As a hub for service-learning at Messiah College,
the Agapé Center for Service and Learning develops, administers resources, and coordinates programs of service-learning, community service, and missions. It contributes to the mission of Messiah College to "educate men and women toward maturity of intellect, character, and Christian faith in preparation for lives of service, leadership, and reconciliation in church and society." Students, faculty, and staff work with community-based partners in local, national, and international settings to address community needs, to provide holistic learning opportunities for students, and to encourage students toward an ethic of discipleship, service, and civic engagement.
This is embodied by:
- Supporting faculty in developing and/or re-designing courses to incorporate service-learning
- Cultivating reciprocity and mutuality with community partners
- Providing committed and trained students to work at significant community issues through authentic community agencies
- Encouraging and equipping students to become servant leaders
- Providing significant learning opportunities that provide reflection
- Embodying a holistic theology that incorporates word and deed
- Integrating reconciliation and working for righteousness and justice throughout our programs
- Challenging students to embrace a lifelong "vocation" of discipleship and service in their occupations, churches, communities, and world.
Service-Learning is a rapidly expanding movement within American higher education. It is a type of pedagogy that intentionally integrates academic learning with community service in a credit-bearing acadmic course. This programming at Messiah has led to exciting opportunities for students and faculty to engage in service within the local community and abroad to receive experiential and contextualized learning experiences.
Learn more about Service-Learning here.
The Agape Center employs different types of partnership within our various programs. Below are the four different categories of partnership used:
1. Long-term Partners
These are partners that the Agape Center has chosen to work with on an ongoing annual basis. These partnerships are vetted based on mission-fit, practice, and mutual reciprocity. Examples include our Outreach Community Partners and the Fellowship House annual visits in Service Trips.
2. Occasional Partners
These are partners that the Agape Center regularly utilizes, but there is not a clear expectation that we will partner every year. Examples of this include the Center for Student Mission in Service Trips, and our Plunge Day partners for Service Day.
3. One time (event-based) Partners
These partners are brought on for specific events or programs with the Agape Center. They are used as often as needed, but are situational with no expectation that it will be long-term partnership. Examples include HRA bringing in the Enough Project or WCF Salt and Light speakers.
4. Resource Partners
These partners that the Agape Center uses for resources on different topics and issues. They provide us with not only speakers or trainers, but articles, books, videos, and shorts, etc. that we use to facilitate dialogue on campus. Examples include WCF's utilization of Mennonite Central Committee, or HRA using International Justice Mission.