A first year program for students interested in service and reflection on what it takes to lead a life of commitment.

The Lives of Commitment Program is made up of 35 first-year students who are passionate about getting involved in the community and engaging in meaningful dialogue about what is most important to them, be that social justice, ethical practice or religious commitments.  Students strive to infuse their work in the community with their current values and discover new ones along the way.

These students actively participate in weekly service work as part of a small group at one of seven nonprofit organizations that support immigrant and refugee communities and/or children’s literacy. The Lives of Commitment students, faculty/staff advisors and student leaders gather for community site visits and reflection sessions on leading lives of commitment in our complex world. A pre-orientation retreat immerses students into both Minneapolis and St. Paul to help them become active and knowledgeable community members from day one. Students spend time learning about each other and building a supportive community as well as learning about our local community through visiting immigrant communities, eating food from around the world and meeting with community organizations.

Active involvement includes two-three hours of weekly community service, comfort in engaging diverse ethnic and religious communities in the Twin Cities, active participation in monthly small and large group discussions and activities, and a high motivation to explore one’s own commitments. The group meetings establish a space where reflection and community building occur. The open and welcoming nature of these spaces creates strong and lasting bonds among the participants.

This is a year-long commitment and is only open to incoming first year students. Applications will be assessed on one’s a) interest in reflecting more deeply on their own experiences; b) desire to build a supportive community of peers and c) curiosity to know more about the local community and an eagerness to get involved.

If you have questions or want more information, please contact Eily Marlow, Program Associate for Vocation and Reflection in the Civic Engagement Center at   or call 651-696-6738.