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Service & Justice

Service & Justice

Weekly Service

As a core value of Chestnut Hill College, service provides a basis of learning and growth. Service to the dear neighbor is the genesis of transformative experiences; all those involved benefit and are changed as a result.  Campus Ministry offers a wide variety of service opportunities to expand the horizons of participants, while facilitating reflection that can create a commitment to service for life.  Throughout the year, Campus Ministry runs weekly service site offerings as well as intensive service/immersion trips over extended breaks to diverse communities.  Reflection is a key component of Chestnut Hill College’s commitment to service, helping students to recognize the lived reality of what it means to “love God and neighbor without distinction. Participants in service activities exhibit an ability to be "ready for any good work," doing whatever is needed to help the dear neighbor.

Weekly Service

Campus Ministry offers opportunities to stand one with the dear neighbor on a regular basis. With volunteer opportunities every day of the week, Campus Ministry creates lasting relationships and allows participants to delve deeper into the lives of those they serve while also considering their own role and identity in the world.

Weekly Service Sites

  • Monday:
    • St. Joseph Villa (Flourtown, PA): Facility for the aged and infirm
      • This site is a designated service site for Tichner-Greer Scholarship Students
  • Tuesday:
    • St. Francis Inn (Kensington, Philadelphia): Restaurant-style Soup Kitchen
    • Sarnelli House (Kensington, Philadelphia): Soup Kitchen
  • Wednesday:
    • St. Joan of Arc (Frankford, Philadelphia): After School Program
  • Thursday:
    • LaSalle Academy (North Philadelphia): Tutoring Program
  • Friday & Special Projects:
    • Our Mother of Sorrows/ St. Ignatius School (West Philadelphia): Elementary School
    • Bread Connection (Various Locations): Food Donation and Delivery

Service/Immersion Trips

During extended breaks, Campus Ministry offers students the opportunity to serve in communities both near and far through service/immersions trips. While participants do provide necessary services during these experiences, the aim of these trips is to immerse students in new cultures and situations. Teams are engaged before, during, and after in the issues surrounding specific trips and are invited to explore issues of justice, systemic change, and advocacy so that trips are not simply direct service but allow for true dialogue, relationship building, and conversion of heart.

Urban Plunge

During the winter and summer breaks, students have the opportunity to live with and among those they serve in Kensington, Philadelphia and Camden, New Jersey. Each night, evenings of reflection that explore the causes of urban poverty and immigration invite students to personal reflection on and dialogue about their own prejudices, stereotypes, and bias.  Working together with fellow students as well as residents of these neighborhoods, students build relationships and are called to consider the power of relationship to change one’s beliefs and misconceptions about a given group of people.

Appalachia Service Trip

Over Spring Break, Campus Ministry collaborates with Young People Who Care, Inc. in Frenchville, Pennsylvania to be ready for any good work. Working with local agencies, students take part in construction, demolition and renovation work, outreach to the elderly and shut in, and companioning of single mothers, veterans, and those in recovery. Through work in the community and evening reflections, students come to see each person they encounter as dear neighbor and to see the reality of rural poverty. 


Service Integration

Service Suppers

Throughout the school year, students involved in service gather for a home cooked meal and the opportunity to share about their experiences of service.  Whether service has been completed through Campus Ministry or another outlet, all are welcome to join in this evening of integration.  Following the meal, the group is invited to take part in a prayerful reflection that gives individuals the opportunity to share stories of service and growth. The richness of shared experiences helps all involved to gain deeper perspective and to share how they see and understand the world. Honoring each person’s diversity in this space spreads as the group returns to the Chestnut Hill College Campus and is able to see the larger impact of service. 

Ignatian Family Teach-In for Justice

In line with the Ignatian tradition of the Sisters of St. Joseph, Chestnut Hill College takes a delegation of students to the Ignatian Family Teach-in in Arlington, Virginia. This international conference focuses on the intersection of faith and justice, featuring renowned speakers and presenters. Participating in a variety of workshops, CHC students explore topics of capital punishment, immigration, poverty, healthcare, earth matters, and racial relations. Small group sessions train students in practical skills for conflict resolution, on-campus advocacy, and respectful dialogue. The Ignatian family Teach-in unites students with peers who are passionate about social justice and helps form leaders of tomorrow.

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