Learn in context. Pursue justice together. Experience abundant life. Human Needs and Global Resources (HNGR)

Wheaton College’s Human Needs and Global Resources certificate is a unique academic program among Christian colleges and universities that complements your major through cultural immersion, experiential learning, professional development, and whole-person formation.

Student with seeds fruits and vegetables

Major Credits Required

  • 28

Offered As

  • Certificate

Other Information

  • 4- to 8-credit international internship and a 2- to 4-credit independent study in your major.

6 Months Abroad

This 26-week internship program is designed for full cultural and professional immersion.

100% of majors represented

Wheaton students from every major and academic department participate in HNGR.

75+ countries

HNGR participants learn, serve, worship, and intern with more than 350 host organizations across the globe.

Program Highlight HNGR at a Glance

Human Needs and Global Resources (HNGR) is a two-year, academic certificate program that is open to all majors. It features a six-month, international internship where students learn directly from people who are working creatively for God's shalom in their communities and in the wider world. One of the biggest vocational benefits of the HNGR certificate is that it provides you with hands-on learning in your major.

The HNGR certificate is designed to give you life and vocational experience through on-campus, preparatory coursework and a culturally immersive, professional internship. You will join an interdisciplinary cohort of Wheaton students to learn about the causes of global poverty and to develop a life-orienting commitment to justice, intercultural humility, compassion, hospitality, environmental health, and peacemaking.

Everyday Life from the 2019 HNGR Cohort

While You're Abroad Learning, Experiencing & Exploring

You’ll spend the six months—the summer before and the fall semester of your senior year—interning with and learning from local professionals whose organizational work matches your vocational interests. But the HNGR internship is much more than gaining professional experience: 

Marissa Tan Sawyer HNGR alumna

Personalized Professional Internship Placement

The Human Needs and Global Resources staff will work with you to identify an internship placement that fits your interests and learning goals. Your site supervisor will not only serve as a professional mentor, but they will also support you as you acclimate to the local life in the community.

HNGR Student sketching in sketch book

Interdisciplinary Coursework & Independent Study

During your time abroad, you’ll also take a few Wheaton courses, including Global Christian Perspectives (HNGR 481/4). You’ll also conduct an independent research or creative project in collaboration with your host organization and under the supervision of your Wheaton College faculty advisor. 

HNGR student with local villagers

Homestay & Local Church Experience

Most HNGR students stay with a host family during their internship. You’ll build relationships while you live, eat, converse, and worship together. You will be accompanied by local leaders and families in learning language, culture, and everyday life in your new home and community.

While You’re On Campus Preparing, Debriefing & Reflecting

While the 26-week international internship is the heart of the HNGR program, this interdisciplinary certificate also involves courses and learning activities before and after your internship.

HNGR Students Engaged Therapy Sand Play

HNGR Core Classes & Co-Curricular Activities

In anticipation of applying to HNGR and in preparation of your internship, you’ll take courses such as:

  • Poverty, Justice & Transformation  (HNGR 114)
  • Culture & Difference (ANTH 353)
  • Field Research Methods/Intercultural Orientation (HNGR 385)
  • Elective of your choice

Also, during your junior year gain intercultural experience through volunteering with a local organization.

HNGR Chapel 2022

Post-Internship Courses & Activities

Upon your return to campus, you’ll complete the HNGR capstone course, which culminates with a final paper that integrates your learning from your lived experience in your host community, your HNGR course readings, and your internship. An integration paper reflecting on your experience in the Majority World. Your final semester will also include a special HNGR Chapel and a celebratory Certificate Ceremony.

HNGR Students Outside Mandala Cafe 2022

HNGR Cohort Learning & Retreats

Prior to the internship, all HNGR interns participate together in bi-weekly small groups, retreats, and other cohort activities. During the internship, you will learn from a shared, cohort curriculum and receive updates about the unique experiences of your cohort mates. Upon return to campus, you will participate in 5-day retreat to process your internship learning with your cohort and the HNGR staff.

