About EMS

Currently there are about 140 students attending Eastern Mennonite Seminary. About 100 are on the Harrisonburg campus; the rest are taking classes online through our distance learning courses. See more fast facts about our campus.

Location and facilities

Eastern Mennonite Seminary is located in Harrisonburg, Virginia in the Shenandoah Valley. Learn more about our location and directions. EMS shares facilities and history with Eastern Mennonite University. This gives seminary students a unique opportunity to participate in the wider campus community.

Mission, faith and values

Eastern Mennonite Seminary’s mission statement says that “EMS prepares men and women to serve and lead in a global context.” As part of Mennonite Church USA we adhere to the Confession of Faith in a Mennonite Perspective. To learn more about the history, beliefs and practices of the Mennonites view this video.

Our theological framework guides our thinking about identity and vocation. Even though we are a seminary linked with Mennonite Church USA, we welcome various faith traditions and denominations in our classes. Learn more about our special relationship with The United Methodist Church.

Meet the Deans

Sue CockleySue Cockley, graduate and seminary dean, has worked as an administrator and teacher at EMU since 1996. She has focused her work on a variety of academic programs serving adult students.  Her church involvements span early years growing up in the Church of the Brethren voluntary service with MCC in Haiti, Miami and Whiteburg, KY,  and adult membership in a local Mennonite congregation serving at various times as elder, church council chair, and prayer companion. She pursues an interest in spiritual formation, worship leading and many forms of church music. 

Nancy HeiseyNancy Heisey, associate dean, has worked as a teacher and an administrator first at Mennonite Central Committee and since 1999 at EMU. Her lifelong professional and churchly involvement with Mennonites and Brethren in Christ around the world, and her research interests in early Christianity, shape her reading and research into approaches to biblical interpretation.

Statement of Educational Effectiveness

EMS is committed to comprehensive assessment of both its programs and students. Among the multiple measures of assessment, two of them measure degree completion rate and percentage of graduates who are employed in ministry-related positions. The most recent statistics for these two measures are:

  • 76% of students who begin a program at EMS finish that program 1
  • 80% of students (2011-2014) are employed in a ministry setting after graduation

Faculty and administration


Eastern Mennonite Seminary is accredited by the Association of Theological Schools.


1. calculated by EMU Office of Institutional Research and Effectiveness for students enrolled 2005-2014

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