Philadelphia Urban Life and Culture – Soc 123

Transcultural and Transforming

Join Michele Hershberger for a three-week, three-hour class in Philadelphia. You will:

  • Improve cultural competency. Practice interpreting the complex social context of urban landscapes.
  • Nurture empathy. Increase appreciation for city life focusing on African-American, Asian-American and Latino/a-American cultures.


Freeman J. Miller, M.Div.
Juan Marrero, M.Div.
Rev. Aldo Siahaan
Rev. Leonard Dow

All instructors are “Indigenairies.” That is, they were born and raised in Philadelphia and know their context because they’ve lived it. They are church and community leaders, people who care about the future of their neighborhoods.

photos from the 2018 Philadelphia trip

Fun things to do:

  • See the Liberty Bell and other historic sites
  • Run up the stairs of the Philadelphia Art Museum like Rocky did!
  • Visit a variety of museums
  • See a Phillies game
  • Shop in downtown Philadelphia
  • Eat great ethnic food

Daily Schedule

Every weekday we’ll spend two hours in a classroom setting. During the second part of the morning, we’ll engage in conversation with three cultural groups: African-American, Asian-American or Latino/a-American.

After lunch we’ll go into the city, visiting neighborhoods, museums, churches and other important cultural landmarks.

Evenings and weekends include special field trips, being together as a Hesston College community, and attending a different congregation each Sunday we’re there. We’ll eat in ethnic restaurants, talk to a variety of people and…Be transformed!


Lodging: Germantown Mennonite Church and St. Joan of Arc House

Cost: $600 plus transportation to and from Philadelphia, and eight restaurant meals. Cost includes tuition, lodging, transportation during the three weeks in Philadelphia and most meals. It does not include transportation to and from Philadelphia, souvenirs or restaurant expenses for approximately eight meals.

Dates & travel: Plan to arrive the evening of May 2. Class will begin the morning of May 3. The class ends on Saturday, May 21 at 4 p.m.. Students provide their own transportation to and from Philadelphia.

Academic credit: Students earn 3 college credit hours. This course can be transferred to some universities as the trans-cultural requirement for graduation.

photos from the 2018 Philadelphia trip