Service-learning is about discovering new perspectives, learning to sustain healthy communities, and growing as individuals and global citizens.

Students doing service in community

Education for the head and the heart.

Service-learning offers an eye-opening way of viewing service, through personal interactions with the community and reflective class-based discussion.

Ultimately, these experiences will enhance your ability to “make a difference in the world.” You will learn about your strengths and develop capacities for interpersonal relationships and empathy—capacities essential for a meaningful life and successful career.

Students report statistically significant learning gains from service-learning in their capacity to work with others across differences, and their commitment to ongoing involvement as community actors.

a student talking to young children

Center for Citizenship and Community

The CCC connects Butler with the community through civic engagement. Individuals who are civically engaged recognize they do not live alone in the world but understand how their decisions and actions affect others.

Faculty with students

Core Curriculum

Service-learning is a vital component of a liberal arts education. It’s why our core curriculum calls on every student to take a class that incorporates an active experience in the Indianapolis community.

Students who served at least 20 hours in a service-learning class in 2020–2021
Equivalent labor cost of student service-learning hours
Year the ICR became a Butler Core Curriculum requirement

Featured Student

Service-learning makes teachers and learners of all involved. Butler Biology and Health Science major Kelly Jay partnered with seniors at A Caring Place, an adult day care for elders with cognitive issues. In reflecting on her experience she said, “the connections that I’ve made this semester and the lessons that I have learned far surpassed any expectations that I could have had. I learned about empathy and community, and that in my life one does not exist without the other.”


—Kelly Jay ACP

hands holding each other

Awards and Recognition

In 2015, we received the Carnegie Elective Community Engagement Classification, a designation given to institutions that devote the power of their knowledge and resources to improve their communities. And in 2019, U.S. News & World Report ranked Butler among the nation’s top 3 percent of campuses for service-learning.