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SLU's Service to the Community

Service is big at Saint Louis University. SLU community members provide more than 1.6 million volunteer hours and work with more than 500 organizations each year.

SLU student volunteer watering a plant on a porch

Maybe that’s because there has been a Saint Louis University almost as long as there has been a city of St. Louis itself.

Since 1818, SLU has worked to alleviate ignorance, poverty, injustice and hunger and has extended compassionate care to the ill and the needy. At our core is our service-focused Jesuit mission and our goal to maintain and improve the quality of life for all people.

  • Each year, SLU freshman participate in a day of service to connect with each other and the community.
  • SLU's Showers of Service event, sponsored the Alpha Phi Omega service fraternity, brings 2,000 students and SLU community members together for a campus-wide day of service each spring.
  • SLU was the site of the country’s first Campus Kitchen and is home to one of the nation’s top­-five college and university Relay for Life events.
  • Billikens join forces with non-profits such as Dance Marathon and Big Brothers, Big Sisters and — when they see a need — start their own.
  • Alumni from SLU have gone on to propose solutions for food deserts, start schools for delinquent teens and deliver the youth keynote address to the United Nations.

Facts & Figures


million service hours completed by the SLU community each year


meals prepared and delivered to those in need by SLU's Campus Kitchen in 2022

No. 3

in community service among U.S. universities, according to the Princeton Review


community engagement courses offered at SLU

What is Service Learning?

Service is so ingrained at SLU, it’s part of the curriculum. This goes far beyond volunteering and works to address the root cause of a problem.

More than 180 courses on the St. Louis campus each semester involve service learning; students volunteer in the St. Louis community — and earn credit — as part of their classes.

Other students are eligible to work up to 15 hours a week at a non-­profit agency as part of SLU’s Community Service Federal Work Study Program, or take part in a six­-part Social Justice and Advocacy Training series.

Learn More About Service Learning at SLU