The Poverty Track brings together the well-resourced and the under-resourced into a learning community to join God’s work of alleviating global poverty.

Whatever your background, if you are deeply troubled by the disconnect between the reality of poverty and the message of the gospel, and are willing to let your life bridge that gap, the Poverty Track is for you.

What to Expect

The Poverty Track will guide you through the Urbana experience with:

  • A Welcome session (December 27, 4 - 5pm, at the America's Center)
  • Manuscript Bible Study each morning with others in the Poverty Track
  • 2 afternoon plenary sessions on December 28 and 29 (at the DoubleTree, lunch provided)
  • Debriefing gatherings each night with others in the Poverty Track
  • Mentors who have lived and served in poor communities
  • Suggestions for how to use seminars and free-times with purpose

By the end of Urbana, all participants in the Poverty Track will be equipped to enter into consistent relationship with someone from another socio-economic background, to participate in a six-week cross-cultural/cross-economic mission experience, to use your vocation to help alleviate global poverty, or to consider living and ministering in an under-resourced community for two to three years.

Join the Poverty Track during registration. There are no additional registration costs to be part of Urbana tracks.

Track Sessions

  • Welcome Session, December 27, 4 - 5pm, Ferrara Theater in the America's Center. Wondering what you’ve gotten yourself into? Join us to learn about all the track has to offer – seminars, mentors, and everything else. We’ll help you navigate your entire Urbana experience, and set you up for a successful week. 
  • Plenary Session: Conviction, December 28, 1:30 - 3pm, Grand Ballroom, Doubletree Hotel. This session will develop a Shalom theology that creates a framework for our God-centered work to alleviate global poverty. Nikki Toyama- Szeto will lead our time, speaking out of her experience as the Vice President of Global Strategies for Christian Engagement for International Justice Mission. We’ll also hear testimonies from Ivan Paz and Alexia Salvatierra about how a holistic theology has shaped the justice work they do. 
  • Plenary Session: Courage, December 29, 1:30 – 3pm, Grand Ballroom, Doubletree HotelThis session will lead us to face the fears that keep us from living out our convictions with courage. Efren Roxas, who was sent by his slum community in Manila to serve as a missionary in Cambodia, will lead our time and share his personal story of overcoming fear. Michael McBride and others will share their testimonies of stepping out in faith and courage in their work to alleviate global poverty.

Suggested seminars


Have a burning question that you'd like to talk to someone about? Interested in alleviating global poverty, but needing some guidance how to do that in your life? Meet up with a mentor from the Urbana 15 Poverty Track. Our mentors are justice practitioners from around the world, and they're ready to share from their experience and answer your questions. Make sure to bring a few friends with you to your meeting, so more people have a chance to interact with such awesome mentors. 

Book an Appointment


To fully participate in this residential track, you'll need to stay at the St. Louis Union Station DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel, where the track will be held. To save money on housing, find 3 roommates to split the hotel room cost.

IMPORTANT: Do not call the hotel or book a room through an internet hotel service. Urbana 15 has arranged housing through St. Louis hotels at a steeply discounted rate. If you are registered for Urbana, you can book your housing by logging in to Your Account. Urbana housing details can be found here. Contact Urbana if you have you have not received housing instructions.