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Get Involved

Get Involved

Get Involved

Who is joining the Collaboratory? 

The Collaboratory provides opportunities for

  • Students to put Christian faith into action through creative, hands-on problem solving and the application of their academic studies.  
  • Professionals to serve the role of a teacher and player-coach, developing student leaders while also making hands-on professional contributions in their field of expertise.  
  • Alumni to contribute as financial investors or professional consultants, either by coming on campus or through distance advising technology.  
  • Partners to benefit from the work of members while contributing to the professional and spiritual growth of our members.  
  • Investors to put their values of investing in the next generation and empowering the poor into practice.  

Collaboratory get involved

Why are we the Collaboratory?

We are the Collaboratory because we collaborate, but for us collaboration is more than students, professionals, and organizations working together.  In the Collaboratory, those served are also our partners.  Service in the Collaboration begins with an attitude of humility that expects to receive more than it can give.  Because God is at work everywhere and in every culture, we expect to learn both from our work and through relationship with those served.

For Students

Why Collab?

Students in the Collaboratory are workers and leaders on project teams that connect their area of study to Christian faith and service.  We use what we are learning in our courses to help real people in our region and around the world, people counting on us to provide imaginative solutions to their pressing problems.  Our clients also serve us as friends, through generous sharing of cultural resources, and often as co-laborers with Christ.

What Members Do

  • Serve locally and internationally in Jesus' name.
  • Work on projects: plan, design, testing, implementation.
  • Lead groups, projects, and site teams.
  • Meet weekly for a time of worship and Christian discipleship.
  • Live the gospel in life, word and deed.

Student Roles

There are three roles of participants in the Collaboratory:

Visitor/Observer: A visitor/observer is the Collaboratory's first tier of involvement. These participants have attended either a discipleship meeting, project meeting, or both, but are not yet regularly assigned project tasks to complete. This role allows students to explore if the Collaboratory is something that they want to be involved in and gives them an idea of which project they may want to join. Students can get involved by selecting one of our four discipleship meetings held at 6 PM on Monday nights in Frey 143, Frey 150, Frey 243, and Frey 349. Immediately following the discipleship meetings, members split into their project meetings and visitors are welcome to observe teams from a variety of projects.

Intern: An intern in the Collaboratory contributes regularly to a project and completes weekly project tasks. There are both creditbearing and non-creditbearing internships with the Collaboratory. The Collaboratory partners with the Department of Engineering to provide each Messiah engineering student with a credit-bearing internship on a Collaboratory project. Typically, these internships are completed during the spring and fall semesters of a student's junior and senior year and students are assigned a letter grade at the end of each semester. Students from outside the department of engineering are welcome to participate in the Collaboratory as interns (non-creditbearing) by attending weekly project meetings and regularly completing assigned tasks. 

Member: A member of the Collaboratory serves in the Collaboratory by regularly completing project tasks and attending weekly discipleship meetings and fellowship events. Students participating as members in the Collaboratory are those that are most highly invested in the Collaboratory's mission. Frequently, these students serve as leaders at various levels in the organization. By participating in the Collaboratory as a member, students receive: 

  • Service Learning Credit - Given by the Agape Center, this appears as a zero-credit course on a student's transcript to certify their involvement as a member of the Collaboratory.
  • Chapel Credit - By regularly attending weekly discipleship meetings and contributing to a weekly task on a Collaboratory project, Collaboratory members will receive 7 chapel credits from College Ministries. Please know that only Collaboratory members are eligible to receive these credits and it does not directly correlate to the number of meetings a student attends (i.e. - attending 3 discipleship meetings does not mean that you will receive 3 chapel credits). 

How to Join

To join, please visit us for a discipleship or project meeting held every Monday night at 6 PM in Frey 143, Frey 150, Frey 243, and Frey 349. All four of the meetings cover the same curriculum, but are facilitated by different leaders and house various projects. Once there, a Collaboratory member will direct you to projects you may be interested in and record your visit! 

