Students are immersed within the vibrant, urban community of City Heights in PLNU's Community Classroom program. 

Community Classroom

Program Information

Typical courses offered include Christian Formation & Ministry, Christian Tradition, Elementary Spanish, Ethics, Life of Holiness, and Race & Ethnicity.

Community Classroom offers three opportunities: Classroom in Context (live on campus and commute to City Heights weekly for class), Immersion Program (relocate to City Heights for the semester), and a Certificate in Intercultural Engagement.

“Community Classroom is great! I enjoyed experiencing a learning environment that was different than any I’ve ever known. I loved the participation we had in the community of City Heights, experiencing how, despite our differences, we are all fearfully and wonderfully made.”

Connor Hensley, Class of 2016

Classroom in Context

The Classroom in Context program is designed for students who want to take one or more courses in a multicultural context while continuing to live on campus or commute. By traveling locally, you can experience the world while integrating academics, faith, and hands-on learning. Every class incorporates service learning, neighborhood exploration, monthly dinners, and a common book in the syllabus requirements. We encourage students to truly engage in City Heights and learn from the people of the neighborhood.

Below is a list of the courses offered for the 2018 spring semester:

  • CHU 395 (Section 4) – The Christian Tradition (Thursday, 1 – 3:30 p.m.)
    Mark Mann, Ph.D.

  • CMI 420 (Section 1) – Compassionate Ministry in Local Context (Thursday, 2:30 – 5 p.m.)
    Montague Williams, Ph.D.

  • PHL 211 (Section 2) – Ethics (Tuesday, 2:30 – 5:30 p.m.)
    Mark Wright, Ph.D.

  • SOC 360 (Section 2) – Race and Ethnicity (Monday, 3 – 5:45 p.m.)
    Kevin Modesto, Ph.D.

  • SPA 102 (Section 10) – Elementary Spanish II (Monday and Thursday, 3:15 – 5:05 p.m.) Jacque Mitchell, Ph.D.

  • THE 306 (Section 2) – Life of Holiness (Tuesday, 2:30 – 5 p.m.)
    Montague Williams, Ph.D.

Community Classroom courses are noted in course listings with CITY, and you may register during your regular registration time each semester.

The Immersion Program

The Immersion Program offers students the same rich courses, with the added benefit of living, studying, working, worshiping, and serving in the City Heights neighborhood. Participants have the opportunity to learn from local residents, community leaders, and staff from nonprofit organizations who will be their cultural guides. Internships, practicums, and/or clinical work with several majors are also available. Students will meet weekly with a campus pastor, have a community mentor, and share a weekly meal while living in local housing with other PLNU students.

Certificate in Intercultural Engagement

The Certificate in Intercultural Engagement is designed for students who want part of their academic experience to include a focused engagement in a multicultural setting that will nurture their Christian formation academically and vocationally. Students who participate in the semester-long full immersion program are automatically eligible to receive the certificate.

Students opting to take individual courses must complete the following to receive the certificate:

1. Six units from the following Community Classroom courses when offered in City Heights, with a minimum of 3 units unique to the certificate (i.e., cannot count as a major or general education course):

  • CHU395 – The Christian Tradition (3)
  • CMI155 – Christian Formation & Ministry (3)
  • CMI350 – Church as a Witness to the World (3)
  • CMI420 – Compassionate Ministry in Local Context (3)
  • PHL211 – Ethics (3)
  • SOC360 – Race & Ethnicity (3)
  • SPA101 – Elementary Spanish I (4)
  • SPA102 – Elementary Spanish II (4)
  • THE306 – Life of Holiness (3)

2. Ten hours of co-curricular service learning are built into each Community Classroom course. A total of 20 hours are required for the certificate.

For questions related to the Community Classroom program, please email

Program FAQs

Immersion Program FAQs

How do I apply for this program?

Students will register for classes through their advisor, selecting the courses taught by the faculty participating in this program. There is also a short application online to gather basic information from program candidates. Please note that only students participating in the semester-long full immersion program need to submit an application.

How much does this program cost?

The cost is the same as a regular semester on PLNU’s main campus. All costs of the program will be covered through tuition and room and board, including cross-cultural events, housing, food, public transportation, field trips, etc.

What will the housing be like?

Students will live in the community in houses rented by PLNU. The basic furnishings like beds and so on will be provided along with wireless Internet and cable.

Will my financial aid apply to this program?

Yes! This program will not affect your financial aid.

If I do a study abroad program, can I also participate in Community Classroom?

This will depend on your major and how it will affect your course schedule. Consult with your advisor to see if this program will work for you.

Apply to the Community Classroom Program

Apply to the Community Classroom Program

Only students interested in the semester-long full immersion program are required to apply. For additional questions related to applying, please email

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