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The Agapé Center for Service and Learning


President's Interfaith & Community Service Campus Challenge


    Since his inauguration, President Obama has emphasized interfaith cooperation and community service way to build relationships between different communities. Interfaith service impacts the needs of specific community challenges while also building civility and social capital. The White House is encouraging institutions of higher education to make a vision for interfaith cooperation a reality on campuses across the country. American colleges, universities, community colleges, seminaries, and rabbinical schools have often played a role on the forefront of these challenges and are thus the ones engaging the efforts once again.

    The White House launched the President's Interfaith and Community Service Campus Challenge to invite institutions of higher education to commit to a year of interfaith cooperation and community service programming on campus.


Messiah's Plan


"As students at Messiah College we are learning to articulate our own faith, but the Interfaith & Community Service Campus Challenge encourages us to do more, to learn how others are putting their own story together in our shared community. Service is an opportunity to cultivate new relationships and beginnings towards a cause greater than ourselves."

-Morgan Lee, '12


Messiah College continues to encourage and promote three campus-wide days of community service, add an inter-religious service component to certain first-year seminar classes, and continue the dialogue at the biannual National Faith-Based Service-Learning Conference held in June. This year we will be connecting with campuses across the nation to unite different communities together for the betterment of our local society.


Upcoming Events

Messiah College students regularly serve at New Hope Ministries (Mechanicsburg), which has welcomed Somali refugees. The children and their families, who primarly come from a Muslim tradition, fully engage in the programs and community at New Hope Ministries.



The Gathering offers an opportunity for students, staff, and administrators to share experiences, learn from experts, and meet administration officials who share a commitment to community service with an interfaith engagement component. The event is designed to be helpful to institutions of higher education that are just beginning programs in interfaith/community service and those with long traditions in this work. An important part of the program is celebrating all the work that is happening on campuses across the country to provide students with opportunities to develop lifelong skills in interfaith cooperation and community service. Participants will have opportunities to tell stories about what is happening on their campus, learn about best practices, and celebrate ongoing work so that they will return to their campus inspired to take the President’s Interfaith and Community Service Campus Challenge to the next level.

Third Annual President’s Interfaith and Community Service Campus Challenge National Gathering

Monday, Sept 23trd, 2013,1pm.-6pm.,

Tuesday, Sept 24th, 2013, 9.30am.-3.30pm., Georgetown University


Led by George Pickens and Bernardo Michael

Meet in Hostetter Chapel 113 on Thursdays during chapel time (9:30 to 10:15).  Please note the following dates of our meetings and the pages of the book which will be the focus of our discussion.


September 19:  Introduction and pp. 3-40

November 14: pp. 41-87

February 20:  pp. 88-128

March 27: pp. 129-172

COE Book Discussion on Sacred Ground by Eboo Patel

Sept. 19th - Mar. 27th, 2013




For more information, contact David Messner at or 717-770-0462.




Network of Local Interfaith Groups in PA

  • Philadelphia Area Jobs with Justice, Philadelphia
    (908) 418-5935, Gwen Snyder
  • Labor-Religion Coaliition of Western PA, Pittsburgh
    (412) 361-4793, Fr. Jack O'Malley