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Early Chemistry Lab

Chemistry Lab

1909 – Messiah Bible School and Missionary Training Home is founded in the home of Samuel Roger Smith in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.


September 26, 1909 – Classes open as Messiah Bible School and Training Home.

  • Twelve students enrolled.
  • The school was originally designed to provide students with a high school diploma.
  • The primary focuses of the school included Biblical studies and missionary training.


1912 – Messiah Bible School and Missionary Training Home relocates to Grantham, Pennsylvania, where students and educators have more classroom space as well as a campus library, dining hall, and chapel.


1920 – First college-level courses are offered.


1946 – Messiah Bible College gains regional accreditation from the Pennsylvania State Council of Education.

  • Messiah set the bar, launching only the second program of its kind in Pennsylvania.
  • Messiah served as a leader in the junior college movement.


1950 – Messiah is authorized to offer a four-year Bachelor of Religious Education and a five-year Bachelor of Theology degree.


1954 – Pennsylvania State Council of Education approves Messiah’s Bachelor of Science degree in nursing.

  • Approval was granted in cooperation with the Harrisburg School of Nursing.


1959 – Home Economics program is afoot. Students must complete their final year of schooling in this program at Goshen College in Indiana.


1963 – Messiah gains provisional regional accreditation.

  • Messiah had originally been denied accreditation based on criticisms that included:
    • Upgrading the level of faculty training.
    • Improving faculty salaries.
    • Offering a greater depth of major.
    • Expanding the library.


1966 – Messiah earns complete regional accreditation.

  • Accreditation enhanced enrollment, enabled better methods of recruitment to be instituted and made it easier to obtain outside funds from various organizations to support the school.


1968 – The College forms a partnership with Temple University, and the Philadelphia Campus of Messiah is established.

  • This partnership left a historical imprint as it was the first joint venture between a religiously associated institution and a state-affiliated university.


1969 – At the forefront of the national movement toward an interdisciplinary core curriculum, Messiah develops general education courses.


Middle States Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools approves Messiah’s five secondary education programs: math, biology, chemistry, English, and social studies.


1970 – January Term is instituted.


Later Chemistry Lab

Chemistry Lab

1977 – Messiah’s nutrition and dietetics program receives initial approval from the American Dietetic Association.


1986 – Messiah’s Department of Nursing receives national accreditation from the National League of Nursing.


1987 – The social work program in collaboration with Temple University’s program, is accredited by the Council on Social Work.


1990 – Messiah’s Department of Music is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music.


1992 – General education curriculum is revised.


1994Department of Engineering is accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology.


1996 Sports medicine program receives complete accreditation by the National Athletic Trainers Association and Commission of Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs.


1998 – Joy Yu-Ho Wang ’98 becomes Messiah’s first Rhodes Scholar.


2000 – Messiah is restructured into five interdisciplinary schools; each school is assigned its own academic dean. The five schools include:

  • The School of Health and Natural Sciences
  • The School of Education and Social Sciences
  • The School of the Arts
  • The School of Mathematics, Engineering, and Business
  • The School of the Humanities


2004 – A new core course for first-year students entitled “Created and Called for Community” is launched.

  • This class is designed to encourage students to reflect on what it means to be created in God’s image and how to pursue their vocations as servants, leaders, and peacemakers in a worldwide community.
  • This course is rooted in the themes of the Messiah College mission statement, and the College's foundational values serve as the basis for the three units of the course.


2008 – Messiah begins offering online summer courses.


2009 – Messiah launches its first graduate program – a master of arts in counseling.



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