Click here to return to Messiah College's homepage
Philadelphia Campus


Cross-Cultural Options


There are two ways to complete the Messiah College Cross-Cultural requirement at the Philadelphia Campus:

  1. A semester-long course offered every fall and spring: URBS 260 Philadelphia Urban Cross-Cultural. Click here for course description.
  2. 2. May-term course offered every spring: IDCC 260 M-term Philadelphia Urban Cross-Cultural.


2014 MCPC Philadelphia Cross-Cultural Application Packet

May Term 2014 application deadline March 31, 2014


May Term Cross-Cultural- May 21-June 8, 2014

May Term students should consider their time in Philadelphia as if it were an international cross-cultural trip. Students are expected to attend all classes, community engagement and other activities which take place every day of the 19 day experience. No make-up work will be provided for students for any absence other than death in the family.


General Course Description
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 composed of two sections: 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, which will explore the relationship between each group'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 opportunities to develop relational skills with someone of a different ethnicity.


Living in Philadelphia
MCPC consists of five 19th century row houses located just two miles north of City Hall. Students will live together on-campus to emphasize the value of our living-learning environment.


In honor of the cross-cultural experience, we ask that students bring minimal belongings for their three-week stay. Most necessities are provided for the student, so it is important to bring only those personal belongings that are necessary. Also, because students will be relying upon public transportation throughout the May Term course, and because parking is difficult in our part of the city, students are asked to leave their personal vehicles at home.


Daily meals will be served at the Temple University cafeteria, located just across the street from our campus. Students will also have the opportunity to engage in culture by sampling a variety of ethnic foods during the May Term Program.


What to Expect
Students will be asked to prepare for the course by completing readings before arriving in Philadelphia.


Through community engagement and guest speakers, students will interact with a variety of people groups that live, relate and think differently than the dominant culture. It is important that students arrive with humility, openness and sensitivity to these differences.


Students will be exposed to new methods of development, education, change and organization that are distinct to the urban environment.


Students should not plan any personal activities during these three weeks of the May Term program. This is an intensive program that requires participation on weekdays as well as weekends. Plans may not be made to go home, have friends visit, or attend other activities during that time.


This course is to be viewed like any other cross-cultural trip. It is a full immersion into America's urban environment.


Registration Information

Students must submit a Philadelphia cross-cultural application to Natalia Gladwin by the designated application deadline.


Tuition Information
Tuition for Full-Time Students: For students who are already paying full-time tuition for the spring semester at Messiah College, there is no additional charge for the Philadelphia May Term Course. If you are registering a credit overload (more than 18 credits) students will be billed according to the per credit hour rate indicated in the Messiah College Schedule of Fees.

Tuition for Part-Time Students: If you participate in May Term as a part-time load, you will be charged Messiah's per credit hour rate for 3 credit hours.


Other Costs:

Room and Board and Other Fee: All students will be assessed a program fee of $950 to cover the cost of housing, meals, public transportation and various city outings.

Click here to Apply to attend Messiah's Philly campus
Click here to be part of MCPC in action!
Click here to view the Philly Campus blog
Visit the Broad Street Journal Online