With the support of Pittsburgh Theological Seminary faculty and leadership, World Mission Initiative will unveil an enhanced mission trip for students, faculty, and congregational mission leaders in January 2019.

Central to the Seminary’s commitment to help its graduates learn from missional contexts both local and global, every master of divinity student is required to participate in a new intercultural learning experience.

Beginning in the new J-Term (Jan. 4-30, 2019), WMI will partner with the Seminary’s Metro-Urban Institute to offer the Intercultural Learning Course, which includes 20 hours of pre-trip orientation, 20 hours of post-trip synthesis, and integration and travel to Cuba and Philippines. And during the summer month participants will be traveling to South Africa and a U.S. urban context. Non-PTS students can audit the class to participate in the trips.

WMI Director Hunter Farrell commented, “This change to the curriculum puts Pittsburgh Seminary in a category of its own in U.S. theological education. No other seminary is investing the resources PTS is to get our students and faculty to the cutting edge of where God is engaging in mission today.”

All trips are open to PTS students. Each trip applicant is responsible for a $200 deposit at the time of application. Each year, the Seminary provides tens of thousands of dollars to make the trips financially possible for students.

The 2019 J-Term intercultural learning trips include:

Cuba - Mission in Context

Mission in Context is a joint program with Seminario Evangélico de Matanzas, Cuba, and Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary. This joint course and intercultural program will bring seven PTS students, seven LPTS students, and 15 SEM students together to engage in contextual analysis of the Cuban context, including economic survival under the blockade; Catholicism, Protestantism, and Afro-Cuban traditional religions; and the social witness of the Cuban churches. Note: This option is limited to seven PTS students; program applications and visa applications are due no later than Sept. 15. Trip Co-leaders: The Rev. Dr. Hunter Farrell and the Rev. Dr. Drew Smith Trip dates: Jan. 12-19, 2019 Cost: $2,600

Philippines - The Environmental Crisis and the Churches' Response

Learners will travel to Manila and Dumaguete to understand the Filipino context, the witness of that nation's growing churches, and participate with Silliman University theology students and theology and environmental science faculty in a joint course on the environmental crisis as perceived by Filipino Christians and how the churches are leading society for environmental justice. A theology of creation and of creation care will be discussed. Silliman University is one of the leading universities in east Asia and currently has 9,000 students. Trip Co-leaders: The Rev. Dr. Scott Hagley and Brenda Henry Trip dates: Jan. 11-21, 2019 Cost: $2,500

The 2019 Summer intercultural learning trips include:

South Africa - Church and Community Intersections in Urban South Africa

This immersion trip is designed to explore faith formation and community building activities in metropolitan Pretoria and Johannesburg, with specific attention to ministry responses to spiritual displacement, social fragmentation, and pursuits of groundedness on the part of highly mobile urban-core populations. Participants will engage with residents in urban townships and center-city neighborhoods and with leaders and staff persons from local congregations and organizations pursuing the wholeness and flourishing of these urban communities. Participants also will be exposed to important sites of memory that place the South African context in broader historical and cultural perspective, including the Apartheid Museum and commemorative sites in Soweto Township. Trip Leader: The Rev. Dr. Drew Smith. Trip dates: June 19-29, 2019 Cost: $3,000.

U.S. Urban Context

June 2019 - Location to be determined