Multnomah University

Purpose & Objectives

Service Learning Philosophy, Purpose, and Objectives

Purpose & Objectives

The primary purpose of the Service Learning Department is to provide "hands on" experiences to train students for a lifetime of fruitful ministry. Service Learning is an integral part of the total academic program. It functions under the supervision of the Academic Dean and is administered by a team of qualified faculty and staff.

Students serve consistently in their community while being mentored directly by field mentors and indirectly by our department. Students should complete one Service Learning credit every full-time semester, beginning with the first semester, and continuing until they have completed their graduation requirement (part-time students should plan to complete one service credit for every two part-time semesters).

To fulfill its purpose, the Service Learning Department has five (5) objectives. The following objectives specify how the department has determined to meet its mission:

Department Objectives:

  1. To develop in students a heart for intentional ministry of love and service to God and people.
  2. To communicate a comprehensive program that provides students with meaningful opportunities for practical ministry experience.
  3. To offer ongoing interaction, encouragement, and prayer with like-minded ministry peers.
  4. To provide coaching and evaluation as students reflect on their vocational goals.
  5. To assist students to determine their personal ministry strengths and abilities.

Student Objectives:

  1. To love and serve God and other people.
  2. To develop skills and determine personal ministry strengths and gifts.
  3. To receive specialized training.


To effectively build into students a heart for ministry, reflected in a missional life, requires certain principles. These theologically, educationally, and ministry-oriented principles provide the foundation for determining the actual procedures and policies of the Service Learning Department. Our department has the following philosophical and Biblical priorities and beliefs:

  1. All committed Christians will love and serve God and other people. Ministry is an act of loving and serving God, resulting in a missional life. (Matt. 22:34-40; James 2:14-24; 1 John 4:19-21)
  2. God's primary ministry agency is the local church. (Matt. 16:18)
  3. People learn best by "doing." (Luke 6:40)
  4. Practical education is an integral part of a complete academic program.
  5. Personal and ministry skills development is most effective when it is intentional, systematic, progressive, and related to personal or vocational goals.
  6. Personal and ministry skills development is most effective when guided and stimulated by personal accountability, mentoring, and evaluation. (Prov. 27:17)

Service Learning Snapshot

  • Required of all Multnomah University students
  • 6 non-academic credits *
  • Accountable to the Service Learning Department
  • At least 2-4 hours per week for 12 weeks, or 35 hours over a number of weeks per semester, of an approved service experience
  • Encouragement, supervision and evaluation by your ministry mentor, along with reporting to the Service Learning Department
  • Credit/No Credit status determined by Service Learning Department, based on mentor’s evaluation and your fulfillment of all the Service Learning requirements
  • Provides overall skill development within a field of interest
  • You need at least one year of service that is in or through a local church.
  • You need at least one year of service that correlates directly with your academic major/minor (during your junior year).

To contact this department:
phone - 503-251-6744
email -