Campus Ministry

Christian Service

The Gonzaga Service Program provides experiences that increase in depth and intensity as the student matures—what begins as a sheltered exposure to the poor during freshman year grows into deeper relationships with society’s marginalized by graduation. 
All Gonzaga students have regular ongoing opportunities to serve the local community, support broader outreach, and promote the common good. A schedule of events with detailed descriptions of the opportunities as well as information on service requirements, is accessible to students by clicking on the Campus Ministry link in each class year’s Canvas course. Reminders will be shared with students from Campus Ministers, faculty, and in some cases, coaches or Gonzaga clubs. Students are encouraged to record their participation in the Mobileserve app--we love knowing what students are doing and hope to celebrate student service, whether it goes toward completing a requirement or simply reflects their interests and attention to the good of the community.

Faith in Action Programming

Our Faith in Action Programming offers diverse opportunities to respond to the needs of the poor and marginalized while exploring pressing social issues. The events of our Faith in Action calendar fall into four distinct categories:

List of 4 items.

  • Responding to Community Needs

    Responding to the needs of the community is an essential challenge of putting one’s faith into action. The activities in this category require students to appreciate how people in either local or distant communities suffer real deprivation. Recognizing and responding to the needs of others, we make ourselves an instrument of change by attempting to meet particular needs for goods like food, health, educational opportunity, or human connection. Some of the opportunities in this category reflect how we can serve, in some instances, simply by being present. Giving our time and attention to the marginalized or excluded, listening to their stories, or conveying our support is a way to do justice to the experience of others. 

    Through these events, students will be challenged to serve, but also to make a connection, form relationships, and simply listen for the joys and anxieties that other people experience. Jesus’s own life models this ministry of presence or accompaniment. 
  • Faith Justice Prayer Services

    Faith Justice Prayer Services allow us to join with Catholics and other faith-filled people around the globe in praying for those whose needs are often neglected and whose dignity is often denied. Our prayer helps us follow more closely the example set by Jesus in His ministry to the poor and the vulnerable, opens us to the Holy Spirit’s gifts of sensitivity, wisdom, and courage, and reminds us that we are all children of God. Prayer and reflection are key elements in the Church’s Catholic Social teaching and the pastoral circle, a tool utilized whenever we encounter the afflicted, the excluded, those on the margins.
  • Acts of Solidarity

    Acts of Solidarity are a constitutive element of our Faith in Action Programming because service calls us to deepen our connection to the poor and marginalized. In the Gospels, we hear a call to compassion, nearness, and tenderness. We can promote justice and deepen our connection to poor and marginalized people by reducing our consumption of goods produced by vulnerable populations, conscientiously devoting resources to the public good rather than a personal privilege, and caring for our common home through environmental solidarity. These events aim to help students put themselves in another’s shoes and to live more simply.
  • Advocacy Events

    Advocacy is a key way we can put our faith in action. It entails working to undo inequities, systemic injustice, mistreatment built into the way our systems and structures operate. We use our voices to foster dialogue about the common good, to call for change, and to inform others of the requirements of love in the public sphere. By doing things like writing letters to elected officials, engaging business leaders in conversations about their policies, and by helping the public to better understand the social consequences of particular policies, laws, or practices, advocacy events encourage students to consider root causes of social ills and to seek systemic remedies.

Class Year Service Requirement

Service requirements, which are the student's responsibility to meet, must be completed to progress to the next year and to graduate. Each class has a designated service coordinator in Campus Ministry, who in addition to checking in with all students about satisfying their requirement, will visit classes to clarify the process and offer additional support in partnership with teaching faculty.

List of 4 items.

  • Freshman Year

    Freshmen are required to complete six pre-approved experiences of direct service to the poor and marginalized, three each semester. Freshman religion faculty integrate these experiences with the curriculum and furnish reflection opportunities. Ms. Maddie Davin is the service coordinator for freshmen. 
  • Sophomore Year

    Sophomores are required to complete eight pre-approved formative experiences, four each semester, aimed at fostering a habit of direct service to the poor and marginalized as well as prayerful reflection. English faculty integrate these experiences with the curriculum and foster reflection on the experiences within the class. Ms. Danielle Flood is the service coordinator for sophomores. 
  • Junior Year

    In the junior year, students are required to complete 10 pre-approved formative experiences, five each semester, aimed at deepening a commitment to direct service, fostering the capacity to reflect theologically upon encounters with the poor and marginalized, and strengthening the spirit of solidarity. Junior history teachers integrate these experiences with the curriculum and enable shared reflection. Mr. David Bowles is the service coordinator for juniors. 
  • Senior Year

    To graduate, each senior is required to complete five pre-approved direct service experiences in the summer before senior year, then four additional pre-approved formative experiences during each semester. This formation program reflects the Graduate at Graduation’s commitments as well as elements of the pastoral circle by leading students to engage in direct service to the poor and marginalized, acts of solidarity, theological reflection, social analysis, and advocacy. The senior religion faculty embed these 13 total experiences within the curriculum of their courses. Mr. Michael Libunao-Macalintal is the service coordinator for seniors. 

Local Service Opportunities

Campus Ministry coordinates and promotes a variety of local direct service opportunities during the academic year. These opportunities are all presented to students in our Faith in Action Programming as building blocks of the Responding to Community Needs Challenge (see above). Participation frequently requires signing up in advance as space can be limited. 

List of 4 items.

