ABOUT CHICAGO


Chicago is referred to by many names: The Windy City, Chi-Town, and The Second City. A city with so many names is bound to have limitless attractions for tourists all around the world. Most come for things such as: the Willis Tower, Adler Planetarium, Shedd Aquarium, the Buckingham Fountain, as well as Second City Comedy Club. Combine that with close to 20,000 restaurants, 27 beaches, and many, many more attractions, and you have a fun vacation ahead! Chicago, just like most other cities, advertises the wonderful things you can do, eat and explore. However, if that’s all you’re able to see when you come to Chicago then you are missing out on what lies beneath the surface of our city.

Looking deeper under the surface though, we can see that Chicago is a struggling city. Currently, Chicago Public Schools (CPS) is in debt by 6.3 billion dollars. Because of this, cuts have had to be made in order for children to keep going to school. Over the last year Chicago has closed 50 public schools due to debt. What does this mean for our youth? Unfortunately it means that students are having to travel to farther away schools, many times crossing rival gang lines. This brings in more violence to their commute as well as to their classrooms. Through this darkness though, there is hope. The 2013-2014 school year has held a record high percentage for graduation. There is now a 69% graduation rate city wide! Many of our struggling neighborhoods still have a 10% graduation rate, however we have hope that this number will continue to rise.

As you can see, Chicago is a beautiful, struggling city. Through its imperfections, there are numerous glimpses of hope. CSM Chicago is blessed to serve alongside 60 different partners who are working for justice and peace in the city. Join us as we partner in prayer, as well as service, as we seek to further His Kingdom in the city.

  • “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 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.
Chicago City Director
Sarah is originally from Granada Hills, CA in Los Angeles County. She graduated in 2012 from Whitworth University with a BA in Peace Studies and a concentration in African Studies, having spent a year abroad in East and West Africa. She absolutely loves traveling and experiencing different cultures, languages, dances and foods. Sarah served as a CSM Chicago city host in fall 2013 and spring 2014, followed by a summer interning with one of CSM’s ministry partners, Jesus People USA, assisting caseworkers at a local shelter, training as a barista, and tutoring refugees in English. She is excited to be challenged and grown through learning more about the leadership and administrative sides of urban ministry in the city she has grown to love.