Lifelong Learning Institute


The Lifelong Learning Institute Announces its 2017 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.

Fall Courses

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

Folk Art
Ervin Beck
Sept. 12, 14, 19, 21; 2:00-3:30

We will consider rival understandings of folk art, as
illustrated by objects owned by local residents. Day 1:
Ervin Beck, definitions and examples. Day 2: Rebecca
Haarer, Shipshewana, commenting on quilts from
Yellow Creek Mennonite Church in the “Inherited
Quilts 3” exhibit, meeting in the Library Gallery at
Goshen College. Day 3: trip to the Midwest Museum of
American Art in Elkhart to view the exhibit “Outsider,
Folk and Art of the Self-Taught.” Day 4: class members
will bring folk art that they own for “show and tell,”
relating their own items to the concerns of the class.
Ervin Beck, coordinator, Professor Emeritus of English,
has taught Folklore at Goshen College and published
academic articles on local folk arts.

Selected ‘Neglected’ Old Testament Women
June Alliman Yoder
Sept. 25, 27 and Oct. 2, 4; 10:00-11:30

This class will encounter 11 women from the Old
Testament. Many of the names we recognize, but we
do not know much about them. We will look at each
woman’s story as it appears in scripture, then focus on
what we see and hear in each story and how that new
understanding might influence how we live our lives.
Our intention is to help resurrect, unbind, and breathe
new life into these Old Testament women. Each student
is encouraged to bring a Bible along—any version
you like. June Alliman Yoder is Professor Emerita of
Communication and Preaching and has also served as a
guest preacher, public speaker, and storyteller.

Seeing the Forest and the Trees: Merry Lea
Marcus Stoltzfus
Oct. 3; 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. (day trip)

Meet at Greencroft Community Center south entrance
Get a first-hand look at the ecosystems and programs of
Merry Lea Environmental Learning Center of Goshen
College on this one-of-a-kind field trip! Visit sites used
for collegiate programming as well as school audiences.
See 5th graders participate in an exploration of a
restored wetland. Following a catered lunch, participants
will enjoy a driving tour, and visit portions of the Merry Lea property not typically open to the public. We will
discuss ecosystem-level restoration projects, including
land management efforts. Marcus Stoltzfus, Merry Lea’s
Director of Environmental Education Outreach, is
coordinating our day’s activities. This day trip has special
pricing because it includes transportation and a catered
lunch. It is limited to 25 participants.


Finding Jesus in Jail
Cory Martin
Oct. 9, 11, 16, 18; 2:00-3:30

Is the criminal justice system broken? Is the church?
This class will explore a proper relationship between
our criminal justice system and the church. In a place
that incarcerates people at a higher rate than any other
country, what obligation does the church have to these
incarcerated men and women, and what obligation does
it have in fighting to reform the “system”? Additionally,
this class will discuss traditional jail/prison ministry
models and how the Elkhart County Jail Ministry is
rethinking ministry in general. Cory Martin, chaplain
at Elkhart County Prison for four years, is a native of
Elkhart County and a 2000 graduate of Bethel College
in Mishawaka, Ind.

Immigration in the Age of America First
Richard R. Aguirre
Oct. 24, 26, 31, Nov. 2; 2:00-2:30

Through presentations and spirited conversation, we
will examine immigration, one of the most complex
and contentious issues facing the United States. Are we
still called to welcome the stranger and help the least of
these members of God’s family, or can a strong case be
made to reduce immigration and build a wall on our
southern border? Participants will hear from immigrants
and other community members and will be invited
to share their perspectives. Aguirre is the director of
corporate and foundation relations at Goshen College,
a former newspaper reporter who has researched and
written about immigration for 40 years, founder of
Elkhart County Helping Our People Everywhere, and
co-recipient of the 2017 Liberty Bell Award.

Ecclesiastes, the Bible’s Self-Help Book
Richard A. Kauffman
Nov. 6, 8, 13, 15; 10:00-11:30

Some ancient rabbis argued that the book of Ecclesiastes
shouldn’t be included in the Bible because it lacks
references to key biblical themes. Martin Luther maintained Christians should read it everyday, because it
debunks sentimental piety. There is no “all things work
together for good” in this book. Considered part of the
wisdom literature of the Old Testament, Ecclesiastes
looks directly at the absurdities and complexities of
life and death and doesn’t blink. What appears on the
surface as doom and gloom can turn to delight and joy
in living. While certainly a pre-Christian book, it is not
an anti-Christian one. It should be on anyone’s list of
best self-help books. Kauffman recently retired from
Christian Century magazine where he served as book
review editor, and has served as an instructor and pastor.

Behind the Scenes of the Festival of Carols
Mary Oyer
Nov. 27, 29, (Nov. 30 dress rehearsal), Dec. 4; 10:00-

The Goshen College Annual Festival of Carols consists
of wide range of Christmas music – ancient and
modern, familiar and new. The directors of the college
groups of musicians will introduce various aspects of the
performances. On Thursday Nov. 30 we will have the
privilege of attending the dress rehearsal in Sauder Hall.
The final class session, Dec. 4, will consist of further
Christmas music. Dr. Oyer is distinguished Professor
Emeritus of music and fine arts at Goshen College.

Do Your Part, be Water Smart!
Jordan Beehler
Dec. 5, 7, 12, 14; 2:00-3:30

Come learn about the water resources of Elkhart
County! We’ll understand more about our watershed
by identifying our important water resources – the
rivers, lakes, groundwater, and water conveyances of
Elkhart County. Water connects all life, so we’ll look at
how water moves through our watershed and how we
interact with it. Finally, we’ll discuss concerns including
pollution, drought, and flooding, and what we can do
to conserve and protect our water resources. Jordan
Beehler is from Wakarusa, Indiana, and currently is a
Conservationist with the Elkhart County Soil and Water
Conservation District. She has an MS in Crop and Soil
Science from Michigan State University and a BS in
Environmental Science with a minor in soil science from
Oklahoma State University.
Classes are held in Jennings Auditorium, Greencroft
Goshen Community Center, unless otherwise noted.


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