Interfaith Engagement, and will provide students with an opportunity not only to understand major faith traditions but also to wrestle with questions of how to relate across faith differences. Course topics will include world religions, comparative monotheisms, philosophy of religion, understanding violent conflict, history of the Middle East, and more.
  • Leadership minor: Most adults with a bachelor’s degree end up in leadership roles regardless of their field of study, so this interdisciplinary minor will prepare students for roles of leading and serving in their profession. Students will focus on principles of management, leadership theory and practice, organizational behavior, strategic leadership, positive psychology, church leadership for transformation, and more, plus complete an internship or practicum in psychology or leadership.
  • Marketing minor: Like the marketing major, the marketing minor is a collaboration between the VACA and business and economics departments. The minor will orient students to the essential skills and concepts of the field.
  • Nonprofit management minor: Many EMU graduates assume management roles in nonprofits. This minor provides a basic toolkit in preparation for nonprofit management and leadership, with course topics including financial accounting, project management, program evaluation, human resource management, social and political economy, globalization and justice, and more. 
  • Philosophy and theology minor: The philosophy and theology minor provides students with insight into the Biblical theology of peace and justice, liberation theologies, ways of knowing, conceptions of personal good, and more.

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