Emmaus Scholars Program    
hope college > emmaus scholars program     

News <
Program <
Questions <
Apply <
Staff <
Contact Us <

Follow us on Twitter



Below you will find a number of answers to common questions about the Emmaus Scholars Program.
Should there be any questions for which we have not provided an adequate response please attend one of the information sessions or contact us directly at

Do I have to be a Religion Major (Minor) or Christian Ministry Minor to be part to be an Emmaus Scholars Program?
No, all Hope students are eligible to become Emmaus Scholars. The program's emphasis upon leadership development, theological reflection, spiritual formation and the work of justice effectively complements other academic programs and majors at Hope.

Is the Emmaus Scholars Program an Honors Program?
Yes and no. Like the Phelps Scholars, this program offers a select cohort of students unique opportunities to learn and grow. However, unlike a traditional Honors program, this program is open to all students not just those with the highest GPA.

What qualifications do I need in order to be considered a candidate for this program?
Any Hope student who desires to commit to live in intentional Christian community, who wishes to love God and neighbor, to participate fully in prayer, worship, service, witness, leadership, learning and scholarship alongside fellow Emmaus Scholars is qualified to become an Emmaus Scholar.

What can I do if I don’t have a Pastor, Priest or Chaplain to write a letter of reference on my behalf?
If you are new to the Christian faith, or simply don’t know a pastor, priest, or chaplain well enough, then please ask another adult who knows you well enough to speak of your commitment to the Christian faith.

Can I apply to be an Emmaus Scholars Program if I am currently a Junior?
Sadly, the program is for Sophomores and Juniors. This means that only current Freshmen and Sophomores can apply.

How many credits dos this program take?
The Emmaus Scholars Program is comprised of 10 credits, 4 credits of which satisfy your Religion II general education requirement.

How do I become an Emmaus Scholars Program?
Complete a short application form that asks you to tell us something about yourself, describe your commitment to Christ and understanding of the mission and witness of the church, tell us what short-term mission or cross-cultural experiences you may have had, and help us to learn what you hope to learn as an Emmaus Scholar. Don’t worry about providing a sophisticated understanding of the church, Christianity or mission. Instead simply help us to get to know you, and your desire to have each of these become an increasingly important part of your life.

What is the meaning of the term “Emmaus” in the title of this program?
The term “Emmaus” appears in the final chapter of Luke’s Gospel. This chapter narrates the teaching, appearance, fellowship, revelation, command, and blessing of Christ. This passage illustrates a number of key elements of the Christian life, including:
  • Openness to strangers along the way
  • Learning from Christ (Jesus reveals the proper meaning of Scripture) in the midst of life's journey
  • The centrality of the risen Christ to the existence and shape of Christian community, fellowship and hope
  • The importance of fellowship over meals: eucharist / hospitality / community / fellowship
  • Reconciliation - Christ’s transformative victory over sin and death as the ground of forgiveness and hope
  • Mission - Christ calls, blesses and (through the Spirit) empowers his disciples for lives of mission to all peoples.
  • Worship - blessed by Christ, the disciples returning to the temple in Jerusalem worshiping the risen Lord awaiting the blessing of the Holy Spirit.
In short, the term “Emmaus” shows the fully integrated nature of Christian learning, worship, discipleship and mission.


Dr. Mark Husbands with Wheaton students on the road to Emmaus, 2006.

What is “Integral Mission”?
Integral mission leads us to see that the transforming love and grace of Jesus Christ has both individual and social consequences. It leads Christians to commit their lives to a holistic expression of the Gospel: refusing to separate evangelism from social justice, while also resisting expressions of justice that fail to name Christ as the source, authority and goal of the moral life. In short, integral mission joins together worship, care for the poor, prayer and the proclamation of God’s transformative mission of forgiveness and reconciliation.

Is there a scholarship for students who become Emmaus Scholars?
No. Just like the Phelps Scholars Program, students in the program are called scholars because of their commitment to academic excellence and desire to understand the world in all of its detail, wonder, and significance. Of course, Emmaus Scholars should certainly apply for other scholarships for which they are eligible. The Financial Aid Office can provide you with more information.

What are the expectations the college has of its Emmaus Scholars?
  • To live in community, living in cottages with other Emmaus Scholars.
  • Enroll in the following three courses:
    • REL 267 - Emmaus Seminar - “Reconciliation and Integral Mission” (Fall, 4 credits)
    • LDRS 201 - Introduction to Leadership: “Servant Leadership, Team-building, Christian Perspective” (Spring, 2 credits)
    • MIN 395, “Integral Mission and Intentional Community” (Fall and Spring, total of 4 credits)
  • To participate actively in the spiritual life of the program (daily prayer, regular church attendance), weekly community dinners, monthly service learning, cultural events, fall and Spring retreats, joint Spring-break immersion trip, joint research on integral mission.
  • To meet once a semester with the program director to make sure that each student is on track for academic, inter-personal, spiritual and professional growth.
  • To maintain an open, gracious and positive attitude to learning from others from different backgrounds.
  • To do high-quality academic research and work.
  • To support, pray and care for fellow Emmaus Scholars, sharing in the worship and prayer life of Hope College.
I am a varsity athlete, does this mean that I can’t apply for this program given the time commitments of daily prayer, weekly meals, monthly service-learning?
We encourage athletes, and all students who are involved in demanding programs at Hope to apply to the Emmaus Scholars Program, provided that they are willing to fully commit to participate in all aspects of the program. We know, for example, that the majority of student athletes show considerable discipline in organizing their lives in ways that allow them to perform at a high-level in both athletics and academics. We will work with each Emmaus Scholar to do all that we can to ensure that they can flourish and enjoy their involvement in both academic and athletic pursuits.

what is the difference between the Emmaus Scholars Program and Hope Neighbors Community?

Well, in important ways, they share a “family resemblance” - both programs are committed to intentional Christian community, providing students with wonderful opportunities to grow in their faith, to worship, study Scripture, commit to a local congregation, explore justice and be involved in outreach to the community. The central goal of both programs is to help students to glorify God, grow in their faith, and live out the Gospel in community.

The most important differences between these two programs looks something like this:



Who should apply to be an Emmaus Scholar?
Anyone who is interested! We seek an energetic, committed, and diverse group of students who wish to live in intentional Christian community learning how to do justice, grow in their faith, and critically reflect upon integral mission and the centrality of Christ to God’s reconciliation of the world.