Philadelphia is rooted in a deep history – nicknamed the birthplace of America. The Liberty Bell finds its home here. The men who are named the fathers of our nation walked our streets and made their homes here, building the city on a foundation of justice and freedom. Yet so often the story of the city “of brotherly love” does not point to this freedom. Philly has become characterized by a crumbling school system, a large number of abandoned homes, violence and drug addiction. It does not appear to be a place that is walking towards a grander experience of the future.

But in that, the city remains anchored to the tension between the old and the new, the already and not yet. Murals are painted over graffiti, uniting neighborhoods under banners of awareness, joy and celebration. The cobblestone streets are swept revealing the richness that was covered with the litter of today. Holidays are celebrated with gusto and joy. Fairmount Park covers over 9,200 acres of landscaped open space promoting physical activities and peace from the busyness of urban centers. The experience of our future looks less bleak.

  • “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
Olivia is originally from West Chester, PA. She graduated from West Chester University with a degree in Women's and Gender Studies, a minor in Youth Empowerment and Urban Studies, as well as a minor in Communication Studies. Her first experience with CSM was attending a trip when she was in high school. This trip was so transformational for her that she hosted in Philadelphia the summer of 2014. As the Associate Director, she is looking forward to being more in depth with what our partners are doing in the city, and knowing that trip participants are being transformed by that and seeing people come to follow the Lord in a new way.
City Director
Joe hails from the small, rural, town of Richmond, Indiana. In 2013, he felt called to work with the homeless by becoming a City Host with CSM in Chicago. After his life changing summer with CSM, Joe completed his degree in Psychology and Leadership at Indiana Wesleyan University. The next year, Joe lived out his newfound values by living in intentional community and volunteering full time with Mission Year in Philadelphia. In 2016, Joe chose to merge his hosting knowledge with his newfound love for Philadelphia by joining the CSM Philadelphia team as the Associate City Director. Joe hopes that he will be able to learn more about the whole city of Philadelphia while empowering hosts and groups to take lessons learned in the city and apply them to their hometowns. Joe hopes to one day visit every local Philly coffee shop and watch each movie on AFI’s 100 Years 100 Movies list.