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. 

Here at Divine Word College, we call it Community Service. All students are expected to complete "chores" or work assignments around the campus for a total of five hours each week. In addition, all students take a turn washing dishes once a week.

For those students that qualify for the Federal Work-Study program sponsored by the federal government and funded both by the governament and Divine Word College, there is the possiblity of working additional hours to earn money to help pay for your education.  It pays $15 per hour and the amount a student earns is applied to his/her educational expenses.

The Community Service and 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

Community Service and Federal Work-Study also goes beyond our Epworth, Iowa campus. As part of the program, some students work off campus at area churches, nursing homes, and others programs depending on need. Providing service to members of the public when they visit the college may also apply. 


Formational activity

For decades, Community Service and the Federal Work-Study programs have been a win-win situation for both students and Divine Word College. It helps students pay for their education and 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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