Special Interest Houses

SIH Mission, Goals, and Philosophy

Mission Statement

The Special Interest Housing program seeks to be intentional living and learning communities by means of fostering connectedness in academics, relationships, and spiritual growth through the use of thoughtful dialogue, practice, and education. 

Housing Goals

  • Promote a healthy living and learning environment that help to bring students, faculty, and administration together around common interests 

  • Encourage students to educate themselves and each other about their chosen program by engaging in discussions and through practical, hands on learning as a community 

  • Foster communal growth and assist in guiding each program’s mission and core values to better serve the wider campus community 


Special Interest Housing is a co-curricular program seeking to enhance the academic, relational, and spiritual experiences of Messiah College students by providing specific housing placement to groups gathered around the purpose of exploring common interests or issues. These houses are owned by the College and are located on or around the perimeter of campus. Through this placement, Special Interest Housing promotes a living and learning environment that helps to bring students, faculty, and administration together around common interests. Students who share a common goal are encouraged to form a group, find an advisor, and finally submit an application.

Research indicates that learning is greatest for individuals when the following methods are used:

  1. discussion groups
  2. practice by doing
  3. teaching others

For this reason these three methods will be incorporated into the structure of special interest houses. Student will use their time living in the special interest houses to educate themselves and each other about their chosen theme. The expectation is that residents will engage in discussions and practical, hands on learning as a household. The houses are to be a place where residents can share their passion with others who are also passionate about the topic and in doing so, learn from each other. Special interest house residents will move to the highest level of learning & retention in the spring when they assist with recruiting students for the following year by doing a 2-3 minute video(due by the end of J-term) about what they have learned from being part of a Special Interest House.