PURPOSE AND SCOPE: To empower students to become more engaged citizens by combining “real life” and academic understandings of the social problems of Wyoming Valley.  The Social Justice Leadership Project (SJLP) involves conversations with local nonprofit heads, political leaders, and persons affected by poverty; individualized volunteer placements; suggested participation in a Wilkes-Barre-based FallSERVE trip; and (for those seeking credit) enrollment in Dr. Matthew Eaton's “Theology of Service” course (THEO 269).     

CERTIFICATE AND CREDIT OPTIONS: Students have the option of enrolling in the project as a certificate program only or also to receive credit.  To receive credit students must take Dr. Matthew Eaton's “Theology of Service” (THEO 269) in the spring of 2019.

WHEN: The SJLP will take place throughout the 2018-2019 school year, but will have distinct focuses each semester (see below).  You must apply by Sept. 12, 2018 to be considered for the '18-'19 school year; an application form is available here: 

Fall 2018

  • Engage in a “Social Justice Walking Tour” of Wilkes-Barre City that touches on the social, economic, and racial problems facing the city.
  • Receive specialized volunteer placements in local nonprofit agencies based on student interests (10-15 hours total).
  • Participate in the suggested Wilkes-Barre-based FallSERVE trip in October 10-13.  Students will reside at 187 N. Franklin St. and do service and hear presentations at a variety of area institutions including the State Correctional Institute at Retreat, the Crisis Intervention Center, Ruth's Place Women's Shelter, and the Shekinah Riding Center..

Spring 2019

  • Students doing the project for credit will take Fr. Dan Issing’s “Theology of Service” course.
  • Participate in a series of personal conversations and community panel discussions with local political leaders, nonprofit directors, case managers, and persons experiencing poverty, homelessness and racism in our community.
  • Student volunteer placements may continue based on student choice.

MUST I PARTICIPATE IN EVERY SJLP EVENT?  No, but you must take part in 80% of all events to receive the SJLP certificate.

WHO IS ELIGIBLE?  HOW DO I APPLY?  All undergraduates may participate in this project.  To apply, fill out the SJLP application form here: 


Please return to Bill Bolan at the Shoval Center (email to: Final applications are due by September 12, 2018.  Due to limited space, participation in this program may be capped at 8-10 total students.

2018-2019 SCHEDULE 


Tuesday, Sept. 25, 9:15pm: SJLP Orientation Meeting, Shoval Center

Thursday, Oct. 4: 3:45pm: Social Issues Walking Tour of Wilkes-Barre & Welcome Dinner (Start at Shoval Center)

(FallSERVE—Oct. 10-13)

Friday, Oct. 19, 2:20pm: Volunteering with Children at McGlynn Learning Center (Start at Shoval)

Friday, Nov. 2, 3:15pm: Meeting with Children & Youth Services (Start at Shoval)

Sat., Nov. 17, 9:00am: Habitat for Humanity Build Day (Start at Shoval)

Friday, Nov. 30, 3:10pm: Meeting with Mr. David Petri, County Manager of Luzerne County (Start at Shoval)

Friday, Dec. 7, 5:00pm: End of Semester Dinner (at Shoval)

For more info contact Bill Bolan at the Shoval Center (; 570-208-8058)