Messiah University

The information in this column was provided to MinistryWatch by the ministry itself. It was last updated 8/11/2021. To update the information in this column, please email:


Messiah University is a nationally ranked, private Christian university located near the state capital of Harrisburg, PA.

Contact information

Mailing address:
Messiah University
1 University Ave Ste 3010
Mechanicsburg, PA 17055


Phone: 717-796-1800


Organization details

EIN: 231352661

CEO/President: Kim S Phipps, PhD

Chairman: George A. Parmer

Board size: 30

Founder: S.R. Smith

Ruling year: 1945

Tax deductible: Yes

Fiscal year end: 06/30

Member of ECFA: No

Member of ECFA since:


Messiah University is a Christian university of the liberal and applied arts and sciences. The University is committed to an embracing evangelical spirit rooted in the Anabaptist, Pietist and Wesleyan traditions of the Christian Church.

Mission statement

The mission of Messiah College is to educate men and women toward maturity of intellect, character, and Christian faith in preparation for lives of service, leadership, and reconciliation in church and society. The opening commitment of our mission statementto develop students' "maturity of intellect, character and Christian faith"reflects the integration of our community's shared faith into every aspect of the Messiah University experience. This holistic educational model was the bold vision of our founder S. R. Smith more than 100 years ago and remains a cornerstone of our identity. The other core components of Messiah's mission-service, leadership and reconciliation-are also firmly rooted in the context of our Christian faith. We don't just serve because it's the "right thing to do"; we serve because God calls us to open our hearts to the poor and needy and to work for justice wherever injustice prevails. We learn to lead believing that Jesus is our ultimate example of leading with compassion, respect and love. And, because of our faith, we are compelled to build bridges of understanding and peace to demonstrate the reconciling love of God to others.

Statement of faith

Messiah University affirms the historic Apostle's Creed as its central statement of faith. In addition, Messiah asks that all community members support the Confession of Faith which expresses the faith orientation of the College in a nonsectarian manner that highlights the specific emphases of the Anabaptist, Pietist and Wesleyan traditions of the Christian faith. It is included frequently in campus worship University educators are expected to support the University Confession of Faith and affirm the Apostles' Creed. Confession

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Financial efficiency ratings

Sector: Colleges/Universities

CategoryRatingOverall rankSector rank
Overall efficiency rating522 of 101065 of 117
Fund acquisition rating679 of 101286 of 117
Resource allocation rating295 of 101225 of 117
Asset utilization rating583 of 101066 of 117

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Balance sheet
Receivables, inventories, prepaids$12,168,547$11,673,868$6,389,519$8,264,739$8,537,729
Short-term investments$121,719,059$130,319,921$130,888,795$114,422,506$126,017,423
Other current assets$0$0$0$0$0
Total current assets$139,504,119$149,279,666$149,939,217$133,150,701$147,764,859
Long-term investments$28,897,518$25,002,492$15,793,633$29,633,206$20,666,411
Fixed assets$151,263,698$156,356,433$157,577,323$145,320,181$134,980,680
Other long-term assets$11,095,059$9,298,328$6,780,151$21,083,694$7,377,157
Total long-term assets$191,256,275$190,657,253$180,151,107$196,037,081$163,024,248
Total assets$330,760,394$339,936,919$330,090,324$329,187,782$310,789,107
Payables and accrued expenses$8,894,747$11,246,159$11,099,948$11,397,725$8,669,277
Other current liabilities$1,655,388$2,994,768$2,899,118$2,838,864$2,721,569
Total current liabilities$10,550,135$14,240,927$13,999,066$14,236,589$11,390,846
Due to (from) affiliates$0$0$0$0$0
Other long-term liabilities$8,302,252$7,225,498$7,501,706$9,950,384$11,734,424
Total long-term liabilities$75,258,893$75,969,069$72,373,304$76,865,919$55,106,751
Total liabilities$85,809,028$90,209,996$86,372,370$91,102,508$66,497,597
Net assets20192018201720162015
Without donor restrictions$185,543,635$192,294,110$193,954,585$189,870,463$196,812,240
With donor restrictions$59,407,731$57,432,813$49,763,369$48,214,811$47,479,270
Net assets$244,951,366$249,726,923$243,717,954$238,085,274$244,291,510
Revenues and expenses
Total contributions$6,562,057$13,625,733$6,398,511$8,428,745$7,509,276
Program service revenue$126,811,463$123,543,081$119,381,260$117,842,591$114,798,168
Membership dues$0$0$0$0$0
Investment income$7,870,699$12,853,236$16,351,621$5,831,309$5,169,768
Other revenue$1,078,517$914,548$948,322$547,413$631,688
Total other revenue$135,760,679$137,310,865$136,681,203$124,221,313$120,599,624
Total revenue$142,322,736$150,936,598$143,079,714$132,650,058$128,108,900
Program services$128,582,447$126,214,743$120,965,009$116,525,502$113,605,664
Management and general$14,901,450$15,019,988$14,098,139$14,356,510$12,740,748
Total expenses$145,521,863$143,265,535$137,024,723$132,744,339$128,577,501
Change in net assets20192018201720162015
Surplus (deficit)($3,199,127)$7,671,063$6,054,991($94,281)($468,601)
Other changes in net assets$0$0$0$0$0
Total change in net assets($3,199,127)$7,671,063$6,054,991($94,281)($468,601)


