Service Learning

Emmanuel College's service-learning courses offer students an opportunity to enrich their academic experiences by applying the concepts they learn in the classroom to meaningful projects that support and empower people and communities in Boston and around the world.

Service learning courses available at the College include:  


The Great American Experiment
This course is a comprehensive overview of the historical, philosophical and societal foundations of American education. Issues of race, class, gender, sexual orientation and learning differences are highlighted within the context of the positive and negative impact the schools have on society.  

Explorations in Science and Engineering: Grades 1-6
The course develops the knowledge, skills and dispositions to introduce the practices and habits of mind characteristic of sci­entific inquiry and the engineering design process into the elementary classroom. The course meets standards for teacher prepa­ration articulated by the Massachusetts curriculum frameworks and the National Science Education Standards. Topics include children's ideas in science, the nature of children's science learning and the implica­tions for teaching.  

Political Science  

Public Policy, the Law and Psychology
Public policy and the law affect, and are affected by, many disciplines, with psychol­ogy playing an increasingly prominent role in the legal system. One cannot truly under­stand psychology, the law, or public policy in the United States without understanding the interrelationships of these three realms of knowledge and practice. This course will explore the evolving interactions at the theoretical and practical level among psychology, law and public policy. This is a service-learning course, which requires two to three hours per week devoted to working at an appropriate site.  

Food Policy and Social Justice 
This course will explore food policy as an issue of social justice. Politics involves conflict over scarce resources. How these resources are allocated and to what programs reveal the values of those making the decisions. Food policy and social justice will be explored through the political, economic, and social concerns of food production and consumption in the United States, and its extension throughout the globe. Students will assess policy issues such as immigration, trade, the agro-industrial complex, labor, poverty, public health, and government initiatives to promote healthier and more nutritious diets. In addition to a comprehensive research paper, this course will include an experiential education component that will take students out of the classroom and into the community to explore how all aspects of food policy affects people's everyday lives.


Seminar: Psychology of Women
The experiences of women, both as a group and as unique individuals, are an important focus of research by psychologists today. In this service-learning course, students will examine critical issues in the field (e.g., gender roles, body image, violence against women), integrate research with applied resources and service in the Boston area, and develop educational programs on these issues for adolescent girls. Classic and contemporary research will guide dialogues about specific issues women and girls face as a group. Examining Boston's resources (e.g., shelters) will allow students to study how theoretical and empirical research is applied to real-world situations and affects real indi­viduals. Finally, students will work with small groups of adolescent girls to develop resources and programs that will ultimately benefit them and their peers. The work accomplished in this service-learning seminar will reflect the core mission of social awareness and social justice.  


Catholic Social Teaching
This course will provide an introduction to over 100 years of Catholic social teach­ing, using papal encyclicals, and pastoral letters from the U.S. Catholic Conference of Bishops primarily. Analysis of the doc­uments and critiques of the teachings will also be used. Each of the documents will be grounded in its sociological, political, economic and religious context. A ser­vice-learning component will be included in the course introducing students to service to people in poverty in the Boston area. The mission of national and international Catholic social justice organizations will also be highlighted.  

Theology and Religious Studies  

Love and Justice
This course explores how Christians' faith shapes their understandings of what to do and how to be. Attention is paid to the sources and methods in Christian ethics, focusing on the Biblical ideas of justice and love as key themes. A variety of ethical issues such as economic justice, marriage and sexuality, the environment, and topics in health care are examined, drawing on a range of historical and contemporary approaches to these ques­tions. This course includes a required service learning component.  

South Africa: Religion, Gender and AIDs
This travel and service-learning course to South Africa and Swaziland examines the complex interplay between religion, culture, and gender as they relate to the HIV/AIDs epidemic in the region. Particular attention will be paid to the ways in which religious communities have been both an obstacle and a resource in combating this epidemic and the factors contributing to it. During the two-week travel portion in May, stu­dents will have the opportunity to visit faith communities and important historical sites. They will also carry out service with child-headed households and with a Hospice at Home program for AIDs patients.

Explore Emmanuel

The Longwood Medical and Academic Area (LMA)

In a city known for innovation in healthcare, opportunities for Emmanuel students are bolstered by our location within the world-renowned Longwood Medical and Academic Area (LMA). With walking-distance access to cutting-edge scientific and medical institutions, ours is a neighborhood that stands hand-in-hand with the future.

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Featured Faculty: Rebecca Moryl

Dr. Rebecca Moryl is an Associate Professor of Economics at Emmanuel College. Professor Moryl teaches on subjects including microeconomics, economic relations, the politics of international economic relations and urban economics. She believes that understanding economics is critical to understanding the worlds-big and small-in which we live.

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Featured Faculty: Aren Gerdon

Professor Aren Gerdon is the Chair of the Department of Chemistry and Physics and an Associate Professor of Chemistry at Emmanuel College. He leads his own chemistry research group, focusing on biomaterials, and works closely with other research groups across campus. Professor Gerdon is passionate about sharing his deep knowledge of chemistry with his students, guiding them from class work to practical, real-world lab experiments.

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Featured Faculty: Petros Vamvakas

Petros Vamvakas is an Associate Professor of Political Science and Chair of the Latin American Studies, Middle East Studies and Peace Studies Programs. His work focuses on security and democratization, as well as issues related to identity and race in politics throughout the Americas. As part of his teaching, he has escorted groups of students to Crete, Greece, and will be bringing a group of students to Cuba.

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