If you have additional questions about the Collaboratory or how you might get involved, please feel free to contact the Student Director at 

What Students Are Saying

Dan Barlow 09'

Engineering Major, Water Group
My Collaboratory project taught me a lot about what it means to serve and use your gifts. It really had a huge impact on my idea of what it means to serve, just sacrificing what little we could and trusting God to take that and do something extraordinary with it. Looking back what we did was small in many ways. Watching God take that and expand it into something incredible, that means a lot to people here and people there at the same time, has been an awesome experience.

For Professionals

Why Collab?

Collaboratory volunteers are educators, alumni and friends who partner with students at Messiah College on projects that enable them to use their gifts and professional abilities in service to Christ.  The great accomplishments of every generation are almost always the work of students: people able to pay attention to and learn from others.

Our volunteers mentor the next generation of servant leaders for the church while also making hands-on professional contributions to projects.  Faculty members who advise in the Collaboratory also have opportunity to contribute to their teaching, scholarship and institutional service goals for term tenure and promotion.

Collaboratory advisors

What Professionals Do

  •  Serve locally and internationally in Jesus' name.
  •  Share leadership with students of groups, projects, and site teams.
  •  Work on projects: plan, design, testing, implementation.
  •  Meet weekly for a time of worship and Christian discipleship.
  •  Live the gospel in life, word and deed.

    What is Shared Leadership?

    Professionals sharing leadership with students is a core strategy for mentoring and Christian discipleship in the Collaboratory. This model allows professionals to empower students to make choices and learn from mistakes, while also working to protect the interests of our clients.  These individuals aim to work themselves out of a job by developing student leaders to assume increasing responsibility, and transfer authority commensurate with the students' maturity and ability.

    Please contact the Director to learn more about volunteering with the Collaboratory:

    Dr. David Vader
    Director of the Collaboratory
    Messiah College
    One College Avenue, Suite 3034
    Mechanicsburg, PA 17055
    717-796-1800 ext. 2630

    For Partners

    Why be a Partner of the Collaboratory?

    Clients are organizations that empower the poor, promote justice for the oppressed, reconcile adversaries, and care for the earth.  Collaboratory projects are a response to goals articulated by our clients.  We specialize in long-term partnerships that enable repeat Collaboratory teams to understand local contexts and reduce the logistical support burden on our clients.  Client organizations receive a tangible and sustainable benefit while also contributing to the professional and spiritual growth of a new generation of servant-leaders for church and society.Collaboratory for organizations Brian Nejmeh

    What Partners Do

      • Receive a tangible and sustainable contribution toward the goals of the client organization
      • Give back to the mission of Messiah College by enabling students to live out their Christian faith through projects that also engage their academic disciplines.
      • Support Collaboratory project team members as they seek to understand local culture, the church, and what God is already doing among those served.
      • Provide in-country logistical support, including housing and in-country travel arrangements, for individuals and teams who visit to complete project work.
      • Recognize the risks and limitations of working with students, including potential delays due to inexperience and the academic calendar.

      How are Collaboratory projects funded?

      Client organizations share responsibility with the Collaboratory for funding projects.  Student travel costs are often raised by Collaboratory participants while capital costs are often provided through the development staff of the client organization.  Research and development funds for project have been made available through our clients, the Collaboratory, and third parties.

      Collaboratory Partners

      Client organizations of the Collaboratory have included:

      • Brethren in Christ Church – Zambia
      • CURE International
      • ECHO
      • I-TEC
      • Hope International
      • Joshua Farm
      • Mission Aviation Fellowship
      • SIM
      • SymBionyx Foundation
      • World Vision

      Please contact the Program Manager to learn more about partnering with the Collaboratory:

      Rodney Green
      Program Manager of the Collaboratory
      Messiah College
      One College Avenue, Suite 3034
      Mechanicsburg, PA 17055
      717-796-1800 ext. 7226

      Information on Get Involved