Service to the Community

Service is big at SLU. Our students, faculty and staff provide more than 1 million volunteer hours and work with more than 500 organizations each year in the greater St. Louis community.

campus kitchen

Maybe that’s because there has been a Saint Louis University almost as long as there has been a city of St. Louis itself.

Since 1818, SLU has worked to alleviate ignorance, poverty, injustice and hunger and has extended compassionate care to the ill and the needy. At our core is our service-focused Jesuit mission and our goal to maintain and improve the quality of life for all people.

  • SLU was the site of the country’s first Campus Kitchen and is home to one of the nation’s top­-five college and university Relay for Life events.
  • The Belize2020 project partners SLU with St. Martin's Jesuit parish and school, located in Belize City, to improve the quality of life in the Central American nation.
  • Billikens join forces with non-profits such as Dance Marathon and Big Brothers, Big Sisters and — when they see a need — start their own.
  • Alumni from SLU have gone on to propose solutions for food deserts, start schools for delinquent teens and deliver the youth keynote address to the United Nations.

Make a Difference Day Crafts

What is Service Learning?

Service is so ingrained at SLU, it’s part of the curriculum. This goes far beyond volunteering and works to address the root cause of a problem.

More than 80 courses on the St. Louis campus each semester involve service learning; students volunteer in the St. Louis community — and earn credit — as part of their classes.

Other students are eligible to work up to 15 hours a week at a non-­profit agency as part of SLU’s Community Service Federal Work Study Program, or take part in a six­-part Social Justice and Advocacy Training series.

Getting Involved at SLU

It’s easy to find a cause you’re passionate about at SLU. Attend the Community Service Fair in the fall or the Social Justice Fair in the spring.

Search SLUGroups for service, social justice or advocacy opportunities, or sign up for campus ministry immersion trips that take SLU students to Appalachia, the Navajo Nation and beyond.