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Mission and History

Our mission is to provide urban, experiential education from a Christian perspective that equips students for integrated personal, professional and public lives.


Founded in 1974 by 6 colleges in the Reformed Christian tradition, Chicago semester has served students from over 20 partner and affiliate colleges. Nearly 4,000 CS alumni have participated in the program since its existence. Take a look at the program’s progression through the last 40 years:

1974: The Program was founded by 6 Christian colleges. It was originally called the Chicago Metropolitan Center.

1992: The program added a social work program to serve students from accredited BSW programs.

1994: The student teaching program was added allowing students to meet all student teaching requirements through placement in the Chicago Public Schools.

2002: Chicago Semester was named the Experiential Education Program of the Year by the National Society for Experiential Education (NSEE).

2003: The program again expanded adding a program for Nursing students.

2014: Chicago Semester celebrated its 40th Anniversary as a program.

2015: Chicago Semester launched its first summer program.

Program Information

Every semester at Chicago Semester is different, because every semester is tailored specifically to you. Building an experience based on your unique interests, you will choose between several top-notch internship sites, select courses that help you explore and engage in social justice issues within the city, nurture your professional development and engage with the arts. You will also learn what it means to work and live in the amazing city of Chicago. You’ll fulfill course requirements at your home campus, all while completing a full-time internship. This semester will be like no other you ever experience – let Chicago Semester start writing your Chicago story today!




Learn more about Chicago Semester Staff

Professional Students

Chicago semester also tailors to students in fields such as education, nursing and social work, providing the opportunity to do your student teaching, clinical and field experience in the city of Chicago. For more information, visit our Internships page!