About Us

MISSION

To fall in love with Jesus and the city, to come alive in our gifts and purpose, to build beloved community across all dividing lines, and to advocate for justice in our neighborhood and world.

VISION

The vision of Mission Year is to continue to see, inspire, and join in with a movement of people committed to loving God and loving people in neighborhoods across the country. Our purpose is to develop lifelong disciples, leaders, and advocates who will transform the church, the city, and the world. Our vision is to see the church unified, cultures reconciled, neighborhoods revitalized, and the world redeemed.

CORE VALUES & PRACTICES

The Mission Year lifestyle revolves around these 8 core values and practices:

FAITH

Embodying love for God and people

Justice

Moving from awareness to action

Community

Developing authentic relationships

Diversity

Committing to inclusion across dividing lines

Neighborhood

Being rooted in place

Solidarity

Sharing in the joys and struggles with those at the margins

Partnership

Learning from and supporting local leaders

Service

Working toward the common good

Areas of Focus

WHAT WE DO

Mission Year Program

Justice Trips

Trainings

FAITH CONVICTIONS

God is a God of love, we are loved unconditionally, and we are called to love everyone, no exceptions, in the same way God loves us.
We are an intentionally Christian organization that roots our faith in Jesus, the embodied Word of God, and seeks to follow him holistically by the power of the Holy Spirit.
We believe God is in the city so we are not bringing God to our neighbors – many times they are the ones who teach us about the kingdom – so we take a posture of a learner in order to recognize the movement of God in ourselves, our neighbors, and in our society.
Our passionate love and value for the Scriptures leads us to engage the Bible critically, to understand its context and ours, in order to take seriously our responsibility to faithfully apply its truths to our lives.
We create transformational spaces where people from across the theological spectrum can unite around a common lifestyle commitment to love God, love people, and live out justice in the world.
We believe the gospel encompasses faith and action, righteousness and justice, personal and societal transformation. When personal faith or social justice is left out, the gospel is incomplete.
We share our faith authentically in the context of relationship when and where appropriate, in the way that feels most genuine to our personalities and giftings, in concert with our partner churches and organizations, and always with the conviction that our lived witness says the most about what we say we believe.
The kingdom of God prioritizes the poor, marginalized, and oppressed and invites us to be in community-rooted solidarity as brothers and sisters in Christ. Our love for our neighbors often requires us to use our voices to speak out against oppression and to engage in prophetic acts of solidarity and advocacy in collaboration with community leaders and movements. Our allegiance is first and foremost to the kingdom of God and not a political party, so we seek to hold all sides accountable to love and justice.
Recognizing that we only “see in part,” we make space for a diversity of perspectives and interpretations on a host of theological and political issues so long as everyone is open to mutual learning and transformation grounded in a common respect and love for one another.
We are committed to being an anti-racist and anti-oppressive organization. This means we center the margins as much as possible, we intentionally think about how our words and actions impact marginalized identities and communities, we reflect deeply on how resources, power, and access have been unequally distributed in our society and commit to move towards equity whenever we can, and we encourage people to bring their full self so that everyone can be dignified and affirmed in their personhood without fear of oppression or discrimination.
To discern decisions and live intentionally wherever we are and in whatever we are doing, we challenge ourselves with the Mission Year question, “In this moment, how can I best love God and love people.”

Meet the Staff

Shawn Casselberry
Executive Director
Chicago, IL
shawn@missionyear.org
Speaking Topics: Building Beloved Community Across Dividing Lines || Solidarity: Becoming Allies in the Struggle for Racial Justice || Understanding Systemic Injustice || God is in the City: Stories of Grace and Transformation || Soul Force: Seven Pivots towards Courage, Community, and Change
Ra Mendoza
National Program Director
Chicago, IL
ra@missionyear.org
Speaking Topics: Diversity || Community || Cultivating Relationships Across Difference || Moving our Values to Practice
Jen Casselberry
Director of Operations and Development
Chicago, IL
Jen@missionyear.org
Speaking Topics: Art and Justice
Andrea Furrer
Development Coordinator and Recruiter
Chicago, IL
andrea@missionyear.org
Speaking Topics: A Communal Model of Fundraising || Identity/Diversity || Embodying Love
Saajidah Abdul-Hameem
Justice Trip Coordinator and Recruiter
Chicago, IL
Saajidah@missionyear.org
Speaking Topics: Community Development || Justice
Stephanie Cassell
Chicago City Director
Chicago, IL
stephanie@missionyear.org
Speaking Topics: Community || Finding God in Grief/Anxiety/Depression/Loss
Luke Hillier
Philadelphia City Director and Admissions Coordinator
Philadelphia, PA
luke@missionyear.org
Speaking Topics: Intersections of Faith, Community, and Justice || Pop Culture || the Enneagram
Anton Flores
Casa Alterna City Director
LaGrange, GA
anton@missionyear.org
Speaking Topics: Immigration || Community || Justice
RESOURCES

FEATURED BOOK

Pedagogy of the oppressed

BOOKS BY STAFF & ALUMS
CURRICULUM SELECTIONS
SUGGESTED READING
Blog Archive

Just Breathe

Sit with your back straight. Place the tip of your tongue against the ridge tissue just behind your upper front teeth, and keep it there through the entire next steps. Exhale throughout your mouth around your tongue; try pursing your lips lightly if this seems...

Giving Thanks in a Broken World

“Thank God ahead of time.” Fr. Solanus Casey It’s not always easy to give thanks, especially when we are surrounded by so much brokenness. But gratitude isn’t dependent on our circumstances. Solanus Casey (a Detroit monk who is under consideration for sainthood)...

Why I’m Doing Mission Year: Agnes Filiatreau

July 2016 was the end of my first year at a Christian summer camp called Barefoot Republic. On the last night our director had us sum our summer up in one word. My word was changed. Proceeding our choosing, she then had us look up in the index in the Bible App the...

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