Messiah University launches partnership with Messiah Lifeways

Messiah University launches partnership with Messiah Lifeways

Representatives from Messiah Lifeways and Messiah University pose for a photo

The partnership between the two entities will facilitate collaboration on the training and development of the next generation of certified nursing assistants (CNAs); provide continuing education opportunities for Messiah Lifeways employees; allow Messiah University students to serve, garner professional experiences in a long-term care setting, and gain an understanding of ministry in the aging population; and work together on mutually beneficial opportunities for research that advances evidence-based practice.

Central to this new agreement is addressing the current crisis in staffing needs in long-term care and nursing homes. The opportunities to support and work in the senior living industry are more needed today than ever before.  Leading Age, a nation-wide community of nonprofit aging services providers and other mission-driven organizations serving older adults, suggests that as many as 8.2 million staffing jobs in long-term care will need to be filled by 2028 as the U.S. population ages.

“Messiah University is excited to partner with Messiah Lifeways to train, support and encourage their staff and Messiah students through experiential education, CNA training and ministry opportunities as we seek to raise up the next generation of Christ-centered caregivers and meet the needs of the growing elderly population,” said Dr. Rob Pepper, Messiah University’s executive director and assistant to the president for innovation and university partnerships. A search for an instructor of the CNA program will begin this spring with the training to begin once approval is granted by Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE).

"The history between our two organizations is long-standing. It is exciting to see a future where higher ed and senior services can work together to create workforce training and intergenerational programs for students and the older adults we serve,” added Karl Brummer, president and chief executive officer of Messiah Lifeways. “It is great to have a mission-aligned partner to support our ministry to serve the older adults of central Pennsylvania and we are excited to see how this partnership can flourish in the years ahead." 

Messiah University and Messiah Lifeways have collaborated throughout their respective histories. Both institutions trace their roots back to the Brethren in Christ Church and to Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. While much has changed over the past century, the core commitments of Christ-like love as the model and vision for service and leadership remain. “The shared history and core commitments are what makes this partnership so exciting,” Pepper said. “We are building on decades of informal collaboration through a formalized partnership.”

Pictured in photo above (from left to right): Christina Weber, vice president of community support services and human resources, Messiah Lifeways; Karl Brummer, president and CEO, Messiah Lifeways; Kim S. Phipps, president of Messiah University; and Rob Pepper, executive director and assistant to the president for innovation and university partnerships, Messiah University.

About Messiah University

Founded in 1909 and located near Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, Messiah University is a nationally ranked, private Christian university of the liberal and applied arts and sciences that enrolls nearly 3,300 undergraduate, adult degree program and graduate students. The partnership with Messiah Lifeways is facilitated through The Bridge Center for Continuing Education and the Office of University Partnerships at Messiah University.

About Messiah Lifeways

Founded in 1896, Messiah Lifeways is a non-profit organization dedicated to serving older adults throughout South Central Pennsylvania. Messiah Lifeways offers resident communities, long-term care, rehabilitation, enrichment opportunities, and community support services to support as many people as possible through the journey of aging. For more information, visit