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 Fr. Dan Issing’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 Fr. Daniel Issing’s “Theology of Service” (THEO 269) in the spring of 2018.

WHEN: The SJLP will take place throughout the 2017-2018 school year, but will have distinct focuses each semester (see below).  You must apply by Sept. 13, 2017 to be considered for the '17-'18 school year; an application form is available here: 

Fall 2017

  • 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 11-14.  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 2018

  • 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 a minimal number of 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 13, 2017.  Due to limited space, participation in this program may be capped at 8-10 total students.

2016-2017 SAMPLE SCHEDULE (see Bill Bolan for current year)


Thursday, Oct. 1, 8:30pm: FallSERVE and SJLP Orientation Meeting, Shoval Center

Tuesday, Oct. 6, 8:30pm: 2nd FallSERVE Orientation Meeting, Shoval Center

Wed, Oct. 14—Sat., Oct. 17: FallSERVE Trip

Oct. 19—Oct. 30—Set up volunteer placements with Bill Bolan at Shoval Center

Wed. Oct. 28, 4pm: Meeting with Bill Jones, President and CEO, United Way of Wyom. Valley, Shoval Ctr

Tues., Nov. 17, 5:00—6:00pm: Panel discussion and Dinner on Homelessness and Poverty, Postupak Room

Wed, Dec. 2, 4:00pm: Meeting with Wilkes-Barre Mayor, Wilkes-Barre City Hall

Sun., Dec. 13: End of Semester Dinner


Tues., Jan. 26, 7pm—Screening and discussion of film “The Other Side of Immigration” (1 hour--Shoval Center)

Tues., Feb 9, 7pm—“Are We Living in a Post-Racial Society?”—King’s Campus Discussion (Campus Center--Fitzgerald Room)

Sat., February 20, 9am—4pm—Habitat for Humanity Volunteer Project

Tues., March 1, 4pm—“Crime in Wilkes-Barre”—Presentation by Pat Rushton, former W-B Police Captain & current Victims Resource Center Outreach Manager (Shoval Center)

Wed., March 23, 4pm—Activity w/children at Center of the Village Afterschool Program

Tues., April 5, 7pm—Lecture--“Old Poison in New Bottles: How Racism Thrives in Integrated Schools and Why This Is a Problem of Justice” Dr. Derrick Darby (Burke Auditorium)

Thurs., Apr., 7, 8:00am—12:30pm—TENTATIVE: Tour and Conversation with Staff and Inmates at State Correctional Institute at Retreat, PA

Thurs, April 21, 4pm—“Domestic Violence in Wilkes-Barre”—Presentation by Domestic Violence Service Center (Shoval Center)

Tues, April 26, 5pm—Info Session for 2016-2017 and final dinner

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