In our community, everyone pitches in

Since the early days of the Society of the Divine Word (SVD), students have done a variety of jobs around their seminary as part of formation. The founder, St. Arnold Janssen incorporated the traditional concept of Ora et Labora, which means “Prayer and Work.” St. Arnold and Christians believe that work and prayer are two sides of the same coin. In Christian formation, one does not exist without the other. That tradition continues, but today your work actually helps pay for your education.

It is called Work-Study, a program sponsored by the federal government, funded by both the government and Divine Word College and essentially every student takes part. It pays $10 per hour. Students work approximately seven hours per week, 226 hours during the academic year, for a total of $2260, which is used to cut the amount of financial aid you need for your education.

The Work Study Coordinator assigns jobs at the beginning each semester. Among the jobs assigned:

Faculty Assistant Sacristan
Tutor Janitorial Assistant
Kitchen/Food Preparation Campus Barber
Pour House Clerk Campus Security
Chief of Recycling Dining Room Coordinator

Work-study also goes beyond our Epworth, Iowa campus. As part of the program, some students work off campus, in a form of community service, at area churches, nursing homes, and others depending on need. Providing service to members of the public when they visit the college can also apply, for instance by lifeguards who work during open swimming times in our pool.


Formational activity

For decades, the Work-Study program has created a win-win situation for both students and their institutions of higher learning. It helps students pay for their education and, in the case of Divine Word College, it continues a tradition of active student involvement in their school. It is a formational experience that helps build a sense “community”—a shared experience of ministry that benefits those with whom you live, work and pray.


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