Kim S PhippsPresident$433,710
David S WalkerVP for Finance and Planning, Assistant Treasurer$266,095
Randall G BasingerProvost$221,839
Barry G GoodlingVP for Advancement, Assistant Secretary$217,644
John ChopkaVice President for Enrollment Management$216,676
D Kelly PhippsSen. Adv. to VP of Advmt, Pres & CEO Rider Musser Dev LLC (Listed avg. rep. est. %)$199,189
Kristin M Hansen-KiefferVice Provost/Dean of Students$199,152
Amanda CoffeyVice President for HR and Compliance$182,250
Valerie OlsonDirector of the Physical Therapy Program$181,697

Compensation data as of: 6/30/2019

Response from ministry

No response has been provided by this ministry.

The information below was provided to MinistryWatch by the ministry itself. It was last updated 8/11/2021. To update the information below, please email:


Messiah University received its charter in 1909. Founded by the Brethren in Christ Church, its orientation to Christian service is reflected in its first name-Messiah Bible School and Missionary Training Home. Originally located in Harrisburg, the school was moved to Grantham in 1911 following the construction of Old Main. This building is on land donated by the College's first president, Samuel Rogers Smith, whose house and various business interests were in the village of Grantham.

In the early years, the school offered a high school curriculum and several Bible programs. By 1921 it had also become a junior college, making it the second junior college in Pennsylvania. To reflect this development, the school's name was changed to Messiah Bible School. By the early 1950s the school had developed four-year college programs in religious education and theology. Another change of name-to Messiah College-again intentionally reflected this academic advance of the College. During the 1950s, the College added degree programs in the liberal arts and in 1959 discontinued the secondary school program. Following accreditation in 1963, the College significantly increased the number of majors offered in the liberal arts and introduced undergraduate programs in professional studies. Messiah College now offers more than 85 academic majors.

A growing campus

Growth in the student body and in facilities accompanied the growth in the academic program. Contributing to the increase in numbers of students was the College's policy, declared in its earliest official statements, of welcoming non-Brethren in Christ people as members of the student body. From a first-year total of 12 students, the student body has grown to nearly 2,800 undergraduate students, representing more than 60 denominations. Facilities have also increased from one building-Old Main-to a campus of 471 acres, offering students a breadth of well equipped, high-quality academic, cocurricular, and residential facilities.

Other significant developments have occurred within the last 30 years. In 1965, Upland College, a Brethren in Christ school in California, merged with Messiah College. Three years later, Messiah College opened its Philadelphia Campus in collaboration with Temple University, the first cooperative arrangement in the United States between a church-related college and a nonsectarian university. In 1983, the College became the senior educational partner with Daystar Institute (now Daystar University) in Nairobi, Kenya. Messiah College played a leading role in the founding of the Christian College Consortium in 1971, and later, the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities. In 1972 the legal ties between the College and the Brethren in Christ Church were replaced with a covenant relationship in which legal ownership of the College was placed with a self-perpetuating Board of Trustees.

Messiah's presidents

Two presidents held notably lengthy terms of office. C.N. Hostetter Jr. (president from 1934 to 1960) directed the College through the difficult years of the Depression, and guided its academic life into becoming a four-year liberal arts college. D. Ray Hostetter presided for thirty years (1964-1994) over an expansion that occurred on virtually every level of Messiah College's life.

Under the leadership of its seventh president, Rodney J. Sawatsky, the College furthered its commitment to academic excellence and community engagement and rearticulated its mission and identity statement as follows:

Messiah College is a Christian college of the liberal and applied arts and sciences. The College is committed to an embracing evangelical spirit rooted in the Anabaptist, Pietist, and Wesleyan traditions of the Christian church. Our mission is to educate men and women toward maturity of intellect, character, and Christian faith in preparation for lives of service, leadership, and reconciliation in Church and society.

In December 2004, the College celebrated the appointment of its eighth president, Kim S. Phipps. With the changes and developments of the past 100 years, various elements in the history of Messiah College have remained constant-an emphasis on education for service, acceptance of students and faculty from a diversity of backgrounds, a commitment to excellence, and an endeavor to make Christ preeminent.

Program accomplishments