Service and Justice

Following Dominican’s tradition of refusing to stand on the sideline in the face of injustice, University Ministry provides opportunities for thoughtful and reflective engagement of some of the world’s deepest needs. Inspired by the Gospel and informed by a rich Catholic Social Tradition, these opportunities address both immediate needs (service), as well as their root causes (justice). Additionally, University Ministry invites students to reflect on the significance of these experiences. In doing so, they might come to greater clarity about their part in transforming the world, as well as God’s invitation to their own transformation.

Local Service Opportunities

During the academic year, University Ministry offers the following opportunities to serve the hungry and homeless. Look below for more info about specific opportunities and see the News and Events page for upcoming experiences of service.

Service in the Streets

Join us as we provide a sandwich and conversation with the homeless on Chicago’s streets. There is no cost to participate, and students are invited to participate as often as scheduling allows. Dates for service opportunities during first semester include:

Thursday, September 25 - 3:30 - 7 p.m.
Monday, October 6 - 3:30 - 7 p.m.
Saturday, October 25 - 10 a.m. - 2 p.m.
Saturday, November 8 - 10 a.m. - 2 p.m.
Monday, November 24 - 3:30 - 7 p.m.

Sign-up in the University Ministry Center, Lewis 216, the week before any event to participate.

Ministry en lo Cotidiano

Ministry en lo Cotidiano means ministry “in the everyday.”  Lo cotidiano is a concept drawn from the work of Latin@ theologians in the United States over the last 25 years.  It describes the starting place for knowing and understanding God (for doing theology), that is, the real lived experience of Latin@s in this country.  This is an experience that has been marked by marginalization and celebration, by injustice and profound grace. 

MLC is a new leadership development and faith formation program for undergraduate students interested in experiencing faith-based service in the Latin@ community in Chicago and the surrounding suburbs.  The purpose of MLC is to develop Latin@ lay leaders for the future of the Church and the Latin@ community in the United States.  Currently, Latin@s make up more than 50% of the US population of Catholics under the age of 25 and those numbers are even higher in the Sunbelt states.  Dominican University is uniquely positioned to undertake vocational formation as a Catholic institution with a distinctly Dominican charism that is also a Hispanic-Serving Institution.  Dominican will draw on a considerable list of parish and community partnerships on Chicago’s Southwest side and the near-West suburbs to create a dynamic internship program supported by an innovative theological reflection model.  It is our hope to strengthen these relationships and establish new partnerships for the University within the Latin@ community.

University Ministry will be looking for 8-12 Latin@ students at roughly 6-8 internship sites.  Internship placements will vary in nature but will be located in faith-based not-for-profit settings. Our Community Partners include: Casa Juan Diego, Catholic Charities, Cristo Rey, St. Pius V, and Taller de Jose. All of these placements seek to develop leadership and ministry capacity in Dominican University’s undergraduate Latin@ population by providing an opportunity to experience service in Latin@ faith communities and reflect upon it.  In doing so, participants will inevitably encounter own shifting cultural identity and reinterpret that in the light of faith.  Site placements will address the concrete realities of immigration, youth faith formation, work and workers’ rights, literacy, and education (to name a few).  A competent staff member at the parish or organization will supervise Dominican students on-site.  

Additionally, students will be compensated with a generous stipend, and may be eligible for up to 2 internship credits per semester with departmental approval.

Please print your application or pick one up in University Ministry, Lewis 216. The application deadline is Wednesday, February 18.

Post-Graduate Service

Several students from each graduating class commit a year or more to post-graduate service through various programs, such as the Dominican Volunteers , Peace Corps, Jesuit Volunteer Corps, and others, in both faith-based and non-faith-based settings. Stop by the University Ministry Center to learn more about these opportunities or to pick-up some helpful resources.

University Ministry also hosts several information sessions each fall semester, and is available for ongoing support each spring. Representatives from various programs will be on-hand to answer questions, and general information will be shared about various volunteer program options and application processes. All seniors and other students already considering their post-graduate options are welcome to attend!

If you would like to be added to a listserve to receive the most up-to-date information regarding additional on-campus information sessions, or to ask questions or receive support, please email

Big Brothers, Big Sisters

Dominican University has teamed up with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Metropolitan Chicago to serve the youth of Maywood. Dominican students are matched one-on-one with a child (age 9 to 12 years) and engage in activities that support a child’s confidence, competence, and caring. The goals of the program are to provide positive modeling and interaction between adults and children, to assist in character building, and develop relationships that lead to school and lifetime success. Matches meet on campus in a group setting with a Big Brothers Big Sisters Program Coordinator on-site to supervise and facilitate all of the sessions. Mentors must be available every-other Wednesday from 3-4:30 p.m. Interested students will need to undergo an interview and background check process. For more information, stop by the Ministry Center in Lewis 216 or talk with MaDonna Thelen,, in Community-Based Learning.