Project Overview:

I have integrated community engagement into past courses, and plan to integrate it even more deeply into upcoming courses (where possible). This Spring I will teach a community-engaged course "Religion, Identity, and Social Justice" at Notre Dame, for which I won a course development grant from the Center for Social Concerns. I have also participated in classes (such as “Community Engagement &Public Scholarship in Higher Education”) and workshops (such as the Community Engagement Faculty
), and have earned a Certificate in Community Engagment and Public Scholarship, all through Notre Dame's Center for Social Concerns.
Community-Engaged pedagogies (sometimes called 'service-learning' pedagogies) integrate students' concrete community involvement with classroom instruction and reflection such that they mutually inform each other.  Ideally a student's educational experience is enriched, and her community partner is benefited through this engagement.  Although not (yet) a common pedagogy in philosophy I believe a Community-Engaged approach is advantageous from a general pedagogical standpoint, as well as from the standpoint of specifically teaching philosophy.  Below are some of the resources I've found most informative on this topic.

Community Engagement class

Class at Civil Rights Heritage Foundation

South Bend community forum

Upcoming (Spring, Summer, Fall 2021):
  • Carrying out our next empirical study

  • Collaboration with local and national organizations focused on mental health and religion

  • Generously funding through Blueprint 1843 and Hope College's Nyenhuis Grant

  • If you are a Hope College student or a local organization and interested in getting involved and/or collaborating, email me!

Fall 2020:
  • Engaging Higher Education Purpose, Platforms, and Programs for Community Engagement. Welch, Marshall (Stylus Publishing, 2016).

Summer 2020:
  • Engaging Higher Education Purpose, Platforms, and Programs for Community Engagement. Welch, Marshall (Stylus Publishing, 2016).

“By associating knowledge with human context in an integral way, this alternative epistemology shifts our “ideal of knowledge as a correspondence between mind and form” to a “conception of knowing as a process of human relationship”…In turn, it suggests a pedagogy that is distinctively relational – a way of teaching and learning that narrows the gap between abstraction and circumstance, between theory and practice, between knowing and doing, between the knower and the known.” -Goodwin Liu (Knowledge, Foundations, and Discourse: Philosophical Support for Service-Learning)

“Knowledge is not discovered by penetrating into the objective essence of reality and [simply] representing it accurately…Instead, it is created through conversation in which persons with interests and needs attempt to justify knowledge claims state in languages with particular norms and meanings.  What counts as knowledge is understood as a function of conversation and its standards of justification...If our set of intellectual beliefs is in need of transformation, then engaging in those actions that will enable us to experience the world in a way that challenges those beliefs may be the most powerful “argument” against our beliefs.  In fact, we may never change our ideology in the face of strong argument.  Rather, we must experience the shortcomings of our ideology.” -David Lisman (Praxis-Informed Philosophy)

"[Community Engaged learning is] a form of experiential education where learning occurs through a cycle of action and reflection as students. . . seek to achieve real objectives for the community and deeper understanding and skills for themselves. In the process, students link personal and social development with academic and cognitive development. . . experience enhances understanding; understanding leads to more effective action.” -Janet Eyler (winner of Vanterbilt's Faculty Award for Service Learning) and Dwight Giles

"It is impossible to reside in a community and not have an impact upon it. The question each of us must ask is not IF we will have an impact, but, instead, what our impact will be. To contribute to the common good, one must proceed from a position of knowledge and investment in one’s environment, something I call “community literacy”.” -Carolyn R. O'Grady (Integrating Service Learning and Multicultural Education in Colleges and Universities)