Eastern Mennonite School aspires to embody the love of Jesus as a learning community where every student belongs, thrives, and joins God’s work in the world.


Eastern Mennonite School, with home and church, invites students to faith in Jesus Christ, academic excellence, personal integrity, and compassionate service.


At Eastern Mennonite School our commitment to faith compels us to create spaces that are inclusive, that treat all members of our community with respect, and that value each individual’s voice, conscience, identities, lived experiences, and perspectives. We celebrate differences, welcome open and meaningful dialogue, and cultivate critical thinking. Together, we dedicate our actions to working towards peace, equity, and justice in the world around us.

Faith Practices Encourage:

  • Relationship with Jesus
  • Biblical Discernment
  • Stewardship
  • Partnerships between Parents and Churches
  • Following Jesus Christ
  • Diversity
  • Singing Together
  • Relating with Each Other in Love

Core Values:

We believe in the integration of our values in all we learn and live. We value:

  • Our Students
  • Caring Community
  • Constructive Thinking
  • Leadership Development
  • Service
  • Peacebuilding

EMS has served Harrisonburg and the surrounding counties since 1917, combining an academically challenging curriculum with a strong commitment to music and the arts, Christian discipleship, peace and justice, service to others, and a global outlook.

The K-12 curriculum is designed to foster reading, research, writing and presentation skills that grow student curiosity, creative and insightful thinking, organizational strategies and a moral social conscience. A strong college preparatory track includes honors, Advanced Placement, and other advanced courses. Regular activities are also designed to help students grow spiritually as well as intellectually.

A participatory-based co-curricular program at the elementary (K-5) level encourages exploration of talents.

Middle school (6-8) students take part in “exploratory” classes in addition to core subjects, encouraging them to test out interests and skills in a variety of subjects and areas.

High school (9-12)  students further refine skills and confidence in performance through music -- including choral performance with international touring opportunities -- musical theater, service opportunities, a wide variety of clubs, and competitive athletics.

Eastern Mennonite School is a member of the Mennonite Schools Council and is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools since 1957 and the Virginia Association of Independent Schools since 2002. Enrollment for the 2023-2024 school year was around 380.

EMS underwent an accreditation visit and review in the fall of 2023 through the Virginia Association of Independent Schools. As part of this process and through a community survey in 2022, we affirmed and updated our vision and mission, and crafted a new dynamic strategic plan.

Watch a video, "We're better together," that features different voices discussing what it means to live in community, love,  and peace through Jesus, produced by Mennonite Church USA

You may also want to review, What is an Anabaptist Christian, by Palmer Becker.

Eastern Mennonite School is a conference ministry of Virginia Mennonite Conference of Mennonite Church USA.

Eastern Mennonite School K-12 is accredited by the following bodies:

Eastern Mennonite School does not discriminate on the basis of any race, color, handicap, national or ethnic origin, or religion, and admits students to all rights, privileges, programs and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the school.

The following person has been designated to handle inquiries regarding the school’s non-discrimination policies, including its Title IX policy: Debbie Katz, Title IX Compliance Coordinator. 

For assistance related to Title IX or other civil rights laws, please contact OCR at OCR@ed.gov or 800-421-3481, TDD 800-877-8339.