Loyola University Chicago


Center for Experiential Learning

Learning & Serving

"In other words, depth of thought and imagination in the Ignatian tradition involves a profound engagement with the real, a refusal to let go until one goes beneath the surface. It is a careful analysis for the sake of an integration around what is deepest... The starting point, then, will always be what is real: what is materially, concretely thought to be there; the world as we encounter it; the world of the senses so vividly described in the Gospels themselves; a world of suffering and need, a broken world with many broken people in need of healing. We start there. We don’t run away from there. And then Ignatius guides us and students of Jesuit education, as he did his retreatants, to enter into the depths of that reality. Beyond what can be perceived most immediately, he leads one to see the hidden presence and action of God in what is seen, touched, smelt, felt. And that encounter with what is deepest changes the person." - Adolfo Nicholas, SJ

Every year, Loyola's 100+ service-learning courses invite Loyola students and faculty to take their education out into the world, applying course concepts to real-world problems and collaborating with and learning from community organization partners.  Whether they are working as volunteers with one of Loyola's hundreds of community partners, sharing discipline-specific knowledge with the broader community, doing research on pressing social issues, or completing projects that advance community-defined priorities, students in service-learning classes learn by doing AND seeing how that learning intersects with the larger world.

Structured reflection activities built into service-learning classes provide ongoing opportunities for students and faculty to make meaningful connections between course content and the entire process of engaging with the community.  

The Center for Experiential Learning serves as a resource for faculty, students and community partners in all aspects of the service-learning experience. CEL staff help students connect with community-based organizations relevant to their service-learning course requirements. As a resource to faculty, the staff helps identify relevant community-based projects and volunteer sites, fosters relationships with those organizations and provides service-learning course development and support. The staff also provides support to community-based organizations in their role as co-educators of Loyola students, while also ensuring that their partnerships with Loyola achieve their strategic goals.

Want to learn more? Contact Susan Haarman at shaarman@luc.edu