Sustainability Studies at Messiah College
Are you interested in how sustainable practices affect people in communities? Are you ready to engage the future by being a part of Messiah's more than 40 year history of resource stewardship and creation care?
Messiah College's interdepartmental Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in sustainability studies is built upon a holistic approach that emphasizes the social, ecological and economic aspects of sustainable human communities. From the cultivation of the Grantham Community Garden to internship opportunities with organizations such as Mennonite Central Committee and ECHO (Educational Concerns for Hunger Organization) that can take you around the world, you won't just learn about sustainability, you'll live it.
Sustainability studies major distinctives
As a sustainability studies major at Messiah College, you’ll be able to:
- Gain hands-on experience in ecological and urban restoration
- Gain practical training in applied sustainable agriculture working in the campus garden or through work with an international aquaponics organization
- Immerse yourself in planning for and achieving energy savings for the campus physical plant and for carbon management
- Get involved in sourcing and resource recovery opportunities for local industries
- Choose from many internship opportunities, including the Nature Conservancy, Mennonite Central Committee (MCC), A Rocha International, ECHO, and local organic farms for produce and beef
- Utilize a geographic information system (GIS) in the student computer lab
- Choose from several student clubs/organizations including Earthkeepers, the Restoration House and the Collaboratory
Career options for sustainability studies majors
As a graduate of the sustainability studies program, students are equipped to secure positions in areas such as:
- Urban renewal
- Environmental agencies
- Public policy
- Sustainable agriculture
For more information on career planning for the sustainability studies program, visit the Messiah College Career and Professional Development Center.
Internship and research opportunities for sustainability studies majors
Messiah’s nationally recognized internship program places students in a variety of sustainability studies internships. A few examples include:
- Organic farms
- Urban gardens
- Aquaponics company
- Economic development agencies
- State or federal agencies
- Legislative committees
Departments offering courses in the sustainability studies major
This major is offered cooperatively through the departments of Sociology, Anthropology and Criminal Justice; Biological Sciences; and Politics and International Relations.
- Courses in the community and urban development concentration are primarily offered through the Department of Sociology, Anthropology and Criminal Justice.
- Courses in the sustainable agriculture concentration are primarily offered through the Department of Biological Sciences.
- Courses in the sustainability public policy concentration are offered primarily through the Department of Politics and International Relations.
Students in the sustainability studies program choose a concentration and take a selection of courses that successfully prepare them for a career in a related field. The concentration options include community and urban development (housed in the Dept. of Sociology, Anthropology and Criminal Justice); sustainable agriculture (housed in the Dept. of Biological Sciences); and sustainability public policy (housed in the Dept. of Politics and International Relations).
In addition to learning intensive propagation techniques in the community garden, Messiah has a state-of-the-art greenhouse and environmental labs which are home to projects in institutional composting, aquaponics, aquaculture, hydroponics and biodiesel production. Beyond the Grantham campus, you might choose to live in Harrisburg to become involved in community development projects within an urban environment.
You'll have the opportunity to work alongside Messiah faculty, conducting research in sustainable agriculture, urban food production, plant ecology, using forests as food production permacultures and more.
As a graduate in sustainability studies, you'll be well-equipped to engage in political service, public policy, law, sustainable agriculture or Christian service.