  • The McKenna Center

    The McKenna Center is a drop-in center for homeless men that’s located in the basement of St. Aloysius Church, right on Gonzaga's campus. Students in the Freshman and Sophomore classes are invited to volunteer in the morning  at the breakfast program or during their lunch periods to serve lunch to the guests there. Mr. Bowles serves as the point person for this regular service opportunity. 
  • Unique Residential

    Unique Residential is a nursing home next door to Gonzaga on Eye Street. Gonzaga sponsors a series of events through the year that allow the school community to meet residents of Unique and celebrate holidays and special occasions with them. Ms. Davin supports these as the point person for this regular service opportunity. 
  • The Gonzaga Kitchen Project

    In 2005, Gonzaga was proud to open the inaugural high school chapter of Campus Kitchen. A national food recycling program, Campus Kitchen used food that might otherwise be discarded by cafeterias to make nutritious meals for the elderly and home-bound. Although the national organization closed in 2020, Gonzaga continued the program as The Gonzaga Kitchen Project.

    Students of all grade levels prepare meals in the McKenna Center kitchen and then deliver them to neighbors in need in our community. This service typically follows school on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays. Ms. Flood, who coordinates this opportunity for the school, and Ms. Davin serve as the two point people in Campus Ministry for this regular service opportunity. 
  • Washington Jesuit Academy

    All students are invited to play chess with students from the Washington Jesuit Academy, a Jesuit middle school serving boys from low-income areas in Washington, D.C., on Monday afternoons from 3-5pm.  Students may sign up and record their participation in Mobileserve. Mr. Szolosi serves as the point person for this regular service opportunity. 

Service Immersion Trips

On a wide variety of immersion trips, led by members of the Gonzaga faculty and staff, Gonzaga outreach groups accompany and serve a host community. While there, students live simply, build community, participate in prayer and reflection, and work to understand both the gifts and hardships of a particular community.
Spring and summer immersion experiences are often a highlight in a student’s four years at Gonzaga. Application is required. Typically, juniors apply for upcoming spring and summer immersion trips in November and freshmen and sophomores apply in late January to attend one of four summer immersion trips based in Emmitsburg, Maryland and the McKenna Center.

List of 10 items.

  • Apopka

    The Apopka immersion trip provides a firsthand experience of the present immigration dilemma facing our country. Rising seniors spend the week living with immigrant families in homestays and working on farms and in nurseries throughout Apopka, FL. Students will work primarily with the Hope Community Center.
  • Camden

    The group of rising seniors will spent the week at Camden’s Oscar Romero Center & experience urban poverty in new ways by living simply, learning about issues through a Catholic lens, and serving at many of the city’s social service agencies. Because students work with a variety of sites, they are able to encounter justice from various angles.
  • Emmitsburg

    This project is open to freshmen and sophomores who are interested in growing in empathy for the rural poor of Emmitsburg, MD. While there, service projects include yard work, handy-work, and relational activities with the poor, elderly, and disabled of the community. Rising seniors serve as student leaders to freshman and sophomore participants.
  • Kansas City

    Rising seniors will spend the week Jerusalem Farm, living simply in a Catholic intentional community. The group will learn about urban poverty, sustainable farming, and environmental justice. Participants will have the opportunity to work on the farm located in the city, prepare meals, and deliver food to those in need.
  • Los Angeles

    Rising seniors will work alongside Homeboy Industries, founded by Fr. Greg Boyle, SJ, and other ministries that support those living on Skid Row. The group will learn about gang violence, incarceration, and urban poverty in the city, as well as spend time with the people of Dolores Mission Parish, where they will stay for the week.
  • McKenna Immersion

    The McKenna Immersion is an encounter with urban poverty and run right out of our own McKenna Center; students will sleep on campus for the week. Students will get to know the men at the center, as well as serve at organizations such as SOME, Martha’s Table, & DC Central Kitchen. Rising seniors serve as student leaders to freshman and sophomore participants.
  • Quito, Ecuador

    Rising seniors will work with the Working Boys Center, a Jesuit organization whose mission is to serve the local children of Quito in preparing for their next steps in life. Students will live in a simple community on campus at the Center, work on repair projects in the neighborhood, and spend time with the children and family of Quito.
  • Red Cloud

    Students will travel to Pine Ridge, SD and be immersed in the culture of the Lakota tribe. The group of rising seniors will learn about life on the reservation while working with the Red Cloud Indian School and assisting nearby families. Students will learn the historical, economic, political, and societal barriers that the Lakota people face today.
  • Salem, West Virginia

    Students (rising seniors) will partner with Nazareth Farm to live out the pillars of the Gonzaga Outreach program in rural Appalachia. Days will consist of home repair and construction, as well as meeting people in the community. There will be an intentional focus on simple living & learning about rural poverty through a faith perspective.
  • US/Mexico Border

    Rising seniors will travel to Nogales, AZ & Nogales, Mexico to learn of the realities of immigration. Students work with the Kino Border Initiative, a Jesuit organization seeking to meet the needs of migrants. The group will work at the KBI soup kitchen, meet with US Border Patrol, hear a deportation debriefing, & more. Passport mandatory.
Gonzaga's service requirement teaches you a sense of conviction. It makes you unsettled. As long as there’s progress to be made, as long as there are people suffering ... it stirs up, like, this hunger for justice.
--Christian Tabash '17
As a member of the Jesuit Schools Network, Gonzaga and its students also have the opportunity to join several conferences and summits sponsored by the Ignatian Solidarity Network throughout the school year. The Ignatian Family Teach-in for Justice in the fall and the Arrupe Leaders Summit in the spring help students cultivate the ideals of the Graduate at Graduation in community with their peers. These distinctive opportunities draw students from Jesuit high schools and universities around the world. Any interested student may apply to attend.
Celebrating 200 Years of Jesuit Education in the Nation's Capital