Thomas J. Meyers

Associate Academic Dean
Director of International Education
Professor of Sociology
Goshen College
Goshen, IN  46526

PhD, Sociology, Boston University, May 1983
MA, Sociology, Boston University, May 1978
BA, Sociology, Goshen College, April 1975

Areas of Specialization
Amish, African Studies, Cross-National and Development Sociology,
Medical Sociology, International Education

Professional Experience

2003- present   Director of International Education
2003- present    Associate Academic Dean
1994-present    Professor of Sociology, Goshen College
1999-2000        Research Leave, Amish and Older Groups in Indiana Project
                        Funded by Lilly Foundation
1997                 Director: Study Service Term in Côte d' Ivoire, West Africa
1993-1994        Visiting Scholar, University of  Notre Dame
                         Visiting Professor, University of Nairobi; Kenya
                         Director: Study Service Term in Côte d' Ivoire, West Africa
1991-1993       Chair, Dept. of Sociology, Soc. Work & Anthropology
1986-1991       Associate Professor of Sociology, Goshen College
1987-1988        Director of Study Service Term in Guadeloupe, French West Indies
1983-1985        Assistant Professor of Sociology, Goshen College
1981-1982        Teacher, Sunnyside Amish School, Topeka, IN
1980-1981        National Center for Health Services Research, Doctoral Fellow
1977-1980        Teaching Fellow, Dept. of Sociology, Boston University

Papers and Presentations

Plain Diversity: Amish Cultures and Identities. with Steven Nolt. John Hopkins University Press. 2007.

An Indiana Patchwork: Old Order Amish in the Modern World. with Steven Nolt.   Indiana University Press, 2005.

Forward to Amish Life: Living Plainly and Serving God by Darryl D. Jones, with Steven Nolt. Indiana University Press, 2005.

“Education and Schooling” in The Amish and the State ed. by Donald Kraybill. Johns Hopkins University Press. 2003  Pp. 87-108.

Amish Tourism: "Visiting Shipshewana is better than going to the Mall", Mennonite Quarterly Review, Vol. LXXVII, No. 1, Jan. 2003, Pp. 109-126.

"Anabaptist, Mennonite and Amish Families", The International Encyclopedia of Marriage and Family Relationships, 2nd Edition. ed. by James J. Ponzetti. Macmillan. 2002.

“Mennonite Families: Characteristics and Trends”, with J. Howard Kauffman, Mennonite Quarterly Review, Vol.  LXXV, No. 2,  April 2001, Pp. 199-210.

“The Amish Division: A Review of the Literature.” Pp. 72-93. in Les Amish: origine et particularismes 1693-1993, ed. by Lydie Hege & Christophe Wiebe. Ingersheim, France: Association Francaise d’Histoire Anabaptiste-Mennonite. 1996.

“Lunch Pails and Factories”,  in The Amish Struggle with Modernity. ed. by Donald B. Kraybill and Marc A. Olshan. University Press of  New England. 1994. Pp. 165-181.

“The Old Order Amish: To Remain in the Faith or to Leave”, Mennonite Quarterly Review, Vol.  LXVIII, No. 3, July 1994  Pp. 378-395.

“Social Change in The Amish Communities of Northern Indiana”, in Internal and External Perspectives on Amish and Mennonite Life 4: Old and New World Anabaptists Studies on the Language, Culture, Society and Health of the Amish and Mennonites ed. by James Dow,Werner Enninger & Joachim Raith.  University of Essen & Iowa State University. 1994 Pp. 10-20.

“Education and Schooling” in The Amish and the State ed. by Donald Kraybill. Johns Hopkins University Press. 1993  Pp. 87-108.

 “Old Order Amish”, “New Order Amish”, in Vol. 5 of the Mennonite Encyclopedia, 1991, Pp. 20-22; 625.

“Population Growth and its Consequences in the Elkhart-Lagrange Old Order Amish Settlements”, Mennonite Quarterly Review, Vol. LXV, No. 2, July 1991, Pp. 308-321.

“Amish People” Junge Gemeinde, (European Youth Periodical) July 1990, Pp. 8-9.

“Response to Sectarianism and the Sect Cycle”, in Anabaptist-Mennonite Identities in Ferment, eds. Leo Dreidger & Leland Harder, Institute of Mennonite Studies, Elkhart, In. 1990: 84-90.

