Why Give?

Messiah students and a faculty member talking at a table.

Our Mission, Vision, and Identity

Messiah University is a Christian university of the liberal and applied arts and sciences. Our mission is to educate men and women toward maturity of intellect, character and Christian faith in preparation for lives of service, leadership and reconciliation in church and society.

Messiah University is a nationally ranked, private Christian university with a student body of 3,234 undergraduate and graduate students. Located in Mechanicsburg, Pa., just 12 miles from the state capital, Harrisburg.

US News and World Report 2014
  • In the Career and Professional Development Center's post-graduation survey, 95% of the class of 2014 respondents indicated they were employed or in graduate/professional programs within six to nine months after graduation, a rate significantly higher than the national employment average.
  • Messiah was named a 2014 Princeton Review Guide "Best Regional College."
  • Messiah was also noted as an institution with innovative learning experiences and outstanding preparation of graduates, which earned Messiah recognition as a “Pennsylvania College of Distinction” and a national “Christian College of Distinction.”
  • Messiah was named a top college in Pennsylvania for return on investment, according to
  • Messiah University hosts prominent national speakers, including David Brooks, Majora Carter, Tony Dungy, Leyman Gbowee, Doris Kearns Goodwin, Eric Metaxas, Michele Norris and Joni Eareckson Tada.
  • Spiritual growth is an essential part of a Messiah education. We incorporate our shared faith in the classroom, through residence life, at chapel, on sports teams, through the arts and in clubs and organizations. Our motto, “Christ Preeminent,” shapes every student experience.
  • Messiah University sees ourselves as partners in a student's spiritual journey. We are committed to helping each individual, and to challenging them to know how God is revealed through Scripture. Our goal is to help each student be a follower of Christ, and to prepare them for whatever mission, vocation, or service to which God has called them.
  • Our hope is that through a student's time here, they will question, discover, confirm and commit to a personal perspective and belief, guided through strong Christian convictions, and leave with a heart for service, a commitment to common good, a faithful intelligence and a passion for community and justice.
  • Messiah University’s 179 full-time faculty hold degrees from nationally and internationally recognized graduate  schools — including prestigious institutions such as Duke University, Oxford University, Vanderbilt University and the University of Pennsylvania.
  • Our faculty members actively contribute research, scholarly writing and artistic works that inform their academic disciplines and the national conversation on faith in the academy and broader culture.
  • Messiah educators are often sought by local, regional and national journalists for their commentary and  expertise. Recent examples include coverage in the Associated Press, Christian Science Monitor, Christianity Today, Chronicle of Higher Education, Inside Higher Ed, Investor's Business Daily, Philadelphia Inquirer and Washington Post.


  • Messiah University has earned the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching’s prestigious Community Engagement Classification for curricular engagement and outreach and partnerships.
  • The Agapé Center for Service and Learning cultivates experiences with community partners to prepare individuals for lifelong service. In 2014-2015, an estimated 98.6% of the graduating class participated in  some form of community service through the Agapé Center.
  • Messiah’s extensive sustainability efforts include initiatives such as a student-run organic community garden,  campus-wide composting program, one of the nation’s largest solar thermal systems, biodiesel production and regular collegewide  inventory of greenhouse gas emissions. The Princeton Review recently named Messiah University one of the 322  most environmentally responsible colleges in the U.S. and Canada.  
  • To help students connect with potential employers, the Career and Professional Development Center hosts Into the City, a unique, intensive two-day career development and networking program in major U.S. cities such as Boston, Chicago, Philadelphia, Charlotte and New York.
  • The Collaboratory for Strategic Research and Applied Partnerships enables students to apply academic knowledge and live out their Christian faith through imaginative, hands-on problem solving that meets the needs of clients around the world. From 2012-2014, World Vision has awarded the Collaboratory grants totaling $758,000 to further improve water and sanitation access for disabled individuals in rural Africa.
  • Through the Harrisburg Institute, Messiah provides access to Christian higher education in an urban setting where students can live and serve in the city.
  • The Center for Public Humanities brings together academic, civic and cultural communities to engage contemporary issues and to promote learning through symposia, lectures, film series, conferences and partnerships with school districts and literacy outreach programs.
  • The School of the Arts fosters extensive connections with visiting artists and arts organizations  internationally and locally, such as the Harrisburg Symphony Orchestra. Messiah also contributes to the cultural life of the region through affiliations with its accomplished artists-in-residence: jazz musician Tim Warfield, the Susquehanna Chorale and the Mendelssohn Piano Trio.
  • Messiah University sets standards for excellence in NCAA Division III college programs while developing the  Christian character of its athletes. Our athletes turn in All-American performances and have been featured in USA Today, Sports Illustrated,, and on national network television.
  • The Messiah Falcons have won 23 NCAA Division III National Championships, including a Division III-leading 10 titles in men's soccer (2013, 2012, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2006, 2005, 2004, 2002, 2000). They also have five titles in women's soccer (2012, 2011, 2009, 2008, 2005) and one in softball (2009). Messiah individuals have also scored National Championships: Mike Helm '00 (2000) and Kaleb Holt '15 (2014) in wrestling; Chris Boyles '02 (decathlon, 2000), Amy Reed '08 (Heptathlon, 2008) and Kristen Bates '10 (55- and 100-meter hurdles, and pentathlon, 2010) in track and field.
  • The Falcons had eight student-athletes earn College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) Academic All-District honors in the 2013-2014 season for maintaining at least a 3.3 GPA and playing at least 50 percent of their team’s games at a primary position. Five of the recognized student-athletes went on to be named All-Americans, tying the most-ever for Messiah in a single year.
  • In 2014, the Falcons placed 27th in the Learfield Sports Directors' Cup standings, which ranks all Division III athletics programs by achievements in men's and women's sports. Messiah's placement in 2014 was the best among Pennsylvania colleges and universities--the 14th straight season they have done so.
  • In 2010, Chris Heisey '08 debuted with the Cincinnati Reds, becoming the first Messiah alumnus to play in the major leagues.