Building Community Leaders

Walla Walla University has launched a new certificate program to prepare students for lives of impact through an introduction to humanitarian issues, intercultural work and meaningful practical service. The Community Impact Certificate will be available to students in all areas of study starting in the fall of 2022.

The new certificate focuses on classes that build the skills and knowledge necessary for impactful service, including Christian ethics, multicultural communication and global development. Beyond the classroom, students will also engage in at least 80 hours of service to a community, either locally or abroad, through the robust service programs already available on campus.

“A part of the program is making sure students continue being relevant working members in the community,” said Jonathan Simons, WWU Center for Humanitarian Engagement associate director. “How is our church relevant in the communities, and how are we making sure our young people are gaining the skills and experience to be a part of that work?”

How is our church relevant in the communities, and how are we making sure our young people are gaining the skills and experience to be a part of that work?

Jonathan Simons

WWU strives to help students grow in spiritual and emotional intelligence by giving them opportunities to thoughtfully act with compassion like Jesus to our community.

Simons also notes that nonprofits, healthcare providers, international development agencies and church organizations have expressed a growing interest in students who are prepared to succeed in community impact careers.

“This certificate sets us up to be a leader among our sister institutions by allowing us to graduate students who are uniquely prepared for humanitarian work, for work in social services, for work in community engagement and for work in the church,” said Simons.

When the requirements for the emphasis are met, students will receive a certificate on their transcript and a diploma that can be seen as representing a degree of expertise in impacting in communities around them.

Whether students plan to be an engineer, an artist, a start-up worker or go on to medical school, a Community Impact Certificate can critically inform both their personal lives and professional practices.

Featured in: September/October 2022

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