ABOUT CHICAGO


Chicago – also known as Chi-Town, The Windy City, the City of Big Shoulders, and The Second City – is a fascinating place. Being the 3rd largest city in the United States of America, Chicago houses around 2.7 million residents within its city limits, and 9.5 million people if you take its surrounding suburbs into account. With this amount of people comes a lot of beauty, talent, culture, and attractions that can be enjoyed city-wide. With over 5,000 restaurants, 250 theaters, 225 music venues, 200 dance companies, 56 museums, 700 public works of art, 26 miles of lakefront, 26 beaches, and 580 parks, Chicago’s city culture is constantly bustling and attracts over 52 million tourists each year. Many visitors come to see famous downtown structures and places such as the Willis Tower, Wrigley Field, Millenium Park (where the famous “Bean” resides), Navy Pier, the Buckingham Fountain, and Second City Comedy Club, while others come to tour and shop along Chicago’s downtown Magnificent Mile. Outside of downtown, Chicago has a lot of cultures and beauty to explore, as the city is extremely diverse. The city itself is separated into 77 different neighborhoods, each of which has its own unique culture and community. Many neighborhoods are unique to the cultures of the individuals who have immigrated to those places from afar, and present many opportunities for others to come and learn about the many different parts of the world. All of these things come together to make Chicago an extremely unique, beautiful, and exciting place.

Along with all of it’s excitement and attractions, the city of Chicago also has a deep history that led to not only these attractions coming to be, but also to the development of some painful issues that it’s residents face on a day-to-day basis. From government corruption which led to a mass amount of debt for the city and resulted in the closure of over 40 public schools due to a lack of funding; to racism and racist housing acts passed in the mid-1900s that forced many into poverty and kept the city segregated still to this day; to a lack of resources in lower-income areas that result in food deserts, an increase in violence and gang involvement, lack of education, and a corrupt justice system; the people of Chicago have many hard realities that they live with.

As we seek to serve our city best, we have found that we need to seek to understand both the beautiful and painful parts of Chicago’s history and current events. We love the beautiful, fun, unique, and diverse parts of the city, but we also love understanding our neighbors as we learn more about the things they are currently experiencing and how the city’s history has brought them to this place. We would like to invite you to come and prayerfully learn alongside of us as we seek to serve our neighbors and further the work that God is already doing in the city through our numerous ministry partners as well as many others who are fighting for justice in Chicago!

  • “CSM blends a passion for the inner-city with a heart for the youth and families who come to serve. It’s mission and service at it best.”

    Dann Spader, Founder of Sonlife Ministries
  • I LOVE the concept of the ministry, and the opportunities to engage the individual folks on the street and hear their stories were priceless!
    I know our kids will be impacted for a long time to come:)

    Group Leader
  • Thank you for a wonderful experience and for my students. I know that they not only enjoyed themselves, but has left them with some wonderful memories. Detroit is a wonderful city and is in need of more help! Thank you again for your organization and for making a difference to the people of Detroit.

    Group Leader
  • My hopes and prayers for my College group were met.  I believe,  by God’s grace,  each of us had a life-changing experience by serving together in each of the Ministry sites. It was a joy to come along-side the work God is doing in the Churches and Ministries in Nashville. Thank you again for your wisdom and friendship.

    Group Leader
  • Thank you for making this a memorable trip for me. I have done a few student mission trips in the past, but none as well organized and thought out as this.

    Group Leader
  • I love CSM’s philosophy of ministry and mission. That’s why I brought a new church to you guys this past summer. I look forward to doing other trips in the future with CSM

    Group Leader
  • Thank you for being a part of our ministry and for helping our students get some perspective on serving and helping those living in poverty. I appreciated the fact that the students were given the opportunity to make and impact and to be impacted.

    Group Leader
  • Thank you for having a great organization where people are given the opportunity to learn and serve those in need. Thank you for treating our group with respect and having a great host to share our experience with. God bless you all.

    Group Leader
  • “Here at the Cartel, we think it’s cool that they have year-round, long-term relationships with their ministry partners within the cities they work in. In other words their strategy is like ours…we develop long-term collaborative ministry partners within an ecosystem we call “the Cartel” and CSM does the same type of thing within the short-term missions world, developing long-term collaborative mission partnerships.

    Adam McLane, Partner at The Youth Cartel
  • I can confidently say that the CSM is doing short term mission trips as well as they can be done. The work of CSM is thoughtful, wise, symbiotic, and generative… and CSM is doing a brilliant job furthering the Kingdom of God. I am delighted to call them a partner in the revolution.

    Shane Claiborne
  • If Christians are to make an impact for the Kingdom in the 21st century, they must live out the call to be Jesus’ hands and feet to the poor and needy. CSM gives young people and adults the opportunity to do just that in North America’s inner–cities.

    Tony Campolo

Associate Director
Kristina is originally from the great state of Michigan. She graduated from Indiana Wesleyan University with a Bachelor’s degree in Christian Worship and a double minor in International Community Development and Church Music. She spent a summer hosting in CSM Chicago before becoming an Associate Director in May of 2017. In her free time she enjoys drinking coffee, playing music, cycling, and buying cool socks! She is looking forward to seeking the Lord in Chicago, and loving the community around her.
City Director
Emily is originally from the “Small Wonder” state called Delaware. She graduated from Liberty University (in Virginia) in May of 2011 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology. After graduating, she moved to Chicago to host groups at CSM throughout the Fall of 2011 and Spring of 2012. When the opportunity to work for CSM Chicago as an associate city director arose in May of 2014, she gladly took the opportunity to grow and be challenged in a new way on the mission field. In her spare moments, she loves to spend time with family and friends, play ultimate Frisbee, go running, set up her hammock outside, marvel at the beauty of Chicago, and daydream of one day owning the cutest puppy in the world.