Emmaus is a one-year intentional Christian community that dynamically integrates head, hands and heart. 

In the program students will:

  • Take a religion class that focuses on the ways Christians are called to participate in God’s redeeming love for the broken world (the “head” component)
  • Serve together on campus and in the community (the “hands” component)
  • Engage in weekly prayer, accountability and other spiritual practices (the “heart” component)

Learn how to apply 

What else happens in Emmaus?

  • Students live together in three cottages
  • Meet weekly with community leaders, pastors and professors to talk about faith, mission and justice
  • Volunteer with the Holland Rescue Mission and other agencies committed to caring for the poor
  • Take an immersion trip to Washington, D.C., to learn from faith-based mission and justice agencies working in the city
  • Engage in collaborative research that focuses on particular aspects of social injustice
  • Discern their own particular gifts and the ways God is calling them to serve the world
  • God has called his people to pursue justice
    “What does the Lord require of you but to do justice, love kindness and walk humbly with your God?” (Micah 6:8)
  • God has called his people to work for the good of the city
    “Seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have sent you.” (Jeremiah 29:7)
  • God cherishes diversity and reconciles difference within the church
    “Now there is neither Jew nor Gentile, slave nor free, male and female, for all are one in Christ Jesus.” (Galatians 3:28)
  • We encounter Christ in the midst of intentional community
    “Where two or three gather in my name, there I am with them.” (Matthew 18:20)
Fostering Growth


Through intentional community, daily prayer, weekly worship and communal meals, Emmaus provides a context in which Hope College students can mature in their faith.


Through collaborative research, rigorous coursework, group discussions and theological analysis, Emmaus helps students examine the deep connections between the biblical theme of justice and our call to pursue it in the world.


Through experiential learning, dialogue with real world professionals and engagement with global perspectives, Emmaus helps students learn how God’s love takes shape in a broken world — particularly with respect to such issues as racial reconciliation, economic inequality and community development.


Through an intentional year-long process, Emmaus helps students hear God’s calling upon their life, identify their unique skills and passions, and discern how their vocation can contribute to God’s Kingdom.


Students in Emmaus are required to take the 4 credit REL 295 in the fall. Six other credits are optional (MIN 395 and LDRS 201) . 

  • REL 295 – Reconciliation, Justice and Christian Mission (fall, 4 credits). Credits can count as Senior Seminar requirement or can be applied toward a religion major/minor.
  • MIN 395 – Christian Mission and Intentional Community (optional, fall and spring, total of 4 credits). Credits can count toward ministry minor. 
  • LDRS 201 – Introduction to Servant Leadership and Team-Building (optional, spring, 2 credits).
Spring Break Trip

We spend the week in Washington, D.C., learning about Christ-centered social justice through on-the-ground experiences, conversations and service opportunities.

About the Name

We encounter God in the midst of community. Nowhere is this more obvious than in the Road to Emmaus story at the end of Luke’s Gospel. In this story two disciples, distraught over the death of Jesus, come to recognize the risen Christ as they share a meal with a stranger. Immediately their world is turned upside down. Their only response is to worship the Lord and tell others what they’ve seen. In short, the word “Emmaus” signifies this new form of discipleship — one that welcomes the stranger, enjoys fellowship with others and witnesses to God’s reconciling work in the world.


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