What are Urban Programs?

Looking for peace, many of us head to nature to spend time with God. It's easy to experience the splendor of God's creation under a blanket of stars, gazing up at mountain peaks, standing over serene waters.  

But we'd like to invite you to encounter God in a very different setting. Come "seek the shalom of the city" (Jer. 29:7) with InterVarsity's Urban Programs. Come see what God is doing in Los Angeles, CA, where students live in the inner city with the same income as their neighbors, working alongside gang members, homeless families and immigrant communities. Come see what God is doing in Baltimore, MD where students move into the neighborhood and work with, children, refugees and the homeless. Come see what God is doing in Milwaukee, WI, where students learn what it means to be the body of Christ in one of the most segregated cities in the United States.

Urban Programs are ministry experiences that take place in major cities across the United States each year. For a weekend, a week, a summer, we ask you to step into the lives of those living in poverty in cities, to learn their stories, to see the faces behind the social issues being debated in our nation.

We're not asking you to do this alone. You'll live with other students and staff, exploring issues of justice, poverty, oppression, racial reconciliation, violence, lifestyle, and biblical community in very tangible ways. You'll serve with individuals, agencies, and churches who are responding to these issues with a vision for long-term change and renewal. You’ll be guests to your neighbors as they teach you about their home. And you’ll walk alongside Jesus as he feeds the hungry, gives drink to the thirsty, clothes the naked, invites in the stranger, takes care of the sick, visits the prisoner, and calls himself one of them (Matthew 25:31 – 46).

Through this incarnational ministry, students find that they learn a lot about themselves. Reading scripture and examining life through the lens of the marginalized and oppressed, God brings us to a place to confront our own sense of entitlement, materialism, greed, pride, idolatry, racial attitudes and cultural prejudices. And from there, Urban Projects create a space to experience repentance, forgiveness, and healing in the context of community.

Will you join us?


InterVarsity's Urban Programs are a part of the Missions Department of InterVarsity Christian Fellowship/USA. Learn more about InterVarsity Christian Fellowship.