Goshen College: A Global Campus

Located in Elkhart County, Indiana, Goshen College is a small, private liberal arts institution founded in the Mennonite-Anabaptist tradition. The college’s core values are “Christ-centeredness, passionate learning, global citizenship, servant leadership, and compassionate peacemaking”. Out of these five core values springs an academically successful small-town college made up of a tight-knit community of students and faculty. With a 2007-2008 enrollment of just under 1,000 students, Goshen College is one of the 25 largest Indiana colleges and universities. It’s smaller than Grace College in Winona Lake, but bigger than Saint Mary of the Woods College near Terre Haute.

Campus and Community

Originally the Eklhart Institute of Science, Industry, and the Arts, Goshen College was founded in 1894 as a private preparatory school for the Mennonite community. In 1900, the college was taken over by the Mennonite church and began to flourish. The Mennonite faith is a sect of Christianity that believes in pacifism, simple living, and world unity through Jesus. Because of this, Goshen College celebrates diversity in all its forms and frowns on violent solutions to problems. Currently, Goshen College is a thriving small college that has roots in many different cultures around the world.

Promotional video for Goshen College in Goshen, Indiana


With 19 buildings spread out over a 35 acre campus, Goshen College has plenty of room to expand. The college is located in Goshen, Indiana, a small town of 30,000 that is near the Indiana-Michigan border. It is about 3 hours from Indianapolis and about 45 minutes from South Bend, home of the University of Notre Dame. Like the college, the city of Goshen was founded by Amish and Mennonite pioneers, and visitors to the town can still see Amish horses and buggies driving through the streets.

There are tons of things to do in and around Goshen, just like there are many things to do in Indianapolis. Students and visitors can go hiking or biking around the network of trails that connect the city’s residential centers to parks and nature areas. Called the Maple City Greenway, the paths caused Goshen to win a “Bike Friendly Community” award by the Indiana Bicycle Coalition. Residents of Goshen enjoy close proximity to Lake Michigan, so boating, waterskiing, and swimming are all easy options. Goshen is also near the St. James River, which is great for kayaking or fishing. In the winter, Goshen students are able to make the short trek up to Michigan for quality skiing, snowboarding, and snowmobiling.

In addition, students can experience Goshen’s answer to White River State Park: Merry Lea Environmental Learning Center of Goshen College. This natural sanctuary situated on Wolf Lake houses many of the major wildlife habitats in northern Indiana and is a proving ground for Goshen’s wildlife management programs. The unique geography of the area features peat bogs, wetlands, savanna-like environments, and glacial gravel formations. Merry Lea also serves as an educational tool of the school, primarily for their Agroecology program.

Video of a retreat and student orientation at the Merry Lea Environmental Learning Center at Goshen College in Goshen, Indiana


While Goshen and the surrounding areas have plenty of things to do, sometimes students don’t have time to leave campus and go gallivanting all around the countryside. For this reason, Goshen College sponsors lots of student clubs and co-curricular programs, so there’s always something for Goshen students to get involved in. Student organizations cover a wide range of activities and communities, including the International Student Club, Student Senate, Swing Dancing, the Catholic Student Association, Film Club, and many more. If you have a strong interest in something, chances are a group on campus will share that interest.

Since Goshen College is a Christian institution, it has plenty of resources to nurture its students’ spiritual lives as well. The college has many campus ministries for all levels of the faith. It hosts many small groups of students who pray and conduct Bible study together. In addition, there is a morning prayer session, a quiet area in Coffman Hall set aside specifically for meditation and reflection, and a labyrinth where students can take a long walk and contemplate life.

Video of Campus Life at Goshen College in Goshen, Indiana


Goshen College requires its students to attend chapel or convocations at least half the times that they are offered. Chapel is a standard worship service that takes place every week and features music, fellowship, and worship, much like those at Indianapolis’s Christ Church Cathedral. Convocations are special events with guest speakers and entertainment designed to bring Goshen students close to God.


Goshen College has won many accolades for its work in academics, making it another example of the great educational opportunities that are available in Indiana, even outside of Indianapolis education. The school ranked among the “Best Liberal Arts Colleges” in U.S. News & World Report for the sixth year in a row. Princeton Review also dubbed it one of the best colleges in the Midwest, and Goshen College was included in the 2006 edition of Barron’s Best Buys in College Education. There are less than 1,000 students at the college, and the student to faculty ratio is a very good 13 to 1. Every student at Goshen gets personal attention and special help if he or she has problems.

