Return to Campus Plan for Fall 2020

Messiah University is in session this fall with flexible in-person and remote learning options, health and safety protocols and student care and support.


Advise a Service-Learning Trip

Advising a service trip is an opportunity to serve alongside students while guiding and facilitating their understanding and ability to process the service experience.  Advisors provide support and assistance to student leaders; oversee the safety of participants; represent a mature presence on the trip; and support and encourage student leaders and other participating students.

Domestic Service Trips 

Domestic service trips are service experiences in which teams work with partner organizations in the region.  Teams are led by two student team leaders who are responsible for facilitating reflection and discussion, offering logistical clarification, and act as a liaison between the partner organization and the team.  For each Domestic service trip, the Agapé Center seeks to send one Employee Advisor to provide support and assistance to student leaders and manage risk as necessary.  In addition to attending the trip, the Advisor will meet with the Assistant Director of the Agapé Center in advance to review trip details and expectations. Although not required, Advisors are encouraged to participate in orientation and debrief sessions for Domestic service trips. 

International Service Trips

The Agapé Center sends 2-3 International teams annually and requires two educators to serve as advisors for each trip.  The International service trip is a 9-12 month commitment, as planning begins approximately one year in advance and advisors are invited to not only attend the trip itself, but to also serve alongside two student team leaders throughout the months leading up to the trip.  Advisors are expected (at a minimum) to attend trip orientation and a spring chapel series.  While not required, we also invite advisors to assist in the interview and selection of teams, participate in team leader training, and assist with fundraising activities. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

If you are considering advising a service trip, check out our FAQ's below!  Still have questions?  Don't hesitate to contact Shardé Hardy (, Assistant Director of the Agapé Center for Service & Learning.

The trips are free and include travel, housing, meals, and travel insurance (specifically for international travel). 

The main role of the advisor is to offer support and help empower the student team leaders as they work to facilitate group discussions and participant togetherness, handle the budget, remain up-to-date with the agencies’ desires or expectations, and make decisions that will best support and enable the group. The advisor also serves as a resource and safety net for the team should any questions, needs or difficult decisions arise.

For each timeframe, we work with different partner organizations in different locations, including the organization itself and the number of teams we send out.  Overall, the experience depends on the location of the organization and the team.

For our international trips, we prefer that you are able to speak the language (most likely Spanish), but are flexible if that is not the case.

Yes, you may!  However, they must be approved and trained by the Assistant Director of the Agapé Center for Service and Learning. 

Yes! We encourage you to advise more than one trip, such as a Fall Break trip and a Spring Break trip. The only time that you would be unable to do so would be if you want to advise two international trips within the same year. 

If you are an employee who is scheduled to work 1560+ hours per year and have completed at least three years of employment with the College, then potentially no!  You are likely eligible to participate in the College-sponsored off-campus missions & service leave program, which offers paid, short-term leave from the college. 

For more information about the Human Resources' Missions/Service Leave, including your eligibility, please review the Employee Policy and Procedure Manual - Benefits (pages 33–34).

Are you a Student Affairs Professional?

Please review the Student Affairs Internal Policy for Educators Participating in Service Trips.