Life Together: Commitments for a Community of Learning

At Eastern Mennonite University our life together supports our work, and in turn, our work shapes our life together. EMU serves the church and the world by engaging in academic inquiry in conversation with God’s story through scripture, Christ, and the church. As a Christian university in the Anabaptist tradition, we encourage each other in Christ-like ways of living and learning.

The following ideals describe the learning community we aspire to be. They are derived from scripture as read in the Anabaptist tradition, our own century of tradition as an academic church institution, and the traditions we continue to make together today. Formal policies and procedures outlined in EMU faculty, staff, and student handbooks are designed to hold us accountable to these principles and sustain the identity and values that bind us together while creating space for questioning that identity in a spirit of continual renewal. We commit ourselves to regularly review and update all university policies in light of these ideals.

Love for God and one another: Our most important work is to love as God loves us, as shown in the life of Jesus. We seek relational, collaborative, and restorative approaches to teaching and learning, administration, policy, and discipline. We commit ourselves to practice generosity and hospitality, demonstrating reconciling love, sustained by collective worship and spiritual formation.

Wisdom: Our learning community pursues truth and seeks wisdom in its practice. We bring creativity and rigorous inquiry to our academic work, including our curricular distinctives of peacebuilding, social justice, cross-cultural engagement, and sustainability. We listen to each other with compassion and boldly share our own authentic statements of faith and doubt. We commit ourselves to intellectual, physical, and spiritual growth in all aspects of academic and social life.

Equality: Because each person has immeasurable worth in God’s eyes, we value participatory processes and pedagogies. Each person has a right to be heard, and to work and study in a safe environment. Policies and procedures aspire toward equity, including individuals of all backgrounds in the benefits of community membership and giving everyone a recourse against abuse of power. We commit ourselves to show respect for the rights, dignity, and full personhood of one another.

Sustainability: We strive to use God’s gifts wisely and generously, emphasizing well-being and supporting policies that enable students and employees to live balanced lives. We commit ourselves to exercise responsibility in our care for the earth and our use of resources as we practice stewardship of mind, time, abilities, and finances.

Accountability: Our individual and collective actions affect the health of the entire community. We expect each person to conduct themselves ethically and faithfully in personal and public matters, in order that all may thrive physically, spiritually, emotionally, and intellectually. We commit ourselves to mutual accountability motivated by love in a spirit of generosity and grace.

Adopted by the Board of Trustees
June 23, 2017