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, the U.S.-Mexico border, Philippines, and a U.S. urban trip. 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.”

The application process for these trips will extend from Aug. 20-Sept. 20, and all four trips are open to PTS students. Each trip applicant is responsible to pay 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 its students.

The 2019 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.

Philippines - Poverty, Human Migration, Human Trafficking

Learners will travel to Manila and Dumaguete City in the Philippines to understand the Filipino context, the witness of their growing churches, and participate with Filipino students in a joint course on poverty, human migration, and human trafficking in the Faculty of Theology. Silliman University has 9,000 students, including 300 international students, and is widely considered one of the best universities in the country.

U.S./Mexico Border - U.S. Border Policy and Human Need: The Churches Respond

Through the ministry of Frontera de Cristo learners will experience life on both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border in order to better understand current U.S. border policy and the situation of Mexican and Central American families, focusing on questions of public theology: the churches’ response to human need and injustice. This trip is in partnership with Frontera de Cristo Ministry, in Agua Prieta, Mexico, and Douglas, Ariz.

U.S. Urban Context

Details on the fourth trip to a U.S. urban context are forthcoming.