As members of the Bellarmine community, we are called to live according to a pattern of love and service modeled by Jesus Christ. We do this by setting the needs of the poor and marginalized as the horizon of our vision. Each student is challenged to use his critical skills to help bring about a more just world, to bring about the Kingdom of God.
"Inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you fed me, I was thirsty and you gave me drink. I was a stranger and you welcomed me, naked and you clothed me. I was sick and you cared for me, in prison and you came to visit me. ...I assure you, as often as you did it for one of my least brothers or sisters, you did it for me." Matthew 25: 34-40
Commitment to service and service-learning are core objectives of our Christian Service Program. As a Jesuit school dedicated to imparting Gospel values and faith-learning in young men, service and immersion activities add a critical experiential component to the academics of social justice issues. We hope that our program, which provides the opportunity for direct service to persons in need, results in a transformative experience for each student in his own commitment to justice.
A Commitment to Service
The heart of Bellarmine's Christian Service Program is providing experiences for students where they are engaged in direct service with groups who are often marginalized in our society. Yearly service requirements are specific to grade level, with service completed off-campus in non-profit agencies. Students must complete their hours outside of actual class time, i.e., after school, in the evening, on the weekend or during school breaks. They must also be attentive to the type of hours they are trying to fulfill. The CSP office assists students in engaging in local service work at several schools and agencies, providing transportation and supervision for them. Graduation from Bellarmine is contingent on fulfilling all academic and Christian Service Program requirements.
Service-learning is a methodology that connects active learning with planned service that meets a community need. Ideally, in service-learning, students take the knowledge imparted in the classroom and apply it to a concrete situation, becoming active practitioners in their own education. Research has shown that there is a significant benefit to service-learning, as the integration to curriculum deeply enhances the success of the assignment and furthers the goals we hold for our "graduates at graduation."