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Volume 99, Number 1

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20 Ways Messiah College is making the world a better place (continued)


16. Faith is what the doctor ordered

Bob Snyder ’72, biology and pre-med

Founder and president of International Health Services,

Valley Forge, Pennsylvania

A Philadelphia emergency-medical physician for many years, Bob Snyder is serious about the impact of faith on health. “Sixty to eighty percent of studies show a positive relationship” between a person’s faith commitment and overall health," he says, which is why Snyder’s medical mission, International Health Services, teaches physicians around the world to appropriately integrate their Christian faith into their medical practices.


17. Educators help shape national dialogue on family matters

Department of Human Development and Family Science, Messiah College

For nearly nine consecutive years, Messiah faculty members have served on the board of the National Council on Family Relations. Consequently, says department chair Raeann Hamon, a past board member, “Messiah’s faculty have had the privilege of helping to lead the organization as it attempts to fulfill its mission to enrich family life via its annual conference, respected journals, and establishment of professional standards.” Other professors involved include Robert Reyes, who is currently serving, and Debra Berke, who will begin her term in the fall.


18. Dynamic church’s grace-filled message attracts thousands

Tim Day ’88, family studies

Pastor, The Meeting House, Ontario 

A multi-site church based in Ontario, The Meeting House has grown from 200 to 4,000 attendees in about eight years. Its weekly podcasts ( claim anywhere from the most to the third-most listeners in Canada among all topics on religion and spirituality.

“People are responding to the church’s message because it changes lives,” says senior pastor Tim Day, who believes individuals become self-protective, feeling that they or others have to measure up to an externally imposed standard if a relationship with God is rules-based rather than grace-based.

“We’re struggling to learn the grace of God from the inside out,” he says. Members “stare into the teachings of Jesus with a new focus,” addressing the need for life-change not only for the prodigal son, but also for his older brother. “If you talk about both, you pretty much get everybody,” Day says.

Students in Philadelphia gather data


19. Student research helps revitalize urban neighborhoods

Messiah College Philadelphia Campus

As part of an urban ecology course at Messiah College Philadelphia Campus, students conduct research that’s used to obtain funding to revitalize neighborhoods throughout Philadelphia. For example, data collected by students on demographics and on past uses of vacant lots and open spaces helps the Urban Tree Connection develop appropriate after-school ecology programs for children (left).


20. Statewide educator fights childhood obesity 

Cheryl Oberholser ’98, dietetics

Nutrition education and

training coordinator, Pennsylvania Department of Education

Risk factors for heart disease and diabetes, often caused by obesity, are becoming more common at younger ages, explains dietitian Cheryl Oberholser, who holds a master’s degree in nutrition. She addresses childhood obesity by helping to administrate statewide nutrition education programs for school students: “It’s exciting to hear about children who are learning about nutrition through these programs and making positive changes in their eating habits,” she says.



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