Emmaus University exists to develop Christ-like leaders for the transformation of Haiti and the world.
The mission of Emmaus University is to develop Christ-like leaders for the transformation of Haiti, the Caribbean, and the world.
The primary purpose of Emmaus University is to train pastors, teachers, professors, school administrators, church planters, missionaries, and other Christian leaders for Haiti, the Caribbean, and the world through undergraduate and graduate-level theological education and leadership development.
Our calling is to disciple and mentor students to become holy leaders in the image of Christ. We do this through academics – the renewing of the mind, spiritual formation – deepening the spiritual life, and service – developing effective ministry abilities. The Seminary also embraces the obligation to provide continuing education for pastors, leaders, and alumni in response to the theological education needs of the church in Haiti and the Caribbean.
EU is Wesleyan-Arminian in its theological orientation and adheres strongly to the Wesleyan-Holiness Tradition placing special emphasis on the moral transformation of the believer’s heart and mind into the likeness of Christ. Like John and Charles Wesley, our education aims at producing in our students a heart fully devoted in love toward God and their neighbor. Such full devotion brings about a transformation in one’s worldview, in one’s affections or loves, and in one’s disposition; and it is expressed in humble obedience. Our doctrinal beliefs and commitments are spelled out more specifically in our Statement of Faith and Ethos Statement
EU is fully accredited by the Haitian national government and by the Caribbean Evangelical Theological Association, one of the five regional members of the International Council of Accrediting Agencies for evangelical theological education. This Council operates under the sponsorship of the Theological Commission of the World Evangelical Fellowship.
Emmaus University is located on Haiti’s northern coast along National Highway 1 a few miles east of Cap-Haitian. The University’s beautiful modern 7-acre campus sits on a lush coastal plain with sight of the Atlantic Ocean just 30 minutes from Haiti’s second largest city and airport.
In the 1950s, while serving as a missionary with OMS in Cristalina, Columbia, Eldon Turnidge received the vision for a Haitian vocational bible school. Turnidge shared the vision with OMS missionary David Graffenberger, who along with Marilyn Murphy (now Shaferly) and Gaudin Charles, founded Emmaus Vocational Bible School in 1967 in Vaudreil, Haiti, outside of Cap-Haitien. Graffenberger was EVBS’s first director.
After many years of successful training of Haitians for bi-vocational ministry, EVBS closed as a vocational school in 2001. It reopened the next year in August 2001 as Emmaus Biblical Seminary and focused exclusively on theological education. Dr. Bill Cooper was appointed as the newly-renamed Seminary’s first president.
In 2006, land was purchased 5 miles to the east in Saccenville and construction began on a new seminary campus. Construction was completed in 2009 and the campus was officially dedicated in January of 2010, the Monday before the earthquake that struck Port-au-Prince. Classes began to be held on the new campus later that spring. Dr. Bryan Easley was appointed president beginning July of 2010. Dr. Matt Ayars, who had served as Seminary Vice-Rector, followed as the seminary’s president in July of 2012.
In 2015, the Seminary, in partnership with Indiana Wesleyan University, offered its first graduate degree, the Master of Christian Education.
In 2017, the Seminary’s enrollment topped 100 theological students for the first time and, after several years of self-study and strategic development, EBS applied for full accreditation to the Caribbean Evangelical Theological Association, the regional arm of the International Council on Theological Education, a globally recognized accrediting agency for international Christian theological education. The Seminary became fully accredited with CETA in January of 2018. In November 2018, the Seminary board approved the change of name to Emmaus University.