The Metro-Urban Institute is an academic, advocacy, and programmatic action arm of Pittsburgh Theological Seminary, concerned with factors that shape contemporary urban life and Christian ministry within urban contexts. MUI’s activities have two primary emphases:

  1. facilitation of experiential, curricular, and scholarly engagement with urban poverty contexts and concerns, especially engagement by theological students and educators; and
  2. analysis, mapping, and reinforcement of the socio-religious resources of churches, community organizations, social networks, and leadership sectors within low-income neighborhoods.


MUI's instructional, research, and community engagement activities include:

  • Contextualized Learning and Instruction
    • Graduate Certificate in Urban Ministry
    • International Education Experiences
    • "The Justice League" - Seminarian Community Involvement Initiative
    • Annual Conferences, Panel Discussions, Symposia, and Special Events
  • Participatory Action Research
    • Research on Neighborhood Capital
  • Community Partnerships and Policy Advocacy
    • Urban Community Partners
    • Conversations on Race

International Educational Experiences

Given the realities of today's global marketplace and multicultural cities, awareness of the cross-cultural challenges of urban life is essential for effective local city ministry. The Metro-Urban Institute's International Education program exposes students to urban ministry and theological education in cultures outside of the U.S., typically in non-Western societies. Students, faculty, and community members have enjoyed studying with practitioners and educators throughout the transatlantic region. Cross-cultural education is generally offered as a summer intensive course due to the inclusion of foreign travel.

The Justice League

The Metro-Urban Institute encourages and provides ways for all PTS seminarians to become involved in the broader urban community. One such initiative is the Justice League presentations and engagement. Once a month, active community leaders come to campus during the lunch hour to passionately present on their organization’s work. The campus attendees take time to pray for the leader and organization at the end of the session. This is then reciprocated by the campus community through group volunteerism to that particular community organization.