Service Learning

Service Learning

Service Learning is where service, leadership, and ethics meet for the common good.

The mission of the Service Learning Program at High Point University is to engage students in an experiential and interdisciplinary learning environment that promotes their understanding of and commitment to responsible civic leadership. In our turbulent global times, HPU employs its liberal arts mission to prepare students to be active, knowledgeable, and responsible citizens. The Service Learning Program engages students in connecting the theory of the classroom with the practices of good citizens, encouraging community-based research, active problem-solving, and a growth mindset that fosters creativity and social innovation.

Service Learning courses can be found in the Liberal Arts Core Curriculum of the University, in Liberal Arts majors courses, and throughout the University’s professional schools. But wherever these courses are found, students will be active participants in their education and community.

The growth in civic learning and democratic engagement at HPU has been extraordinary! In 2011-2012 the Service Learning Program offered 4 courses in one department, but in the 2014-2015 AY, we offer 24 courses in 14 majors with a total of nearly 400 students who served in the community as they studied in class. That’s an increase in 8,875 hours of service in just three years. In the 2014-2015 AY alone, the SL Program intends to have students serve about 10,000 hours in the City of High Point — that service is estimated to have an economic impact of $210,400.

Bonner Leader Updates:

21 December 2015

I have always liked to serve and I believe that service is something that I’m called by God to do. Everyone’s heard of the 5 love languages right? Words of Affirmation, Quality Time, Receiving Gifts, Physical Touch, and Acts of Service? For me, service has always been one of my main love languages. I have never been very affectionate or good with words, but I always felt like I could at least give my time and effort. I just want to honor God and show God’s love to others, and for me service is the best way to do that.

Getting out in the community to help others and hear their stories helps to me to have a better perspective on my own life and to see all of the blessings that I have. It’s easy to pity yourself and find things in life that don’t satisfy you, but when you start meeting people who have it worse than you, you start to appreciate good things in your life that you didn’t initially notice were there. Recently hearing the stories of women at Macedonia who came from countries where they weren’t safe, couldn’t get jobs or education, didn’t have access to health care, etc. has made me realize how many resources I have taken for granted. Kelly at the Latino Family Center was telling me about how she always hears from kids who are graduating from high school and have really amazing credentials and GPAs, but can’t get into college because they’re undocumented. This has made me so much more grateful for my education and inspired me to make the most of it.

No matter who you are or what your situation is, you can always gain something by being involved and helping others. I like to feel as if I’m an active member of my community and am contributing in some way to improve the place where I live. It’s nice to be able to form relationships and be knowledgeable about the things happening around you. I don’t want anyone to have to struggle, especially when I have the resources to help them, so I think that it’s important to stay involved and aware in order to avoid that. Service has definitely made me a more humble person and who is less naive to some of the issues in the world. I believe that Christ was the ultimate servant who gave so much to me even though I was undeserving, so I just want to be a model for that same unconditional love, and servicing others is the best way that I know how.

For these reasons, I always try to be as involved in service as I can, no matter where I am. Coming to High Point, I would have joined some kind of service organization regardless, but the Bonner Program seemed like the best option for me. My least favorite part of service are the steps that you have to take to get involved and find a place where you’re a good fit, as well as having your chosen organization accept you. With the Bonner Program, I always know that I have a place at one of the sites and that the work I’m doing is important and impactful, rather than people just throwing mundane tasks at me to keep me occupied. In the past, service was always something that I felt like I had to squeeze in amongst work and school, but Bonner has made service my job and given me an opportunity to really immerse myself in it. Furthermore, it’s really important to have a community of people who have similar values as you and recognize the importance of service, so that you can support and help each other, and the Bonner Program does a good job of providing that. This program helps to address everything that I felt was wrong with service, or had inhibited me from doing more of it, as well as given me opportunities for involvement that I wouldn’t have otherwise had, which is why I chose to become a Bonner Leader.


23 December 2015

Service has shaped my life in many ways but it has mostly been entirely humbling. When you go through life without seeing the problems we face and the efforts to solve them, you do not have a full understanding of your communities. However, when it comes to service you have to be completely open minded and rid of bias. I will admit, before I began serving in my community I did have some bias about some of the people and institutions I knew very little about. One good thing for me was that I grew up in the same community my entire life so I got to change and develop inside a community I came to know very well. When I first began serving I was a little uncomfortable with the area which made me hold back. However, once I met some of the people from the first place I ever served, Open Door Ministries, I was shocked to see how absolutely wonderful and friendly they were. Once I started, I couldn’t stop! It makes me feel amazing to know I am doing everything in my power to help people who need it more than we could ever know. My service had its biggest impact on me emotionally because I am a very emotionally attached person. I was so upset because of this when I graduated because I no longer had my connections to service sites. When I was told my scholarship placed me in the Bonner Program, I was ecstatic. I wanted to be someone who could be helpful because I have already lived by and worked in many of the designated Bonner sites, and hopefully I have! I have not been at D-Up long but I have already developed relationships I know will last and even some leadership roles that make me feel very accomplished. I cannot wait to develop and help enhance PNAC with everything I have. Overall my service and the Bonner Program has made me a more open minded, confident, and caring person.

I think one of the most the influential things, however, has been Professor Brandt’s class. I never knew that service was so detailed and organized and even restricted. The main point I will take from her class is that with service you need to push the people in the right direction rather than doing everything for them. “If you give a man a fish he will have food for a day, but if you teach a man to fish he has food for life.”


