Lifelong Learning Institute


The Lifelong Learning Institute Announces its 2018 Spring Courses.

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Find reminders about upcoming courses, photos from classes and additional information.


The Lifelong Learning Institute of Elkhart County provides stimulating and affordable short courses in many fields for active seniors. Courses are held in fall and spring, in addition to a lecture series in midwinter. There are no tests or grades — just the joy of learning. No previous studies or degrees are required.

LLI course brochures are available at the Greencroft Goshen Community Center (1820 Greencroft Blvd.) and the Goshen College Welcome Center (1700 S. Main St., 574-535-7566), as well as at other community locations.

Classes typically meet for one and a half hours, twice a week, for two weeks, though schedules may vary. LLI instructors are usually seniors themselves, often former teachers, professionals or others with special interests in the area of their course. They volunteer their time. The courses provide for lively discussion.  Courses are held at Goshen College, the Goshen Public Library, Greencroft Goshen and other suitable community locations.  Restrictions on class size may apply. Some courses may require extra fees for supplies, transportation or tickets.

Reading Genesis Well
Paul Keim
Feb. 27, Mar. 1, 6, 8; 2:00-3:30
This course will explore the book of Genesis using
four different interpretive lenses. First, we will read
Genesis within the context of other ancient origin
stories. Second, we will take a literary approach, piecing
together the puzzle of its careful composition and tracing
its echoes. Third, we will plunge into the fascinating
world of Midrash, the rabbinic interpretive tradition
that interweaves elements of law, customary wisdom
and exhortation. Finally, we will consider non-linear
interpretations of Genesis themes, as reflected in art,
music and poetry. The richly-textured and openended
portrait that emerges is intended to enflame our
theological imagination and illuminate our path. Paul
Keim is Professor of Bible, Religion and Philosophy
at Goshen College and Adjunct Lecturer in Biblical
Languages at Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary.


Swashbuckling, Slapstick and Swordfights: A
Journey to Penzance
Marcia Yost – Coordinator
Mar. 12, 14, 19, 21; 10:00-11:30
In our journey to Penzance, you will learn to know
the pirates and the parody. You will venture into the
realm of Gilbert and Sullivan as they created a whole
new art form that became the basis for the dawning of
the modern musical comedy. Expect to have some fun
and learn not only about this show but a bit about the
process in bringing a show to the Umble Center stage.
You will be delighted with the music, and you will be
inspired to share your best pirate “aarrrgghhh”! Marcia
Yost has directed over 40 musicals. She is currently the
Director of Arts at Goshen College supporting the arts
in Goshen and around the state.


J. Lawrence Burkholder on Mennonite Ethics:
from Isolation to Engagement
Lauren Friesen
Mar. 26-29; 2:00-3:30
The lectures will cover three forthcoming volumes
on this topic. In Volume I, Burkholder explores the
strengths and limitations of the stance Mennonites
took on nonconformity, which meant withdrawal from

society. Volume II expands an analysis of the limitations
and proposes a solution whereby Mennonites can
continue their ethical stance but become engaged in
nonviolent solutions to social problems. Volume III
applies the ideas in real-life situations. He concludes
that nonviolent action on the local/congregational level
is needed to continue our peace witness and resolve
tensions in the world, introducing the concept of
ambiguity as an ethical value while recognizing that the
former absolutes no longer are viable. Lauren Friesen
is the David M. French Professor Emeritus at the
University of Michigan and a Certified Docent at the
Oriental Institute at the University of Chicago.


It Can’t Happen Here: Handmaids, Farm
Animals and the Dystopian Novel
Judith Davis
Apr. 2, 4, 9, 13; 10:00-11:30
George Orwell’s Animal Farm and Margaret Atwood’s
A Handmaid’s Tale offer two perspectives on political
systems and their effects on the individual. In this class,
we will read and discuss these and other novels that
present visions of dystopias, “imaginary places where
people lead dehumanized and often fearful lives.”
Dystopian novels are often called cautionary tales: they
depict what life could be under circumstances that are
not so different from our own—for example, Sinclair
Lewis’s It Can’t Happen Here. It will be helpful if you
read Atwood and Orwell before coming to class; Ray
Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451 is also recommended. Judith
Davis is Professor Emerita of French and Humanities,
Goshen College where she served as director of
communications, grant writer and teacher for French,
English and women’s studies.


