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Inside Colleges: Messiah College, Mechanicsburg, Pa.

At Messiah College, religious faith is central.

 

Messiah College is a private, residential, co-educational Christian college with about 3000 undergrads, about 12 miles from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.  Religious faith is central.  Students come from many different Christian backgrounds – non-denominational, Baptist, Methodist, and Brethren in Christ.  The college 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.” Students and faculty sign a statement of faith and abide by the community covenant.  There is a required chapel. 

Messiah is a college of liberal and applied arts and sciences that offers more than 80 majors.  The largest and strongest departments at Messiah are nursing and the engineering departments.  Sustainability is a relatively new major; Messiah is 1 of only 4 Christian colleges offering this major.  There are 8 new majors since 2011: Chinese business, Chinese studies, Dance, Digital media, Ethnic and area studies, Film and media arts, Public relations, and Musical theatre. Messiah has an Honors program.

Through the Collaboratory for Strategic Partnerships and Applied Research, students can work with international mission agencies in areas like communications, education, energy, microeconomic development, sustainability, and transportation.  Study abroad is very popular with students studying in over 40 countries. There is a branch of campus in Philadelphia that allows students to spend a semester taking classes at Temple University. 

Division III sports are huge, with men’s and women’s soccer being outstanding.  In 2005, 2008, and 2009, Messiah won men’s and women’s soccer national championships.  Messiah has had 12 national team championships in the last decade. Messiah athletes meet weekly for Bible study.  There is no football team. 

Messiah has over 70 clubs and organizations.  Messiah students volunteer more than 124,000 hours of community service annually.

The school has a new center for Worship and the Performing Arts opening in January 2013.  The school has a natural history museum. 

Messiah has both need-based and merit/talent-based aid.  The merit/talent-based aid can cover up to 100% of tuition costs.

Messiah reviews applications on a rolling basis with decisions announced starting in mid-September.

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