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The Agapé Center for Service and Learning

Service Day General Guidelines




The entire Messiah College community will be eligible to participate in Service Day. This will encourage interaction among staff, faculty, administrators and students.


While participation is not mandatory, all students who do not have off-campus academic work (internships, student teaching, etc.) are expected to participate. Classes will be cancelled and many academic support areas will be closed (see list below). Students in work-study positions who are scheduled to work during Service Day will determine with their supervisor if they can make up hours at a different time. Students who want to serve and can be freed from their work-study responsibilities, but cannot make up the hours at a different time, will be compensated if they served during Service Day (please discuss with work-study supervisor prior to Service Day). For some work-study students, participation will not be possible due to their essential role.


Community of Educators
While participation is not mandatory, all members of the Community of Educators are expected to participate. Classes will be cancelled; many campus-wide offices will be closed. Department and committee meetings should be rescheduled.


While participation is not mandatory, staff are welcome to participate depending upon their work assignment and in consultation with their supervisor. For some staff, participation will not be possible due to their essential role at the College. For others, work schedules will be adjusted and services reduced to make participation possible. Specific details will need to be worked out between staff and their supervisors. Staff who participate in service activities during regular work hours will be compensated as if they were doing regular work.


Service Locations


Other than Special Olympics, most service activities will occur off campus and will relate to local agencies and programs. Locations will include programs which are church related as well as secular, governmental and private, rural and urban. The following criteria will be used to select service sites:


  • The activity will provide both a needed service for the agency and a meaningful experience for participants.
  • The mission and approach of the agency is consistent with the philosophy of Messiah College.
  • The assignments provide opportunity for participants to interact with local people.
  • The agency has an ongoing relationship with Messiah College or a College employee.
  • The organization can provide strong local coordination and supervision.




Classes which fall between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. will be canceled on Service Day. Evening classes will not be canceled. If Special Olympics are postponed due to rain, classes will operate on Thursday, and Service Day will be held on the following week on Thursday. All employees and students will be asked to arrange their class and work schedules accordingly. Updates regarding weather or rescheduling will be available on the College Hotline (691-6084) and the college website.


Where possible, a learning component will be included. This might include an introduction to the purpose and program of the agency, an introduction to the need the agency serves, an introduction to the community, or other exducational components.


Administration Service Day

Administration Service Day will be administered by the Agapé Center and coordinated by the Local Community Service Director. The Service Day Student Committee will provide general direction and coordination with various segments of campus.


Activities will be organized to begin after 8:00 am and end by 4:00 pm. Efforts will be made to plan activities to fit this schedule. Transportation will be coordinated by the college and will include college vehicles, contracted buses or vans, and private cars. Arrangements will be made to provide meals for students on meal plans.

Project Approval

Efforts will be made to work with current groups and organizations on campus to facilitate recruitment and to implement service activities. If groups do not already include staff, faculty, students and administrators, they will be asked to include representatives from all groups to encourage a mix of participants. Groups organizing a service activity for Service Day must communicate their intent to the Agapé Center by set deadline.

Philadelphia Campus

The Philly Campus will participate in Service Day in a way that fits their situation. Because Temple classes will not be cancelled, the Philly Campus will plan activities in the spirit of Service Day, but most likely these activities will occur on a different day.

Special Olympics

Service Day will coincide with Special Olympics and will be planned to complement Special Olympics activities. Special Olympics can accommodate up to 1200 volunteers. Planning for service activities will be for an additional 800 persons in other types of activities will be pursued for a total anticipated participation of between 1800-2000.


The Local Community Service Programs budget will cover some of the expense. Other financial support will be provided through existing programs, special contributions and from corporate sponsorship. Messiah College will respect and not intrude upon the funding relationships currently used by Special Olympics.




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