Mechanicsburg, PA
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2 College Freshman

Diversity: Very little racial diversity. Mostly white.

1 person found this useful Report
3 College Freshman

Diversity: Ethnic Diversity really sticks out.

3 College Freshman

Diversity: My school's campus is not the most diverse campus in the world by any means, but it's diverse enough. There's some pretty good variety for a Christian college campus.

3 College Freshman

Diversity: There isn't that much diversity but people who are in minorities are accepted readily.

1 person found this useful Report
3 College Freshman

Diversity: Being a Christian college in the middle of PA, there is not a ton of diversity from the locale. We do have a good number of international students though. So, while there aren't a ton of them, ethnic minorities are completely accepted and i don't think they feel any stigmatization or intolerance. there are some, not many, LGBT individuals, and while people here typically are opposed to gay marriage and are a little weird-ed out by any displays of gay affection, the person them self is not subjected to ridicule about it. Obviously, there is little religious diversity, except interdenominational. Mostly an Anabaptist school, but I know some Catholics, I'm lutheran, and there are a select few Orthodox. Political expression is encouraged. I like to think that Messiah is a bit of a hippie campus in that there are a lot of social justice idealists, volunteerism is encouraged, and environmental sustainability is a visible goal of the Messiah Community. People walk around barefoot all the time and lots of people like interacting with nature in order to relax or find God.


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Rankings View more rankings . . .

  • 158th
    Most Conservative Schools
  • 1234th
    Most Liberal Schools
  • 1335th
    Most Open-Minded Schools

Student Author OverviewWhat's This?

Ashley Offenback
Yardley, Pa.
View all previous student authors

The diversity of people at Messiah is, well, lacking. But don’t take that to mean that the school doesn't try. Messiah College stresses the importance of diversity and puts forth a valiant effort to recruit international students and people from a variety of ethnicities. The Office of Multicultural Programs hosts an annual International Banquet in celebration of Messiah's international, missionary, and third culture students and the diversity of culture they bring to the College community.

Messiah students are very accepting of minorities on campus. Due to the homogenous student population, a little diversity in Grantham is always exciting. Most students enjoy hearing new and different ideas that may challenge their own beliefs and force them to re-evaluate their own opinions. Because of the nature of the school's beliefs, it is extremely common to hear people in a friendly debate at any time and any place on campus over deep issues such as atheism, gay rights, and sex. In fact, it is rare to go a few days without hearing or participating in a discussion of this kind. The lines of communication at Messiah are always open, and no topic is taboo. Many students take the motto to heart that no belief is strong until it has been challenged and all other possibilities considered.

Facts & Statistics

African American
Native American
Historically Black College/University?
Tribal College?
Out-of-State Students
Common States of Residence
  • Foreign countries
  • Maryland
  • New Jersey
  • New York
  • Virginia
Student Age Breakdown
Under 18: 0%
18-19: 37%
20-21: 46%
22-24: 15%
25+: 2%
Female Faculty
Male Faculty
Faculty Diversity
African American: 2%
Asian American: 2%
Hispanic: 0%
International: 4%
Native American: 0%
White: 90%
Unknown: 2%
Gay Pride
The Community Covenant that all Messiah students are asked to sign before their first year prohibits "homosexual behavior." However, many students on campus are accepting of LGBTQ students and a large percentage want the policy changed. Though no official LGBTQ student organizations exist on campus, there is an off-campus support group called Spectrum. Spectrum, led by Messiah alumni, seeks to offer support and encouragement to LGBTQ Messiah students.
Political Activity
Political beliefs on campus vary widely from very conservative to very liberal. It is interesting to note that a majority of the students describe themselves as conservative but only about a quarter say they think the campus as a whole is conservative. Obviously, most students perceive their fellow classmates to be more liberal than they actually are.
Economic Status
Although Messiah's tuition is regularly discussed, economic status is not. However, it seems like everyone is in the same boat-regardless of their economic status, the majority of students at Messiah are scrambling to afford their education during these tough economic times. In general, the majority of full scholarships are given to students accepted into the honors program, and boy, does it spark jealousy in other people.
Most Common Religions
Messiah College was founded on Anabaptist, Pietist, and Wesleyan traditions. Because of the distinct beliefs of the College, the most common religion at Messiah is Christianity. The most common denominations include Protestant, Catholic, Baptist, Methodist, and Lutheran. However, stray atheists can be found here and there, and they usually like to make themselves known. There are an increasing number of students who claim to have gone into Messiah a Christian and come out an atheist because of the practices of the College or its community.
Minority Clubs on Campus
Minority clubs on campus are very active and hold frequent events and celebrations that are well attended by students. The Asian Student Association hosts an annual Asian-Pacific Islander night at the Union, and this event is much anticipated by the campus community. ASA hosts other events throughout the year, including a Lunar New Year celebration. La Alianza Latina hosts frequent parties and offers salsa dance lessons to students. The Black Student Union's most popular event is a black history month celebration that often brings musical talent to campus. All minority groups are united by the Multicultural Council, which seeks to bring knowledge of different cultures to the Messiah College community. The Multicultural Council is an important group, and campus-wide elections for it are held each year.
Did You Know?
  • The Rafiki House is a special-interest house for international students and students interested in international issues and cultures.
  • During the 2008 presidential election season, Messiah College hosted the Compassion Forum, an "unprecedented bipartisan discussion panel" devoted to critical moral issues facing the nation. All three presidential candidates were invited. Hillary Clinton and Barrack Obama participated in the event, which was exclusively broadcast by CNN and covered by both mainstream and religious news media. John McCain declined the invitation.

Student Polls

How would you best describe your personal political beliefs?    Based on 47 responses

  • 4% Libertarian
  • 11% Not sure
  • 4% Very conservative
  • 43% Conservative
  • 19% Moderate
  • 17% Liberal
  • 2% Progressive/very liberal

How would you best describe the political beliefs of campus as a whole?    Based on 47 responses

  • 2% Libertarian
  • 9% Very conservative
  • 28% Conservative
  • 30% Moderate
  • 13% Not sure
  • 17% Liberal
  • 2% Progressive/very liberal

How diverse is the student body in the following areas?    Based on 48 responses

Totally homogenous
Extremely diverse
  • Economic status
  • Ethnic heritage
  • National origin (international students)
  • Political affiliation
  • Religious background
  • Sexual orientation

How diverse is your personal circle of friends in the following areas?    Based on 47 responses

Totally homogenous
Extremely diverse
  • Economic status
  • Ethnic heritage
  • National origin (international students)
  • Political affiliation
  • Religious background
  • Sexual orientation

How accepting is the campus community as a whole toward someone who falls into the minority (ethnic, sexual, or religious)?    Based on 48 responses

  • 2% It's hard to be a minority here.
  • 15% The campus is split on its acceptance-not all minority groups are as accepted as others.
  • 42% Most students are accepting, except for a few rare cases of intolerance.
  • 42% Very accepting.


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