Student handing out groceries at food bank

Ways we serve

The Service-Learning Center offers a number of unique service programs throughout the school year. Beginning with StreetFest during first year student orientation, all students spend a day serving and learning with a local Grand Rapids organization. From there students can do projects connected to their academic coursework through Academically Based Service-Learning, serve alongside fellow residents at their residence hall community partnership, participate in a week-long service-learning spring break trip, tutor high school students in preparation for their ACT, or chaperone an athlete for Special Olympics.


Academically-Based Service-Learning

Academically-Based Service-Learning (ABSL)

Many professors offer (or require) service-learning experience in their classes through Academically-Based Service-Learning. Since 1993, the college has provided logistical support and pedagogical assistance to faculty interested in teaching in collaboration with local community partners, utilizing community service-learning to deepen students’ learning in particular areas.

Excel ACT Tutoring

Excel ACT Tutoring

Since 2005, Calvin students have tutored local high school juniors and seniors in preparation to take the ACT.

Residence hall community partnerships

Residence Hall Community Partnerships (RHCP)

Each residence hall has built a lasting relationship with a local agency with which students can serve. The partnership is facilitated by two sophomore residents called Community Partnership Coordinators (CPCs). Students and partner staff work closely together to plan activities (both one-time and weekly) and ensure that the needs and expectations of both groups are being met.

Spring break trips

Spring Break Trips (SBT)

Step fully into a subject area that you're interested in, whether that is disaster relief, intentional community, urban ministry, or restorative justice. Delve into a new community for a week and come back with a deepened perspective.



StreetFest is a one-time co-curricular service-learning opportunity that occurs during our first-year student orientation program, Quest. During StreetFest, we explore our call of doing God’s work in God’s world by joining over 60 community organizations in their work in the city of Grand Rapids.

Special Olympics

Special Olympics

Every year Calvin hosts the Special Olympics Michigan Southwest Regional Spring Games. About 400 athletes will come to our campus and compete in various athletic competitions including track and field and swimming. The winners from these games will go on to compete in the state championship.