Publication Date


Document Type


Committee Members

Suzanne Franco (Committee Member), Eric Fulcomer (Committee Member), Joanne Risacher (Advisor), Charles Ryan (Committee Co-chair)

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


The purpose of this study was to determine if enrollment at Mennonite institutions of higher education was impacted after the Mennonite Church (MC) USA formed in 2002. There are five Mennonite institutions of higher education in the United States: Bethel College in Kansas, Bluffton University in Ohio, Eastern Mennonite University in Virginia, Goshen College in Indiana, and Hesston College in Kansas. This parallel mixed methods study identified how the merger of the MC USA impacted the overall enrollment at Mennonite IHE. In addition, it explored enrollment based on gender, race, or Mennonite affiliation.

For the quantitative method of this research, pre-existing data obtained from the Mennonite Education Agency determined the percentage of change in student enrollment between 2003 and 2008. The quantitative results varied though three of the five Mennonite IHE experienced a decline in overall undergraduate enrollment between 2003 and 2008.

Qualitatively, this researcher captured the attitudes, perceptions, and professional observations of enrollment professionals at each of the Mennonite IHE through interviews. Common themes in the data indicated the pressure to increase enrollment linked with a shrinking denominational pool of youth, competition with other institutions, and the cost of private education. Issues within the Mennonite community were also taken into consideration for this research.

Page Count


Department or Program

Department of Leadership Studies in Education and Organizations

Year Degree Awarded