1st Edition

Community Engagement in Christian Higher Education
Enacting Institutional Mission for the Public Good

ISBN 9780367620523
Published February 4, 2021 by Routledge
234 Pages 3 B/W Illustrations

USD $160.00

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Book Description

Originally published as a special issue of Christian Higher Education, this volume showcases diverse forms of community engagement work carried out by faith-based colleges and universities throughout the US.

Acknowledging the rise of community engagement as a contemporary expression of a longstanding civic impulse, Community Engagement in Christian Higher Education explores how religious mission and identity animate institutional practice across various forms of Catholic and Protestant Higher Education. Offering perspectives from faculty members, administrators, and community partners at nine different US institutions, chapters highlight effective initiatives that have been actively implemented in rural, urban, and suburban contexts to meet local needs and serve the public good. With a focus on practical community work, the text demonstrates the very concrete ways in which Christian values can inform and foster community engagement.

This volume will be of interest to scholar-practitioners, researchers, and academics in the fields of higher education, sociology of education, religious education, and practical theology. More broadly, the text offers important insights for faith leaders and the faculty of faith-based institutions exploring issues of community, identity, and shared purpose.

Table of Contents

Doing Justice, Loving Kindness, Walking Humbly: Christian Approaches to Community Engagement

P. Jesse Rine and Sandra Quiñones

1. Mission Animation: Christian Higher Education, the Common Good, and Community Engagement

Jessica Mann

2. Re-membering the Mission: Institutional Impacts of an Interdisciplinary Community

Outreach Project

David R. Tillman and Brian K. Foreman

3. Reconciling Structural and Personal Expressions of Justice in Jesuit Education

Bryan W. Sokol, Leah Sweetman, Bobby Wassel, Christopher Franco, and

Tim Huffman

4. Pursuing Social Justice through Place-Based Community Engagement: Cultivating Applied

Creativity, Transdisciplinarity, and Reciprocity in Catholic Higher Education

Brian LaDuca, Charlie Carroll, Adrienne Ausdenmoore, and Justin Keen

5. Community Engagement for Student Faith Development: Service-Learning in the

Pentecostal Tradition

Carolyn Dirksen

6. Becoming People for and with Others: Advancing Social Justice through Interdisciplinary

Study and Service in the Jesuit Tradition

Andrew F. Miller, Ana M. Martínez Alemán, and Meghan T. Sweeney

7. Faith in Action and Community Engagement: Realizing Mission through Immersion


Christopher D. Tirres and Melanie C. Schikore

8. What Does it Mean to be an Engaged Institutional Neighbor?: A Self-Study of an

Undergraduate Program in Ministry and Community Engagement

Cassie J. E. H. Trentaz

9. Equipping Students for a "Specific Uprising" Toward Justice: Lessons Learned from a

University Prison Initiative

Todd Cioffi, Andrew F. Haggerty, and Jeffrey P. Bouman

Community Engagement in Christian Higher Education: Purposes and Possibilities

P. Jesse Rine and Sandra Quiñones


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P. Jesse Rine is Associate Professor of Higher Education and Director of the Master of Science Program in Higher Education Administration in the School of Education, Duquesne University, USA.

Sandra Quiñones is Associate Professor of Literacy Education and Director of the Professional Doctorate Program in Educational Technology in the School of Education, Duquesne University, USA.


This is a book that the field of community engagement has needed for a long time. The diverse collection of chapters brings to light the rich and often neglected contribution that Christian colleges and universities make to the public good. Through synthesis of theological thought, informative case studies, and evaluations of community engagement programs and practices, the authors articulate how resources from inside the Christian intellectual tradition promote the democratic aims of higher education. Readers outside the tradition are given a glimpse into the transcendent purposes of community engagement uniquely found within Christian higher education. As such, the book offers important insights related to the scholarship of organizational identity—how organizations draw on their unique "sagas" or deeply held understandings of themselves in carrying out their mission. Engagement leaders from all kinds of colleges and universities will find the chapters valuable as they consider how their own institutional commitments and stories drive their approach to community engagement. This book is a "go to" resource for leaders and scholars who are interested in seeing examples of how community-engaged work is deeply woven into core institutional beliefs and practices.

David J. Weerts, University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, USA

From their Protestant and Catholic roots, Christian colleges and universities are committed to providing a transformative student experience, one characterized by care and concern for each other and the broader common good of our communities, and cultivated in accordance with the Jesuit expression ad majorem dei gloriam: "for the greater glory of God." Rine and Quiñones’ volume on community engagement in Christian higher education makes important scholarly contributions in theory, research, and practice to an historical intellectual tradition, but just as critically, it offers a sense of hope, reminding the audience that the work of community engagement moves beyond endeavors of the mind to capture the heart and spirit as well. Practitioners and scholars who read its contents will recall what inspired them to do the complex work of community engagement in the first place—a deeper vocation, a sense of faith, and community transformation—all for the greater glory. 

Daniel J. Bergen, Marquette University, USA

Religions and religious belief can often seem lofty and out of touch. This book brings together the best of religious views and practices as they relate to race, gender, political ideology, and socio-economic status. The chapters in this volume demonstrate that religion, instead of being an obstacle to community engagement, can serve as its fuel. The reader will come away with the inspiration to courageously engage with all of those around us—people like and unlike ourselves. 

Shirley V. Hoogstra, Council for Christian Colleges & Universities, USA