“The Amish: A Puzzling Ethnic Minority,” Southwest University of Science and Technology, Mianyang, People’s Republic of China, Sept. 27, 2007

Patterns of Diversity Among Indiana’s Amish, The Amish in America:
New Identities and Diversities Conference, Elizabethtown College, Elizabethtown, Pa. June 7-9, 2007

“School Shootings, the Amish, and Education: What Kinds of Environments Develop Kindness and a Willingness to Forgive?”, with Shirley Showalter, Uncovering the Heart of Higher Education, San Francisco, Feb. 24, 2007

“Amish Youth in the World: Law Enforcement,” with Steven Nolt at Amish Youth Vision Project Fall Conference, Shipshewana, In., Oct..12-13, 2006

“Overview of Amish Culture,” with Steven Nolt at Amish Youth & The Law Conference, Shipshewana, In., April 20, 2005

“Amish in Indiana.” American Association of Teachers of German, Indiana Conference, Shipshewana, In., April 15, 2005   

Amish Tourism: Visiting Shipshewana is better than going to the Mall” Amish, Old Orders, and the Media Conference, Elizabethtown College, Elizabethtown, Pa. June 15, 2001

SST: A Paradigm Shift at Goshen College”, The Goshen College Study-Service Term Abroad, A Network Exchange Conference of the Lilly Fellows Program. Goshen College, Oct. 26, 2000

“International Service-Learning as Focal Point of Curriculum”,  with Stuart Showalter, Strengthening Service-Learning at Faith-Based Colleges, Messiah College, Grantham, PA. June 3, 2000

“Mennonite Families: Characteristics and Trends”, with J. Howard Kauffman,     Mennonites and the Family. Goshen College, Oct. 15, 1999

“Community Organization, Work and Social Change”, Extension Education in Amish       and Other Anabaptist Communities, Michigan State, Ohio State and Purdue University, April 22, 1998, Shipshewana, Indiana

“What Works Best When Teaching About Africa?”, Bringing Africa into the College Classroom,  Indiana Consortium for International Programs/Indiana University African Studies Program. Abe Martin Lodge, Brown Co. State Park, Oct. 25, 1997

“American Culture”, Univ. of Abidjan, Ivory Coast, West Africa, Jan. 27, 1997    

“The Amish Division: A Review of the Literature”, Colloque international: 300e anniversaire du mouvement amish 1693-1993, Sainte-Marie-aux-Mines, France. Aug. 19, 1993

“Education and Schooling” and “Defection in the Elkhart-Lagrange Settlement”, Three Hundred Years of Persistance and Change, Amish Society 1693-1993, Elizabethtown College, Elizabethtown, Pa. July 22-25, 1993

“Amish History, Culture, Community Organization, Family, Schools and Social Change”, East Allen County School Administrators: In-Service. Ft. Wayne, IN,  June, 1993

“The Amish in Indiana Schools, Implications for Educators”, The Indiana Department of Education, Fall Forum, Amish Acres, Nov. 19, 1992
“Amish Culture”, Indiana Museum, Indianapolis, IN. Sept. 12, 1992

“Factors Effecting the Decision to Defect from the Amish”, American Sociological Association Meetings, Pittsburgh, Pa., August 1992

“The Amish and Mennonites Who Emerged from the Amish,” Sesquecentennial Meeting, Elkhart-Lagrange Counties, 1841-1991, Clinton Frame Mennonite Church, April 5, 1992

“Defection from the Amish”, American Anthropological Association Annual Meetings, Chicago, Illinois, Nov. 24, 1991.

“Amish History, Culture, Family Life and Education”, Indiana Department of Education, Indianapolis, IN, Aug. 19, 1991

“Social and Cultural Forces Effecting Mennonite Youth”, Presentation to Mennonite Guidance Counselors on    Feb. 4, 1991

“Population Growth and its Consequences in the Elkhart-Lagrange Old Order Amish Settlements”, American Anthropological Association, New Orleans, La. Nov. 28, 1990

“The Mennonites, Amish & Hutterites”, Presentation to Elderhostel at Manchester College, June 11, 1990

“Global Interconnections”, Challenges of Hope: Michiana Jobs and Prosperity in the 1990's, Recital Hall, Century Century, South Bend, Sept. 17, 1990

“Response to Sect Cycle Theory”, Invited paper at the Consultation on Church Member Profile II, AMBS, Nov. 11-12, 1988

“Sanctuary Case Study”, Invited paper at Conversations on Faith, Laurelville, PA, March 7-9, 1985

“The Old Order Amish of Northern Indiana from 1840 to 1984,” Invited paper at Indiana German Heritage Section of the Annual Indiana Historical Society Meetings, Nov. 3, 1984, Indianapolis Airport Hilton Inn.