26 December 2015

Service has truly helped me grow and mature mentally and spiritually because it opened my eyes to a lot of things, even at a young age, that go unnoticed every day. I like to make a difference and I understand through doing service, that you do not always see immediate results from the work that I do. I have learned to accept this because I know personally, that I have still made a difference. From a young age, I have always been compassionate and put others first and have a passion for working with others and helping others. Service has helped me to realize that it is truly the little things that count. When I was younger, the children and youth at my church did small service projects such as: fixing baskets for people in nursing homes, providing snack baskets for families who have loved ones in the hospital and taking stuffed animals to children in the children’s hospital. This was intriguing to me as a young child to see the patients and their families show such appreciation for what we did even though they were going through hard times. It feels good when you know that you are appreciated for the work that you do that for someone and to see the difference that you are making. However, I came to realize that that is not always the case. As I got older, I was able to go out and get more involved in more intense projects such as Kannapolis Cares where people from the city came together to pick up trash and recyclable materials in an effort to make our city cleaner and safer.

All of this has led me to want to continue to make a difference and serve my new community here in High Point. When it comes to my service work, I rely on the resilient words from the great Mahatma Gandhi, “Be the change that you want to see in the world.” I believe that the Bonner Program is giving me the opportunity to do just that and so much more! I am grateful to be able to work in the city of High Point and to learn about all of the things that are challenging the city and learning how to come up with solutions for these problems.

28 December 2015

My service in the community has left a positive impact on me. It has widened my horizon to the community of High Point. Before providing service, I was not aware of the many issues the High Point community was facing. I have visited and lived in High Point every summer, but never knew issues like hunger, drugs, and violence were prevalent. Service has allowed me to go out and see conditions of different areas in High Point. I have been able to talk to people and listen to different stories. Service at Macedonia has allowed me to reach resources and source them out to the community. There are amazing resources that High Point University provides, and as a Bonner Leader, I feel that it is my job to create awareness so people can take advantage of these services. This make me feel like I can lead and put myself in a position where I can help people who need help.

Within my first few months as a Bonner, I have had amazing personal experiences and connections with kids at the different service sites in High Point. I began to realize that in order to solve long term issues in a community, being educated is vital. At my services we would work with kids on homework, and this gave me an insight on how the children view learning and education. Many children were excited and committed in doing their work, which made happy to see that these young scholars are the solutions to the many problems in their community. It is important to make kids realize the importance of staying committed to school. The young generation are the face of the future and to build them strong will only make to future of our community High Point stronger.

30 December 2015

Service for the Soul

Growing up in the church there wasn’t much discussion of if I was going to serve the people in and outside my community, it was how I was going to. From a very young age I remember walking the poverty-ridden streets of my hometown, with my family and friends, handing out food and anything else we could give, including prayer. Seeing the joy and building relationships with people I never would have otherwise is what has led me to the work I am doing now.

At the age of thirteen I knew that the only thing I could see myself doing for the rest of my life is helping those in need. At fourteen I started fundraising for my first mission trip. At fifteen I traveled to New York City with thirty other teenagers and various religious leaders on a week long mission to serve, through fellowship, to those in need in the slums of Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens, Staten Island and the Bronx.  By the age of sixteen I had already been on two mission trips, and planning my third. Although there is a tremendous need to serve those here in the United States, I knew I needed to follow my dreams of visiting different places around the world. I started planning for my next mission trip, and at seventeen I travelled to the Dominican Republic, which in short, changed my life. It’s incredible to think that a twelve day trip of praying, learning and building churches  could create such a big impact in the lives of my new family abroad, and in my life as well.

Service has made me the person I am today, and I hope I have touched many lives in the same way mine has been touched. Call it God, call it Devine Intervention, call it whatever, but I was placed in SL Identity and Community for a reason, and it led me to the Bonner Leader Program. I am so incredibly blessed to be finally doing something that I feel called to do, and I am so excited to see what my future in this program will hold.



 Spring Service Learning Class Highlights

PHL 2043 Business Ethics with Dr. Blosser (Fall 2015)

In collaboration with the High Point Chamber of Commerce, Dr. Blosser’s Business Ethics conducted a community-based research project. The project was aimed at better understanding the young professionals in High Point. It asked young professionals about the ethical issues they faced on the job and how they solved them. These examples gave the HPU students real-life case studies to analyze in the classroom, instead of using textbook examples. And the students produced a white paper to help the Chamber better understand how it can work to attract and retain young professionals in the city.

5669dac3589c3.imagePhoto credit: Laura Greene, High Point Enterprise

 The report includes findings like:

  • Young professionals want an active, walkable, entertainment district, preferably in the downtown area.
  • Young professionals believe the city needs a more diverse business community with a wider range of industries that will higher college graduates.
  • The young professionals who already live in the City of High Point like living here, and they point to its small-town feel, geography, and weather as key reasons why they want to stay here.
  • Young professionals in High Point demonstrate high rates of religious attendance, making them quite different from their peers nationally.

To read the complete white paper, click here: Final White Paper

The High Point Enterprise covered the students’ presentation to the Chamber of Commerce Board on December 9th, 2015. Read the story here:




The High Point Admissions Office is Located in Wrenn Hall.

Tours are available 7 days a week. Please contact us to schedule your visit.

(800) 345-6993
(336) 841-9216
(336) 888-6382 (fax)

Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service

Service Learning News

Creating Community Impact
read more
VISTA group
Three VISTAs Focus on Serving the City
read more
View All