Lifelong Learning Institute


The Lifelong Learning Institute Announces its 2018 Fall 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.

Amish Country Entrepreneur Adventure (day trip)
Orley S. Miller
Sept. 6 & 12; 8:30 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.

Come along on a trip through Amish country and step
off the bus at five different Amish businesses: a Casket
Maker, a Leather Shop, a Buggy Maker, a Quilt Shop,
and a Toy Manufacturer. We will have lunch at Yoder
Homestyle Cooking. Our tour guide will be Orley
S. Miller, a resident near Shipshewana who is part of
the Amish church. Bus capacity each day is 24 people.
Board the bus at the Greencroft Community Center

Exploring Celtic Christian Paths and Practices:
linking earth with heaven

Willard Roth
Sept. 17, 19, 24 & 26; 10:00-11:30
Celtic Christian spirituality is a way of following Jesus
that intentionally cultivates a lifestyle patterned after 5th
and 6th century disciples living in Ireland, Scotland,
Wales and England. As an experienced pilgrim guide
and spiritual director, Willard Roth will introduce
some of these saints, the paths they pursued, and the
practices they invite 21st century followers of Jesus to
ponder. We’ll look at contemporary communities who
are seeking to incarnate the Celtic way of linking earth
with heaven through head, heart, and soul. Sessions will
be enriched with poems, prayers, music and visual art.
Willard Roth has served as a writer and pastor.

J. Lawrence Burkholder on Mennonite Ethics:
from Isolation to Engagement

Lauren Friesen
Sept. 24, 25, 26 & 27; 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. He introduces 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.

Feature Films from Iran
Ervin Beck
Oct. 2, 4, 9, 11; 1:00-4:00
Be introduced to recent Iranian history and culture;
demonstrate the prominence of Iranian cinema in
international circles; and help us see the reality and
appeal of Iran and Iranians, despite the demonizing of
the country in recent American politics. After a short
introduction to the film and its director, we will view
and discuss the film. The four feature films we will view
are: Children of Heaven, The Lizard, A Separation, The
Salesman. Ervin Beck, Professor Emeritus of English
at Goshen College, and his wife Phyllis, taught at the
International Community School in Teheran, Iran.

Forest People Stories
Aaron Sawatsky Kingsley
Oct. 15, 17, 22, 24; 10:00-11:30
We’ll examine our relationship to trees and forests
through story, in fairytales, mythology, legends, and
in our own spiritual heritage. Next we’ll think about
ways the vast New World forests affected colonizers and
shaped attitudes today. We’ll ponder how forests lurk in
our memory and what they have meant to us. Finally,
we’ll widen the lens a bit to look at our place, Goshen,
and tell the forest/tree story of our bio-geography. Storytelling
participation will be encouraged throughout!
Aaron Sawatsky Kingsley is the Goshen City Forester.

Selected ‘Neglected’ New Testament Women
June Alliman Yoder
Oct. 29, 31 & Nov. 5, 7; 10:00-11:30
This course will focus on selected women from the
New Testament. Many of them we will recognize,
but we don’t know much about. We will review each
woman’s story as it appears in scripture and dig deeper
to learn more about who each neglected woman was,
what she teaches us and what new understandings
we might glean. Our intention is to help resurrect,
unbind, and breathe new life into these New Testament
women. June Alliman Yoder is the Professor Emerita of
Communication and Preaching.


Dietrich Bonhoeffer: A Modern Martyr?
Richard A. Kauffman
Nov. 12, 14, 16, 19; 10:00-11:30
Bonhoeffer (1906-1945) was one of the most
consequential Christians and theologians of the 20th
century. He was a leader of the Confessing Church,
which opposed the Nazi regime. Although his studies led
him to become a Christian pacifist, he became involved
in a plot to kill Hitler. He was eventually imprisoned
and executed near the end of the war. This course will
look at the times, the life and thought of Bonhoeffer,
and his relevance to our own challenging times. Richard
A. Kauffman is a retired editor, last serving as book
review editor of the Christian Century. He has also been
a pastor, seminary administrator and theology instructor.

Years of Friendship: Alice Parker & Mary Oyer
No registration required. Free and open to the public.
Nov. 16; noon, Rieth Recital Hall
Nov. 18; 7:00 p.m. College Mennonite Church
Noted composer, conductor and teacher Alice Parker
is coming to Goshen for a festival performance of her
music on Sun. evening, Nov. 18. At noon on Fri., Nov.
16 at Rieth Recital Hall, Alice and professor of music
emeritus Mary Oyer will discuss Alice’s musical legacy
and her involvement with the Mennonite community.
Rebecca Slough, former dean at AMBS and a member
of the leadership group for Hymnal: A Worship Book, will
be moderating this event, which is jointly sponsored by
the Goshen Community Chorale, Goshen College and
Lifelong Learning Institute of Elkhart County.

A Festival of Carols: The Music and the Meaning
Marcia Yost
Nov. 28, Dec. 3, 10:00-11:30 a.m. Jennings Aud.
Dec. 5, 10:00-11:30 a.m. GC Music Center
Dec. 6, 4:15-6:30 p.m. GC Music Center for Dress
Rehearsal and Follow-Up
Learn about the history of lessons and carols, get
an overview of this year’s program and learn about
the music as it comes to Sauder Hall. A community
tradition will come alive in a new way as you get an
insider’s view of the planning, practicing and the
“practical” that brings the annual event to life. Session
three of this class will take place at the Music Center
“behind the scenes”. The final session will be an
invitation to enjoy the dress rehearsal on Thu., Dec. 6
from 4:15 - 5:45 p.m. followed by a brief talk back time
from 5:45 - 6:30 p.m. at the Music Center.


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