Loyola University Maryland

Center for Community Service and Justice (CCSJ)

Frequently Asked Questions

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How is community service organized?  
What other types of programs does the Center offer?  
How many students are involved?  
What is a Service Coordinator?  
How do you become a Service Coordinator?  
What are the expectations for students participating in service through CCSJ?  
How do students get to their sites?  
Do I have to be Catholic to participate in programs through CCSJ?  
What opportunities are available for service after graduation?  
How does CCSJ incorporate reflection into its community service experiences?  
What is The Service Thing? 

How is community service organized?

Over the years, CCSJ has developed relationships with a number of service agencies in and around Baltimore. As a result, Loyola students have the opportunity to become involved with one or more of approximately 50 agencies and programs. All CCSJ programs are supported by a team of student leaders and staff who facilitate preparation and reflection on service experiences.

Most service opportunities are off campus, although there are some on-campus programs. Some experiences involve groups and others are one-on-one. To fit all schedules and interests, these service opportunities include one-time events, weekly (or ongoing) service, and week-long immersion programs. Students can serve at different times of the day and on different days of the week, including weekends, winter and spring breaks, and over the summer.

What other types of programs does the Center offer?

CCSJ offers many different ways to get involved besides on-going community service. These include: one-time events, immersion programs, service-learning courses, and service and social justice awareness events.

How many students are involved?

Each year, approximately 2,500 students participate in community service and 160 participate in a service immersion experience (SOS, UNITE, Spring Break Outreach, Project Mexico, Encounter El Salvador).

What is a Service Coordinator?

Service Coordinators are current Loyola undergraduate students who have been hired to help organize and implement community service programs. They work an average of 12 hours per week recruiting, preparing, and supporting volunteers as well as communicating with service agencies to keep things running smoothly. Service Coordinators are also responsible for facilitating reflection for their volunteers to learn from and make meaning out of their experiences.

How do you become a Service Coordinator?

Students interested in working as a Service Coordinator complete applications in January/February and go through an interview process before being hired for the following academic year. Learn more about how to apply.

What are the expectations for students participating in service through CCSJ?

Service commitments vary by program. CCSJ's staff is dedicated to working with each interested student to find the service opportunity that best fits his/her interests, abilities, and schedule.

How do students get to their sites?

Students who have completed the driver’s authorization form are eligible to reserve vehicles through the Loyola Motor Pool to use for transportation to and from service sites. The process of clearance to drive a vehicle can take up to 6 weeks. Once cleared, a student must request a vehicle no later than one week prior to the time when they wish to travel. Service Coordinators help volunteers to navigate this tricky process by setting up carpooling options. Bus passes are also available at CCSJ. Learn more about transportation.

Do I have to be Catholic to participate in programs through CCSJ?

Every program is open to people of all faiths, traditions, and beliefs. Those who desire to give, receive, and learn through service are welcome to participate. Learn more about the service-faith/spirituality connection.

What opportunities are available for service after graduation?

At Loyola, part of our goal of forming “men and women for and with others” means helping students identify ways to incorporate service into their lives after graduation. CCSJ's staff offers resources and support to students as they consider various ways to make service a life-long commitment. Each year, CCSJ holds a Community Service Career Fair, inviting more than 30 programs to share their materials and experiences about post-college service opportunities.

How does CCSJ incorporate reflection into its community service experiences?

Reflection is an essential component of all CCSJ service experiences and provides students an opportunity to learn from and make meaning out of their experience. The Service Thing provides fun ways to allow that to happen! Students participating in weekly community service through The Service Thing engage in three reflections per semester (Preparation, Mid-Semester, and Final) while also building relationships with other members through bi-weekly community questions online. One-time events involve preparation before each event and one reflection after the activity.

What is The Service Thing?

The Service Thing is a membership organization through CCSJ for all students participating in weekly service at CCSJ service sites. In addition to weekly service, students in The Service Thing commit to engaging in three reflections per semester (Preparation, Mid-Semester, and Final) while also building relationships with other members through bi-weekly community questions online. Learn more about how to incorporate justice and service into life.