You are working with community leaders day-to-day at your service site. You are experiencing the issues affecting the city as you move into the neighborhood. You are reading books and engaging in trainings around issues of faith, community development, racial reconciliation, and social justice. You are listening to and learning from your neighbors.

This is hands-on education.

Mission Year has teamed up with Eastern University, a Christian institution near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to offer both undergraduate and graduate educational opportunities to Mission Year participants. This dynamic partnership creatively captures the hands-on experience of Mission Year and the academic excellence of Eastern University.

Mission Year also has partnerships with other academic institutions to offer substantial discounts for Mission Year alums. For a full list of academic partners and offerings please contact us at:

Theology of Poverty

All participants of Mission Year have the option of taking the Theology of Poverty graduate course during their first year. This course is designed to allow the participants of Mission Year to reflect deeply on their experience theologically and practically. By the end of the year, this course will allow you to explore what Scripture teaches about poverty and the issues associated with it. You will be able to tell the story of your neighborhood as well as analyze the causes of poverty that surface there. For your final project you will develop a “justice project” that will be a direct response to the needs of your neighborhood.

The cost of the Theology of Poverty course is only $425. Now here is the good news: at the end of the year you will receive a certificate for completing the course. Eastern University will honor the certificate and you will not need to take the Theology of Poverty class in a classroom setting your first semester of the Masters program, thus saving you time and money! Some schools will also accept the certificate and will give you undergraduate credits for taking it. Check with your individual institution to confirm that they will accept the credits.


Mission Year is pleased to offer you the opportunity to earn up to 12 undergraduate academic credits if you are a student at Eastern University. Our goal is to provide you a sound academic experience without compromising your Mission Year.

You will receive credit for Urban Issues I and II, courses which will connect your day-to-day experiences with theoretical content. The other six credits will be Field Experience and Internship. These courses provide an academic framework for experiential learning and include reading, short papers, and journaling.

The cost is only $425, which is a fraction of what you pay at a university.

I’m ready. What next?

Students interested in pursuing the undergraduate partnership with Eastern University must first apply to Mission Year. Near the start of your Mission Year, you will receive instructions on the paperwork needed to confirm your undergraduate participation.

For a FAQ sheet on our undergraduate program or other questions contact our Admissions Department.


Earn your Masters Degree! The Mission Year + Eastern Partnership (MY+E) program prepares future leaders for effective urban ministry and community development within distressed communities. The MY+E Partnership program is based on the belief that context enriches education and therefore grounds preparation for urban community development firmly within the basis of urban living and mentored service.

Degree options are:

  • MS Nonprofit Management
  • MA Organizational Leadership
  • MA International Development
  • MBA Economic Development
  • MA Urban Studies (concentration in Community Arts, Community Development, or Youth Development)

If you would like to participate in the MY+E program, you should first apply for Mission Year. During the first week of the program, we will get you started in the Theology of Poverty class. Then you will continue with an application to Eastern University about mid-way through your Mission Year.

Application Deadline