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Philadelphia Campus

Guided Discovery Program


As a student living in the heart of North-Central Philadelphia, each time you leave your residence the world is yours to discover. It is one thing to read about cultural diversity. It is entirely different to live in the midst of an inter-ethnic, multilingual and religiously plural community. Visiting the city for a day or a weekend is tourism; becoming a resident, attending a local church, learning public transportation, and building relationships is inhabitation. In short, the Guided Discovery Program is a performance art--it is the difference between reading a Shakespeare play in a classroom and actually producing it on stage. Faculty and staff at the Philadelphia Campus strive to guide you in your exploration of the city so that it becomes educationally purposeful and develops and nurtures you as an urban-oriented servant leader.


GDP Core Values


  • Christian Vocation - Love of God and neighbor orients all of one's life and activities as a form of stewardship and cooperation with God in the ongoing work of creation and redemption
  • Learning Community - A collaborative community of scholar-learners contextualizes inter-disciplinary inquiry and instruction within an urban residential college
  • Community Engagement - Structured, experiential, practical, and applied learning provides real-world contexts to interpret cognitive and conceptual learning
  • Intercultural Immersion - Committed participation and compassionate engagement with the multiethnic communities of North Philadelphia and Temple University
  • Collaborative Partnership - Mutuality and reciprocity characterize relationships between MCPC and the surrounding neighborhood, civic, faith, and university communities of North Philadelphia


As an intentional framework for your educational experience in the city, the Guided Discovery Program is exercised through two major programs: Community Gathering and Immersion Weekends.


Community Gatherings:

Every Monday evening, following our common meal, we take part in the long-standing MCPC tradition of a Community Gathering. This Gathering can take on any number of shapes throughout the semester. Some weeks we invite friends from our neighborhood to speak to us on topics and issues relevant to our present living environment.


We have many community partners who are highly committed to our students and are excited to share with us each semester about the work they are doing in the city. Other times, students will organize an evening of worship through music, art, communion and reflection. Local musicians come and share their music with us. MCPC alumni return to encourage students to utilize their Philadelphia experience. And at other times, our Gathering functions as a town hall meeting, allowing us to reflect on the semester or share our experiences and concerns amongst ourselves. Essentially, Community Gathering is a foundational practice of our Guided Discovery Program, which is meant to give students perspective on the ways that we as Christians can live out our faith in the urban context.


Guided Discover Program


The Guided Discovery Program is a performance art-- it is the difference between reading a Shakespeare play in a classroom and actually producing it on stage.


Immersion Weekends:


This weekend is meant to introduce you to MCPC, Temple University, and the basic workings of the city. You will also get to know your fellow residents through various activities and meals, as well as a community service opportunity.


Common Text
As part of our common learning, all students will read a common text together that focuses on the urban context through a Christian perspective. A different text is chosen each semester. It is our pleasure to invite the author of our common text to join us on campus to engage us as we discuss the text in more detail. It also includes further city exploration and relationship-building.


Semester Celebration
At the end of the semester we reflect on and celebrate our time together as a community. This weekend includes various showcases of students' talent and works, and testimonies about how students' time in the city informed their lives. Celebration Weekend also includes our very own Spring Fling or Christmas Tradition event in which students from Main Campus can participate.


Throughout each semester, there are several Guided Discovery Program related events. Check out our current Calendar of Events!


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