SPRINGFIELD, Ohio — Wittenberg University has received a $50,000 grant from Thrivent Financial for Lutherans to expand upon the numerous community service experiences in which students participate during their four years on campus. The funds will be used to develop an innovative project titled “Sowing Seeds of Servant Leadership: A Campus-Wide Integration of Service-Learning, Social Justice and Spirituality” in the next two years.
The grant will engage Wittenberg faculty and students with the Springfield community in deeper and more meaningful ways, building upon the university’s long-standing tradition of community service and involvement. It will empower them to plan and implement their own diverse service-learning experiences as the university continues to emphasize community service as a key component in liberal arts education.
Spearheaded by Rachel Tune, campus pastor, and Kristen Collier, director of community service, the project offers faculty and students the opportunity to connect spirituality and social justice in the context of service-learning initiatives. Service learning challenges participants to go beyond their normal volunteer or community service experience by taking the initiative to identify a need, formulate and carry out a plan and conclude with reflection.
In its inaugural year, Thrivent Financial’s grant initiative program is providing more than $3.5 million to more than 60 recipients all over the United States. Grants range from $5,000-$100,000. Grant recipients include Lutheran high schools, colleges and universities, seminaries, camps, campus ministries, and regional divisions of Lutheran church bodies.
“This grant allows us to move forward with providing students with new ways of learning, offering more support to faculty who want to try new ways of teaching and contributing more profoundly to the Springfield community,” said Collier, Wittenberg Class of 1992.
Wittenberg, a nationally recognized college for the liberal arts and sciences affiliated with the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America, has 27 hours of service and three hours of reflection included in its graduation requirements, meaning that every student has the unique opportunity to make a difference in the Springfield community.
This project will make a connection between societal issues and academic areas of interest by “sowing the seeds of service-learning across the campus, in and outside the classroom,” according to the grant proposal originally submitted by Collier and Tune. It will create a broad, campus-wide application of service learning by offering a variety of curricular and co-curricular opportunities to faculty and students.
“The most exciting aspect of the grant is that right now we do not know what the final product will be since students and faculty will be creating many of the service initiatives during the two years of the grant,” Collier said. “We do know that in two years we will have made a difference in the lives of others.”
Thrivent Financial for Lutherans is a not-for-profit Fortune 500 financial services organization helping nearly three million members achieve their financial goals. Thrivent Financial and its affiliates offer a broad range of financial products and services including life insurance, annuities, mutual funds, disability income insurance, bank products and more. Thrivent Financial and its affiliates have $65.9 billion (Sept. 30, 2004) in assets under management. As a not-for-profit organization, Thrivent Financial sponsors national outreach programs and activities that support congregations, schools, charitable organizations and needy individuals. For more information, visit www.thrivent.com.
Send a Message
• Book-Delivering Prof Named Ohio Professor of the Year
• Senior Class Selects Livestrong President & CEO Doug Ulman As 2011 Commencement Speaker
•Communication Program Honored Nationally With Top Award
• Wittenberg University Art Students Finalists For Scholarship Award