Goshen College has a career choice for just about everyone. It may not have as many options as bigger schools like Purdue University or Ball State University, but the programs it does offer are comprehensive. Students can choose between 36 majors and 37 minors from a varied course catalog. The school has 12 specific concentrations, more than a dozen teacher certification programs, and even graduate level degrees. Most of the highly skilled faculty have doctorate degrees and have lived and worked abroad, meaning they have global expertise and experience. Majors at Goshen College include American Sign Language, Bible and religion, environmental science, history and social research, and many more.

Promotional video of the nursing program at Goshen College in Goshen, Indiana


One of the most defining features of Goshen College’s academic program is its international studies requirement. Since it is a Mennonite college, Goshen seeks to provide understanding and empathy among all the cultures of the world. With that in mind, Goshen College students are required to fulfill a fairly rigorous globalization requirement. The most common method for meeting the requirement is a unique term called the Study Service Term, or SST. For thirteen weeks, the length of a semester, students travel abroad and are completely immersed in a culture that is different from American and Indianapolis society. Students learn about the region’s language, history, and people through first hand experience.

Study Service Term is different from study abroad programs at other schools; other schools take you to a sister university abroad, where you simply take classes in another country. Goshen College’s Study Service Term is full immersion in another way of life. Students can learn how American culture is viewed by the international community, gain insights on their own place in the world, and begin to see things globally.

Video about the Study Service Term at Goshen College in Goshen, Indiana


Students do take classes during their Study Service Term. Most of these are language courses, so the communication barrier between students and residents is as small as possible. Students also attend seminars and field trips that take them to different parts of the country for valuable lessons on culture and history. The Study Service Term has many different locations for students to attend, including Egypt, Peru, Senegal, Tanzania, Nicaragua, and many more.

In addition, Goshen College provides education for working adults. While not on the scale of schools like Ivy Tech Community College and the University of Phoenix, Goshen College’s Division of Adult and External Studies provides two majors for adult students who also work full time: Organizational Leadership and the Bachelor of Science in Nursing. The adult learning program at Goshen is comprised of one night class a week in the student’s chosen subject. Students can complete a nursing degree in little over 19 months, and the Organizational Leadership degree takes about a year and a half. At Goshen College, students can achieve their career goals faster than at many other colleges.


Just because Goshen College is a peaceful school that tries to foster global unity doesn’t mean it doesn’t have a competitive spirit. The Goshen College Maple Leafs belong to the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) and the Mid-Central Collegiate Conference, or the MCC. The MCC also includes Grace College, the University of Saint Francis, Huntington University, Indiana Wesleyan University, Marian College (an Indianapolis school), and Taylor University. The school has even played games against different branches of Indiana University. Goshen College offers fourteen different varsity sports, including soccer, golf, cross country, track and field, and tennis.

Video highlights of the Goshen College men’s basketball team defeating Spring Arbor University in 2010


Goshen College boasts some of the best sports facilities in the Midwest; any Indianapolis sports team would be proud to play at a Goshen arena. The Goshen College version of Lucas Oil Stadium is the Roman Gingerich Recreation Fitness Center. This athletics facility is host to all sorts of amenities, including a driving range, basketball court, and huge track. Goshen also houses some great indoor stadiums, including separate stadiums for baseball, softball, and soccer. Each of these stadiums is equipped with an irrigation system and plenty of seats, and the soccer stadium even has lights, a rarity in the NAIA.

A Global Campus

At Goshen College, students learn what it means to be truly involved in their world. The school has one of the most unique study abroad opportunities in the nation, Study Service Term. In no other study abroad program are students completely immersed in an unfamiliar culture. It’s yet another application of Goshen College’s Mennonite origins, an influence that spreads to every part of the school’s campus, be it residential life or student curriculum. Their campus is right in the middle of many of the best things to do in the Midwest region, including hiking and snowboarding. The Goshen College Maple Leafs are some of the most spirited teams in the NAIA, and their sports facilities are unmatched. Goshen College is a great place to go for someone seeking a different experience than he or she can get at any other college.

For more information on Goshen College, please visit the school’s homepage.

Goshen College
1700 S Main St
Goshen, IN 46526

Indianapolis Schools

Indianapolis Vocational and Indianapolis Trade Schools | Indianapolis High Schools | Indianapolis Art Schools | Indianapolis Dance Schools | More Indianapolis Schools

Indiana Schools by City

Avon Schools | Brownsburg Schools | Camby Schools | Cicero Schools | Carmel Schools | Clayton Schools | Danville Schools | Edinburgh Schools | Fishers Schools | Fortville Schools | Franklin Schools | Greenfield Schools | Greenwood Schools | Ingalls Schools | Lawrence Schools | Lebanon Schools | Martinsville Schools | McCordsville Schools | Monrovia Schools | More Indiana Schools