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Our Distinctives


Our mission as a biblical higher education community is to glorify God by educating and equipping learners to impact the world for Christ through faithful and effective service in their ministries, professions, and communities.


Emmaus Bible College will be flourishing, relevant, and accessible as a trusted name for transformational learning rooted in biblical truth.

Theme Verse

“Then beginning with Moses and with all the prophets, He explained to them the things concerning Himself in all the Scriptures.” (Luke 24:27 NASB)

The Emmaus Experience

In a context of academic excellence, the Emmaus Experience is characterized by:

  • Educational programs infused with biblical content
  • Meaningful relationships between faculty, staff, and students
  • An environment conducive to spiritual and personal growth

Core Values

  • Biblical authority. As God’s inspired Word, the Bible speaks as the final authority on all issues of faith, life, and practice. Biblical truth is at the core of our programs and guides our institutional decision-making.
  • Academic rigor. Responsible Christian discipleship involves bringing every thought captive to the obedience of Christ. Emmaus Bible College endeavors to train the mind through rigorous programs of study designed to enhance knowledge, develop critical thinking skills, and shape biblical worldview.
  • Godliness. God calls His people to live in alignment with His character and will. Emmaus Bible College seeks to be a community in which relationships and actions are guided by godly character and consistently reflect honesty, integrity, and accountability.
  • Dignity of each individual. Every person bears God’s image and is loved by God. The Emmaus Bible College community purposes to reflect this biblical perspective in all relationships and to value each individual in light of this truth.
  • Biblical diversity. In Christ, believers from diverse cultures and backgrounds are one body. Emmaus Bible College endeavors to be a community characterized by unity while learning from and appreciating our diversity.
  • Culture of excellence. In response to the biblical injunction to do all things for the glory of God, the Emmaus Bible College community strives for excellence in its programs and services.
  • Heart of service. Following Christ’s model of servant-leadership, the Emmaus Bible College community seeks to be characterized by service and love for one another and for our communities and constituencies.
  • Our heritage. Emmaus Bible College values its history and identity within the Plymouth Brethren movement and teaches principles of church life rooted in New Testament truth, including the centrality of Christ, plurality of leadership, and priesthood of all believers.

Institutional Goals

Emmaus purposes to:

  • Empower learners to realize their full potential through high-quality academic and student development programs that are biblically grounded and culturally relevant.
  • Provide an attractive, safe environment conducive to learning and spiritual and personal growth.
  • Encourage the personal welfare and professional development of each faculty and staff member.
  • Sustain and enhance the human, physical, and financial resources needed to achieve mission and vision.
  • Enrich external constituencies through education, ministry, and service.

Educational Goals

Through its academic programs, Emmaus purposes to:

  • Increase understanding and application of the Bible and Christian theology.
  • Encourage spiritual growth and development of Christian character.
  • Challenge for the development and integration of a biblical worldview.
  • Develop foundational knowledge and skills to support lifelong learning.
  • Cultivate educated contributors to contemporary society.
  • Equip servant-leaders with skills and knowledge appropriate to their chosen professions or fields of service.

Educational Philosophy

The educational philosophy of Emmaus Bible College is framed by our beliefs about the nature of truth and learning.

  • Biblical/Christian Education

    We recognize the final authority of the Bible in all that it affirms. The direct study of the Bible is part of every academic program at Emmaus. This is educationally significant not only in Bible and theology coursework but also in general education, ministry and vocational studies, and co-curricular and extra-curricular programs and activities.
  • Higher Education

    We are committed to providing a high-quality educational experience for every student. Students are admitted on the basis of their ability to be successful at the undergraduate level.
  • Freedom of Inquiry

    We believe that all truth has God as its ultimate source and needs to be pursued with honest, thorough, and open inquiry. At the same time, we recognize the limitations of individuals in the process of determining what information is relevant and how that information should be appropriately interpreted.
  • Foundation for Lifelong Learning

    We believe that learning is a lifelong pursuit. Curricular, co-curricular, and extra-curricular experiences are designed to foster a desire for lifelong learning in the lives of students.
  • Holistic Education

    We seek to educate the whole person, not simply the mind. Curricular, co-curricular, and extra-curricular activities are all intended to contribute to personal growth and development in the lives of students. This holistic approach to education is articulated more specifically in the Student Development Philosophy below.

Student Development Philosophy

As an institution of higher learning, Emmaus Bible College seeks to create a learning environment in which students are challenged to develop intellectually, spiritually, vocationally, and personally.

  • Through partnerships between academic life and student development, students are challenged in and out of the classroom to increase their knowledge of the Bible and their understanding of the world and pursue their personal role in God's plan through their chosen ministry or vocation.
  • Through co-curricular programs, students are challenged to grow spiritually and build qualities of Christian character into their personal lives.


The academic programs at Emmaus Bible College are designed to meet our institutional mission and educational goals in the lives of learners. The programs of study are organized into the following curricular areas:

  • Core Studies

    The Core Studies curriculum is part of the academic program of each Emmaus student and includes Bible and theology and general education. Specific areas of study in Bible include Biblical Studies, Bible Exposition and Exegesis, and Biblical Languages. The General Studies program provides the foundational knowledge, skills, and dispositions necessary to be productive contributors to society as well as coursework that supports student learning within specific major programs.

  • Ministry Studies

    Students may elect to complete elective coursework or a major or minor in Ministry Studies. Areas of study include Camp Ministries, Intercultural Studies, Music Ministry, Youth Ministries, Biblical Counseling, Church Planting and Revitalization, Computer Applications in Ministry, and Biblical Ministry.
  • Professional Studies

    Students may elect to complete elective coursework or a major or minor in Professional Studies. Areas of study include Archaeology, Business Administration, Computer Information Systems, Counseling Psychology, Elementary Education, Secondary Education, Music, Music Education (K-12), Spanish Language, Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL), and a cooperative program in Nursing offered in partnership with Northeast Iowa Community College.

Assessment of Student Learning

Emmaus Bible College is committed to providing a high-quality educational experience for each student. The assessment of student learning process provides a mechanism for evaluating the effectiveness of the academic programs at Emmaus. Each academic program has established a set of learning outcomes to be met by certificate or degree graduates. Evaluation tools are used at the program level and at the institutional level to assess whether or not learning outcomes are being met. The evidence collected is then analyzed and used to make academic program changes or improvements.