Who we are

The Center for Engaged Learning, Teaching, and Scholarship (CELTS) facilitates experiential learning at the intersection of faculty, community partners, and students. We are a teaching and learning center that celebrates and elevates community-engaged teaching and learning, while also prioritizing engaged scholarship.

CELTS (pronounced “selts”) articulates how we have emerged into a teaching and learning center that supports students, faculty, and community partners in high-impact learning. CELTS facilitates programs, training, and the development of scholarship in Engaged Learning, community-based learning, and reflective practice and learning in the Ignatian tradition. Community partnerships remain central to our work, and the name CELTS represents our ongoing commitment to the shared goals of our communities. We continue to support the nationally-recognized, University-wide programs of academic internships, learning portfolios, service-learning, and undergraduate research. Finally, we encourage and create opportunities for a variety of scholarship around high impact practices, community-engaged scholarship, and the practice of teaching and learning.

The CELTS team commits to expanding our services and resources to better support faculty, community partners, and students with engaged learning, teaching, and scholarly opportunities that contribute to the transformative Jesuit education provided at Loyola University Chicago.

View our 2022-2023 Impact Report for more information on our programs and activities.

CELTS Mission

Advancing Loyola’s Jesuit, Catholic mission of “expanding knowledge in the service of humanity through learning, justice, and faith,” the Center for Engaged Learning, Teaching, and Scholarship (CELTS) is a teaching and learning center that sits at the intersection of innovative experiential learning pedagogy, community-engaged learning, and the scholarship of engagement.

The goal of CELTS is to foster community-engaged, high-impact experiential learning in collaboration with faculty, staff, community partners, and undergraduate and graduate students. Through this collaboration, each participant serves as a co-educator, developing creative pedagogical approaches and producing scholarly initiatives focused on teaching, learning, and community engagement.

Principles and Values

The following principles, which are rooted in Ignatian Pedagogy and community-based learning, guide the work of the Center for Engaged Learning, Teaching, and Scholarship (CELTS):  

  • Community-engaged learning is framed in service to social, economic, environmental, and racial justice
  • Community-defined priorities guide community engagement
  • Community partners serve as co-educators, co-generators of knowledge, and co-creators of scholarship
  • Epistemic justice and equity
  • Critical inquiry and research is core to the learning and exploration process
  • Critical reflection on experience is an essential pedagogical practice
  • Deliberative dialogue and democratic engagement is essential to foster the public good.


The Center for Engaged Learning, Teaching, and Scholarship (CELTS) seeks to serve as a model for integrating community-engaged learning, pedagogy, and engaged scholarship—developing new, creative, and innovative pedagogical practices; addressing community priorities; and producing scholarship that supports engagement in service to justice. We seek to do this by: 

  • Enhancing engaged learning through high-impact practices,
  • Engaging and active teaching and learning innovation,
  • Fostering engaged scholarship and research, and 
  • Cultivating community partnership opportunities that prioritize student encounters with the community.


Centering student learning, our focus will be on the following priorities:

  • Partnering within the local communities and neighborhoods in which our campuses reside
  • Facilitating connections between local and global engagement
  • Pursuing community engagement in service to social, economic, environmental, and racial justice
  • Developing new ways of learning, teaching, and scholarship recognizing a variety of epistemologies and ontologies (culturally responsive knowledge creation, production, and dissemination)


  1. Build capacity of faculty/staff, students, and partners to generate engaged research and engaged scholarship
  2. Expand faculty development across CELTS programs to foster capacity in community-engaged and high-impact learning, critical reflection, and research.
  3. Create new and maintain existing community partnerships to provide community-based learning opportunities for faculty and students, and capacity-building programs for partners.
  4. Deepen teaching and learning experiences and expand opportunities for Loyola faculty and students through engaged learning courses, undergraduate research opportunities, community-based learning opportunities (service-learning, academic internships, and research), and digital learning portfolios.
  5. Facilitate the development of engaged learning course opportunities for faculty, students, and partners.