“Amish Origins and Persistence: The Case of Agricultural Innovation”, Rural Sociological Society Meetings, Lexington, Kentucky, August 20, 1983

“Stress and the Amish Community in Transition, A Dissertation in Progress”, American Sociological Association Meetings, Toronto, Ontario, Aug. 26, 1981

Book Reviews

Writing the Amish: The Worlds of John A. Hostetler.  Mennonite Quarterly Review, Vol. LXXX, no. 4, Oct. 2006 , Pp. 706-708.

Strangers at Home: Amish and Mennonite Women in History; Garden Spot: Lancaster County, the Old Order Amish and the Selling of Rural America. The Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography. Oct. 2003

The Amish on the Iowa prairie 1840 to 1910, The Agricultural History Review, Volume 49, Part 2. December 2001.

America’s Amish Country II & Amish Children, Mennonite Quarterly Review, Vol. LXXV, no. 2, April 2001, Pp. 284-285.

An Introduction to Old Order and Conservative Mennonite Groups, Mennonite Quarterly Review, Vol. LXXI, no. 4, Oct.  1997

Amish Mennonites in Germany. Mennonite Quarterly Review, Vol. LXX, no. 3, July 1996, p. 359.

Coming Home. Mennonite Quarterly Review, Vol. LXVIII, no. 2, April 1994, Pp. 270-271.

The Mennonite Mosaic. Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion, 31 (4) Dec., 1992:549-50.

Tradition and Transition. Mennonite Quarterly Review, Vol. LXV, no. 4, October 1991, Pp. 462-463.

I Saw it in the Budget. Pennsylvania German Heritage. Vol. XIV. July 1991. P. 43.

Continuity and Change among the Old Order Amish of Illinois. Mennonite Quarterly Review, Vol. LXV, no. 2. April 1991, Pp. 221-222.

The Riddle of Amish Culture. Journal of Religion (Univ. of Chicago), April, 1991.

The Riddle of Amish Culture. Mennonite Quarterly Review, Vol. LXIV. 1990. Pp. 317-319.

Living Without Electricity. Mennonite Quarterly Review. Vol. LXIV. 1990. P. 444.

Why do They Dress That Way? Mennonite Quarterly Review, Vol. LXIII, 1989, p. 215.

The Amish in America: Settlements That Failed. Mennonite Quarterly Review, Vol. LXI. 1987, Pp. 337-338.

The Amish Across America, Mennonite Quarterly Review, Vol. LIX. 1985, p. 200.

Helping Networks and Human Services, Social Science and Medicine. Vol. 17. 1983. Pp. 1404-1405.

Responsibilities With Scholarly Journals and Societies

Book Review Editor and Board of Editors, Mennonite Quarterly Review

Board of Editors, Studies in Anabaptist and Mennonite History

Coeditor, Newsletter of the Association of Mennonite Sociologists and Anthropologists (1986-1993)

Grants and Fellowships

Lilly Foundation Grant – Amish and Older Groups in Indiana, with Steve Nolt
Multicultural Course Enrichment Grant, Goshen College, 1998
Indiana Consortium for International Programs, Faculty Exchange with the Univ. of Nairobi, 1993
Goshen College Faculty Research Grant, 1992-1993
Goshen College Faculty Research Grant, 1991-1992
Senior Teaching Fellowship, Boston University, 1982
Doctoral Dissertation Grant, National Center for Health Services Research, 1980-1981
Teaching Fellowships, Boston Unversity, 1977-1980

Research Consultant

Amish Youth Vision Project
Learning Grant Initiative, Elkhart and LaGrange County
Old Order Amish Hospital Plan, Goshen Hospital
Indiana Department of Education, (Amish children in public schools)
Elkhart County Planning Board, Millersburg Project
Jail Capacity Management Board, Goshen, IN
Greencroft Health Care Research Project, Goshen, IN
Family Support Program, Boston Indian Council, Boston, MA
Penobscot-Passamaquoddy Tribal Planning Board, Calais, ME


Courses Taught at Goshen College

SOC 200               Principles of Sociology
                              (Taught as Colloquium, Fall 88,89,90,91,94,95.96,97)
SOC 210               Marriage and Family
SOC 220               Principles of Anthropology
SOC 300               Human Sexuality
SOC 316               Amish, Hutterites and Mennonites
SOC 330               Family Systems
SOC 334               Race and Ethnic Relations
SOC 340               African Societies and Cultures
SOC 351               Amish/Old Order Groups
SOC 360               Medical Sociology
SOC 391               Methods of Social Research
SOC 392               Methods of Social Research
SOC 400               Advanced Readings
SOC 409               Sociology Practicum
SOC 410               Social Theory and Seminar
Director of Guadeloupe Study Service Term (5 Semesters)
Director of Ivory Coast Study Service Term  (2 Semesters)

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