Since 1962, BCA Study Abroad has been committed to helping students understand the complexities of the contemporary world by providing quality academic programs and cross-cultural learning in locations around the globe. From its start, BCA has focused its educational mission on engaging students with local people and the issues that impact their lives. As a result, students who participate in a BCA program gain a more comprehensive understanding of the world.
BCA Study Abroad is an independent, non-profit 501(c)(3), international education organization founded in 1962 by a consortium of seven colleges of the Brethren tradition: Bethany Theological Seminary (IN), Bridgewater College (VA), Elizabethtown College (PA), Juniata College (PA), Manchester University (IN), McPherson College (KS) and University of La Verne (CA). The presidents of the founding colleges constitute the BCA Board of Directors. For many years, BCA Study Abroad has engaged internationally-minded students from a wide range of institutions–-more than 100 different U.S. universities and colleges–including many students from our original partners. The BCA Academic Council, which is a small team of academics from various colleges and universities, reviews courses for academic credit. The BCA Advisory Council provides guidance, makes recommendations and shares expertise to support BCA’s organizational initiatives and goals in program development. Elizabethtown College (in the small number of cases where this is needed by our partners) provides transcripts, but in most cases transcripts come from our host universities abroad or our partners accredit the programs based on BCA grade reports. Our central office staff in Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania, handles BCA’s admissions processes, administrative oversight, marketing activities, financial operations, health and safety planning and procedures, as well as university relations, often in close collaboration with our on-site resident directors abroad who are responsible for program design, implementation and quality-control at each of our sites.