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Franciscan Studies, Theology, and Applied Ethics

Service Learning at SFU - Contact

To learn more about Service Learning at Saint Francis University, contact Ms. Paula Craw, Director of Service Learning, at 814-472-3343 or

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What is "service learning"?

"Service-Learning is a teaching and learning strategy that integrates meaningful community service with instruction and reflection to enrich the learning experience, teach civic responsibility, and strengthen communities." Source

Service Learning At SFU

Service Learning Goals

Service Learning experiences at Saint Francis University are designed to:

·     Stimulate students’ intellectual, social, and spiritual development

·     Promote an understanding of ethical issues and respect for all forms of diversity

·     Foster an appreciation of Franciscan values and heritage, especially the   importance of service to others

·     Instill a sense of civic responsibility and a commitment to seeking justice, overcoming poverty, and building peace   through direct service to others


Completing the Service Learning Requirement

Students fulfill their service learning requirement at Saint Francis during their sophomore year as part of a General Education course, Religious Studies 205: Faith and Franciscanism.  Students engage in at least ten hours of direct service and reflect on their service experiences in writing, which is a crucial step in the process of understanding the value of service. 

Students complete their service requirement in a variety of ways, such as refurbishing old houses for low income families, providing Meals-On-Wheels, doing yard work for the physically impaired or the elderly, helping to operate soup kitchens, and assisting in after-school programs for young people.  Saint Francis University has developed partnerships with a wide range of organizations in surrounding communities to provide service learning opportunities for students.  


Service Learning Throughout the Curriculum

Many students report that their service learning experience in “Faith and Franciscanism" has opened their eyes to individual needs and social programs of which they had not been aware.  As a result, students often go beyond the required amount of service learning hours by volunteering in their own communities or by completing service learning modules in other courses. 

Many professors at Saint Francis offer service learning opportunities to students enrolled in their classes.  Service learning options are regularly offered in biology, chemistry, computer science, education, languages, music, nursing, occupational therapy, physical therapy, psychology, religious studies, and sociology.  In these as in all service learning experiences embedded within courses, service opportunities are connected to courses’ learning outcomes and enable students to connect theory with practice. 


Opportunities to Serve 

The list below includes most of the service learning experiences available to students in Religious Studies 205 and in other courses with service learning options. The service learning office in Scotus 213 has a complete list of service learning options.

Working with Mentally and Physically Challenged

Bridge Program
Best Buddies
Dreams Go On and Star Equestrain
Ebensburg Center
Hiram G. Andrews School 

Interactions with the Elderly

Cambria Care Center
Garvey Manor
Veterans Home
John Paul II Manor


Gloria Gates Memorial Foundation After School Program
Communities in Schools

Construction Projects

Habitat for Humanity
Nature Trail

Fun with Children

S.M.I.L.E. – Saturday Morning is Laughs and Exercise
Girl Scouts
Day Care and After School Programs

R.O.C.K. – Rural Outreach Chemistry for Kids

Other Projects

Humane Society
Soup Kitchens
Dorothy Day Center