HNGR Student with Dr. Amy Peeler under colorful canopy

How to Apply to HNGR at Wheaton

Many students arrive at Wheaton College eager to participate in HNGR. Any first- or second-year student is encouraged to visit the HNGR office and speak with their faculty advisor to learn more about the program. Interested students officially apply to the certificate program in the fall semester of their second year.

Are You a Current Wheaton Student? 

Apply to HNGR Today >

Success After Wheaton Where You’ll Find HNGR Alumni

The HNGR Certificate is just the start of life-orienting learning, where the students' internship experience and major lead them to pursue careers and advanced degrees in a wide variety of fields, including law, human rights, public health, engineering, medicine, education, social work, and ministry, among many others. 


HNGR program participants find meaningful careers with companies and organizations throughout the world, such as: 

  • Americorps
  • Environmental Resources Management
  • ECHO
  • Habitat for Humanity
  • International Criminal Court
  • J.P. Morgan Chase
  • Kimberly-Clark Corporation
  • International Association for Refugees
  • International Rescue Committee
  • London School of Economics
  • Lutheran Social Services
  • Memoria Indígena
  • National Institutes of Health
  • Red Cross International
  • Save the Children
  • Seattle Children’s Hospital 
  • Teach for America
  • United Nations
  • World Bank
  • World Relief

Continued Learning

HNGR graduates go on to pursue graduate professional degrees at institutions such as: 

  • Baylor University (M.D.)
  • Brooklyn Law School (J.D.)
  • Duke Divinity School (M.Div., Ph.D., theology)
  • Emory University (M.P.H.)
  • Fuller Seminary (M.Div.)
  • Johns Hopkins University (Ph.D., public health)
  • Harvard University (Th.D.)
  • Northwestern University (M.P.H., J.D.)
  • Rutgers Law School (J.D.)
  • Tufts University (M.P.H.)
  • University of Chicago (M.S.W.)
  • University of Illinois Chicago (D.N.P.)
  • University of Notre Dame (Ph.D., political science)
  • Yale Law School (J.D.)
Kalei Hosaka ‘16
HNGR Alumni Spotlight

Excellence in Public Health

For six months, I worked in a community health clinic that served HIV patients in resource-limited areas of Delhi. As a result, the HIV community became important to me. Throughout medical school and residency, I made efforts to work on important HIV research and public health topics.

Kalei Hosaka (‘16) was an intern with Shalom Delhi as a part of Wheaton’s Human Needs and Global Resources program. In 2020, he was awarded the Excellence in Public Health Award from the US Public Health Service Physician Professional Advisory Committee. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are answers to some of the top questions we get about the Wheaton College HNGR program. The Human Needs and Global Resources Center website also has information about the certificate program and other HNGR initiatives at Wheaton.

What does HNGR stand for? (And what is the correct acronym?)

Sometimes misidentified as the  HUNGR program, the easiest way to remember the correct acronym is by what it stands for: Human Needs and Global Resources.

Is HNGR a Christian study abroad program?

HNGR is an academic certificate program that integrates multidisciplinary coursework, a six-month internship, field-based research, and whole-person Christian formation through experiential learning.

What is the first step to getting involved in the HNGR Program?

Students interested in applying to the HNGR program set up an informational meeting during their Freshman or Sophomore first or second year at Wheaton and enroll in our introductory course, HNGR 114 Poverty, Justice, Transformation. If you are interested, stop by the office to make an appointment with the Partnership & Placement Manager to discuss your interests, concerns, and options with regard to the Program.

See more FAQs >


If you’re a current student or want to dig deeper into the HNGR certificate, here are some additional resources for you to explore.

HNGR Center Website

The HNGR certificate is part of the HNGR academic center. Visit the HNGR Center website for more details about our faculty, research, alumni, and symposium.

HNGR Course Requirements

Visit the Wheaton College catalog for specific requirements and course descriptions.