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Philadelphia Campus




2012 - 2013 and 2013 - 2014

Course Schedule and Descriptions


General Education Courses:


Please Note:  The curriculum requirements for MCPC are that a student must take at least 3 credit hours of MCPC classes.  If a student is taking an internship, then the student is required to take at least 1 credit hour more of MCPC classes.


URBS306/IDSD306 Urban Issues and Ethical Choices (3 credits) Fall 2012 / Fall 2013

Tuesdays 4:30-7:30 PM

Ryan Gladwin


This course studies ethical interpretations of and responses to global urban conditions caused by economic impoverishment, political disenfranchisement, and social and cultural marginalization. Special attention is dedicated to questions concerning the formation of Christian ethics and community as well as individual and communal obligations to confront realities of systemic injustice in the urban setting. The City of Philadelphia is used as a context from which to reflect on challenges such as poverty, racism, economic development, geopolitics, environmental policy, public health, education, housing, criminal justice, and welfare reform. [Satisfies the General Education requirement in "Engaging the Pluralistic World."]


URBS319/THEO225 Practical Theology of the Urban Church (3 credits) Spring 2013 / Spring 2014

Tuesdays 4:30-7:30 PM

Ryan Gladwin


This course studies how Christian beliefs and institutions have been shaped by and help to direct community life within urban locations. Course content focuses on current methods and skills of urban church ministry, community organizing, and social change within the city. Emphasis will be on the participant's own experience and discernments, resulting in some creative expression of how to build the church for the next generations. [Satisfies the General Education requirement in "Christian Beliefs."]


IDST300 Eco-Urban Footprints of Post Metropolis Life: Examining Natural and Social Ecologies of Philadelphia (3 credits)

Fall 2012 and Fall 2013 / Spring 2013 and Spring 2014

Thursdays 4:30-7:30 PM

Ryan Gladwin


This course studies urban landscapes as hybrid phenomena that emerge from an integral relationship between human and ecological processes. Urban ecosystems of the Philadelphia metropolitan area are viewed as the outcome of complex interactions between socio-economic and bio-physical systems in which humans have been and continue to be the dominant agents of change. It is suggested that urban spatial patterns can be better understood by describing the unique relationship between land-use and land-cover as ecological footprints in post-metropolis landscapes. Students examine alternative development patterns within this urban landscape and assess and measure various effects on natural and social conditions within the neighborhoods of North-Central Philadelphia. Students will learn and use various techniques of analysis (including the use of Geographic Information Systems) in specific community-based research projects. Attention will be given to strategizing new forms of urban living that are conducive to ecological sustainability. [Satisfies the General Education requirement in "Science, Technology and the World."]



URBS260 Philadelphia Urban Cross-Cultural

(1 Credit) Fall 2012 and Fall 2013 / Spring 2013 and Spring 2014
Wednesdays 2:00-2:50 PM
Judy Walterson

This cross-cultural course deals with the theory and practice of navigating and interpreting the complex social context of the urban landscape with a special emphasis on North-Central Philadelphia.  The city serves as an important setting for developing transferable skills in cross-cultural examination, understanding and practice.  The course allows you to study in a culture other than your own, and will help you develop and refine skills in cross-cultural observation to better assimilate to your current culture and other cultures you will experience in the future.  It employs North Philadelphia as text and context for studying larger multi-ethnic realities and dynamics within American society and the world at large.  Thus, the city itself is engaged through participatory observation as a microcosm of these larger worlds.  The course includes a 3 hour weekly service learning requirement, in addition to the 1 hour weekly seminar class.  [Satisfies the General Education Cross-Cultural requirement in place of a third language course].



IDCC260 Philadelphia Urban Cross-Cultural

(3 Credits) May Term 2013 and 2014
Judy Walterson

This course is designed to provide students with the theory and practice of interpreting the complex social context of urban landscapes.  It is our intention to increase appreciation for, and understanding of, city life and the variety of cultures it contains.  The North Philadelphia community is rich with social diversity and provides a wonderful setting for students to learn how to navigate a new and unfamiliar environment.  More specifically, this course will present a focus on the urban experience of African Americans, Asian Americans, and Latino/a Americans.  Our engagement in the life of the city will include classroom work such as readings, group discussion, videos and guest speakers.  We will also experience the city through walking tours, site visitations, volunteer projects, museums, field trips and more.


The in-class component of this program is comprised of a Core and a Cohort.  All students attend the morning Core section together, which will explore concepts of culture (ethnicity, race, economics, education, etc.) through a Biblical perspective.  In general, the Core will discuss the cross-cultural relationships and dynamics of diversity and pluralism in the urban setting.  The second portion of the morning class will consist of a Cohort section.  Students will divide among culture specific cohort groups and will explore the relationship between each culture's urban experience and our own urban engagement through service work and course activities in the city.  To enhance in-class learning, students will spend each afternoon at a social organization or church that reflects the experience of either African Americans, Asian Americans, or Latino/a Americans.  This field service gives students hands-on experience with a specific ethnic group and provides them with opportunity to develop relational skills with someone of a different ethnicity. [Satisfies the General Education Cross-Cultural requirement in place of a third language course].


Contextual Learning Courses:


URBS310 Urban Field Experience (3 Credits)

Fall 2012 and Fall 2013 / Spring 2013 and Spring 2014

Wednesdays 2:00-2:50 PM

Judy Walterson

This service-learning field experience course focuses on the urban setting. Students accomplish at least 90 hours of service work during the semester in a field placement, meet in a weekly seminar and complete assignments designed to integrate a student's academic interests, knowledge, and skills with field work. Please note that travel expenses to the field placement are the student's responsibility and may need to be considered before registering for this course. [Satisfies the General Education Cross-Cultural requirement in place of a third language course].



INTE391/394/395 Internship and Monthly or Weekly Seminar (4-12 credits)

Fall 2012 and Fall 2013 / Spring 2013 and Spring 2014
Judy Walterson

Internships represent a learning strategy that integrates practical work experience with a directed, reflective, academic component to help you develop personal, professional and academic competencies. You will be using the workplace as a starting point for study; however, you will need to go beyond the common experiences of an employee. Study, reasoning, reflection, theoretical and/or conceptual exploration supplement your work experience to help you develop new skills and knowledge. To register for an internship, contact the Internship Center.


Temple University Course Options

Go to to view course descriptions for courses offered through Messiah's Philadelphia Campus in partnership with Temple University. Temple's course schedule is available at


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