A Trip Around The World - In A Jennings’ Chair
Phyllis Miller – Coordinator
Apr. 18, 20, 23, 25; 10:00-11:30
Travel around the world through personal stories from
folks who have lived and worked in other cultures. The
four sessions will be divided by countries: Afghanistan
by Bill and Phyllis Miller; South Africa by Anna and Joe
Sawatzky; Indonesia by Sally Jo and Ron Milne; and
Iran with Ervin Beck and Nasim Rasoulipour (a Goshen
College student who is from Iran). Learn about their
daily living, the highs and lows of becoming a part of another

culture, what they brought home with them and
what they found here upon reentering. Phyllis Miller
taught kindergarten in the Middlebury Schools. She
and her husband Bill served with Mennonite Central
Committee, Mennonite Mission Network and Goshen
College’s SST program. Since retirement they have
been involved in Mennonite Disaster Service, Service
Opportunities for Older People.


The Art of Life, Illness & Death
John Blosser
May 1, 3, 8, 9; 2:00-3:30
The very human experience of illness, death and dying
has arguably inspired works of art for ages. We will
examine some of the more significant works of literature
and visual art that were born of these circumstances.
Believing that clarity and hope may be found in the
products of healers, survivors, and the grieving, the
course will be broad in scope, interactive in nature
and accessible. References and hopefully useful and
interesting resources will be made available. As Professor
of Art Emeritus from both Goshen and Hesston
Colleges, John was invited to teach a course to nurses
enrolled in the Goshen College RN to BSN degree
program. Soon a number of friends expressed interest in
this material, and thus this short LLI course was born!


A Taste of Personal History
Dawn Szabo
May 15, 17, 22, 24; 2:00-3:30
Have you thought about writing your life story but you
don’t know where to start? Or maybe you’ve started to
write your story, but your project has stalled. This class
takes a theme-based approach to writing stories from
your life. In class, we’ll prime your memories through
prompts and discussion and offer writing tips that will
help you add depth to your stories. Between classes,
you’ll write a short story based on the theme presented.
This is an interactive class where stories will be read by
willing participants. Dawn Szabo worked for a Fortune
100 company prior to starting her own company, Blue
Sky Life Stories, LLC. She branched out on her own in
2016 to help individuals and families preserve life stories
in the form of audio or book memoirs. She is also a
certified Guided Autobiography instructor.


Classes are held in Jennings Auditorium, Greencroft Goshen Community Center, unless otherwise noted.


Membership & Fees

Who is eligible for membership? Persons 55 and older are welcome. You do not need to have attended college or to live at a retirement community. The LLI membership year runs from July 1 through June 30.

The benefits of membership: Your first course is free and additional courses are half price. For members residing in HUD housing all courses are free. Your LLI member card also entitles you to privileges at the Goshen College library and free admission to home Goshen College athletic events. With professor approval you may also audit approved classes at Goshen College for a reduced fee. Greencroft Goshen will provide free transportation from GG to LLI classes held at other locations..


  • Membership is $50 per academic year (from July 1-June 30). All courses are half price.
  • For persons in HUD housing, membership is $10 and all courses are free. For non-member HUD residents, classes are $10. 
  • Most courses for non-members are $40.

Community Involvement

LLI is a member organization in which participants assist with curriculum planning and help to guide decisions on publicity and finance. There are 11 LLI board members.  Four are appointed by the sponsoring organizations, Goshen College (2) and Greencroft Communities (2). Four are elected by membership from members. Three are from the community-at-large and are elected by the board.

LLI is cosponsored by Goshen College and Greencroft Communities.

The Lifelong Learning Institute of Elkhart County is part of a grassroots movement.  Retiring seniors everywhere are seeking stimulation, continued growth, and connections to others with similar interests. Our local LLI is a member of The Elderhostel Institute Network (EIN), a national network of similar programs.

Contact Us

If you have questions, want a course offering brochure, or need further information, please contact Director, Linford Martin by phone at 574-536-8244 or by e-mail at