One College Ave.
Grantham, PA, 17027
Messiah College is a nationally ranked, private Christian college with a socially, denominationally, and politically diverse student body of approximately 2,800 undergraduates. Students who come to Messiah enter a Christian microcosm, coming together from many different places and many different Christian backgrounds to learn, worship, and live together. They discover a hospitable community where seemingly opposite ideals such as faith and intellect, work and play, discipline and imagination, harmony and difference coexist.
The College is situated on 471 scenic wooded acres, just 12 miles from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania's capital and approximately two hours from the major urban centers of Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., and Baltimore. Named a 2008 "Green College" by the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities, the campus has a distinctive suburban, residential atmosphere; 88 percent of students live on campus. The College also operates a satellite campus in Philadelphia in conjunction with Temple University.
There are many recreational and outdoor activities in the immediate vicinity, including the Yellow Breeches Creek, which flows through the campus and the nearby Susquehanna River and Appalachian Trail.
Recognized for its focus on service-learning and civic engagement, Messiah College teaches students to engage their Christian faith to build community, to serve as agents for peace and reconciliation, and to champion the rights of the poor and the dispossessed.
The College's commitment to service-learning and civic engagement has been widely recognized. In 2009, Messiah was named to the National President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll with "Distinction" for exemplary service to disadvantaged youth, a honor bestowed upon only seven colleges in Pennsylvania; the College's service-learning program was nationally recognized by U.S. News and World Report as a 2010 "Program to Look For"; and in 2008, the College was awarded the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching's prestigious Community Engagement Classification for Curricular Engagement and Outreach and Partnership. And in 2008, Messiah College was selected to host The Compassion Forum, a nationally televised unprecedented conversation with presidential candidates speaking on the integration of faith and public policy.
Messiah College awards degrees in more than 55 majors. It also currently offers six pre-professional programs and three graduate programs - a Master of Arts in Counseling, a Master of Music in Conducting, and a Master of Arts in Art Education, with other graduate programs awaiting final state approval. Teacher certification is available in many disciplines and qualified students may also participate in the Honors Program or design an individual major or an independent study program.
The College operates on a two semester academic calendar, with a January Term between the fall and spring terms. During January term, students take one intensive, three-week course of study with transcultural travel programs among the innovative courses offered during this term. A three-week May Term immediately follows the Spring Term and is exclusively for cross-cultural studies. Messiah offers extensive study abroad opportunities in more than 40 countries and is ranked 14th in the U.S. by the Institute of International Education for institutions sending students to study abroad.
The College selects its educators for their Christian commitment as well as their proven teaching ability. They are practicing Christians who serve as role models for intentionally integrating a life of faith with intellectual pursuits. Every Messiah professor signs a statement of faith as an indication of his or her commitment to the mission of the College.
Professors are outstanding scholars and accomplished professionals who have been educated at top universities all over the world. They are often sought after by local, regional, and national journalists for commentary, insights, and expertise. Eighty-one percent of the College's 170 full-time faculty have earned the terminal degree in their field.
All classes at Messiah College are taught by professors rather than teaching assistants. The student-to-faculty ratio at the College is 13:1. The College's internship center is nationally recognized for excellence in training students for today's workforce and has been instrumental in the consistently high post-graduation placement rate of graduates.
Campus life and activities
Messiah students can participate in more than 60 student groups and organizations, including theater and music groups, a campus newspaper, and a student-produced radio station. The College's Student Government Association (SGA) represents the student body and develops students' leadership skills.
Students have many opportunities to grow in faith and fellowship at Messiah College, including chapel and worship services, Bible study and discipleship groups, ministry outreach teams, community service, mission trips, and a variety of other special programs.
Messiah students currently come from 37 U.S. states, more than 30 countries, a full spectrum of cultures, and many different Christian faith traditions. Nearly 8 percent of students are from underrepresented racial, ethnic, and cultural populations and 2.6 percent are international students.
To encourage students to think critically and emphasize that Christians can disagree and still be kind, the College often host groups whose views differ from many within its own community, with the goal of honoring one another's differences while sharing a common love of Christ.
Messiah College competes in 22 intercollegiate sports and maintains one of the most successful NCAA Division III athletics programs in the nation. Messiah athletic teams have garnered 11 national championships and regularly achieve national rankings and conference titles. Messiah athletes have been recognized as All-Americans and have been featured in Sports Illustrated, USA Today, and on national network television. Several coaches have received national coaching awards.
The percentage of first-year students receiving financial aid in the 2009-2010 academic year was 100 percent. The average first-year student aid package was $18,402.
Messiah seeks students with demonstrated academic promise, who wish to share in the College's multi-denominational, multi-cultural Christian community and encourages transfer, home-schooled, international, and minority students to apply.
Selective in its admission policy, the College considers academic achievement, extracurricular involvement, leadership skills, and Christian service. Thirty-two percent of first year students (2010-2011) rank in the top 10 percent of their high school class. Their average SAT composite score is 1148 and their average ACT score is 25. Within the past 12 years, Messiah has produced graduates who have distinguished themselves as Rhodes, Fulbright, Carnegie, and Truman scholars.
SOURCES: Messiah College 2009-2010 distinctives; Admissions viewbook (spring 2010); Messiah.edu/admissions/policies
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