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Service Learning

At the core of Benilde-St. Margaret's mission as a Catholic school is our long held tradition of service dating back to the 1970s. All students experience an aspect of service through their theology classes.

However, service is beyond just the theology classes and can be found across all disciplines through a unique pedagogy called service-learning. Benilde-St. Margaret's has been recognized as a national service-learning leader school and mentors schools around the world. Serving is part of the culture at BSM. Students, faculty, staff and alumni all participate in service.

Service-learning is a learning method in which BSM students have leadership roles in thoughtfully organized service experiences that meet real need in the community. The service is integrated into the students' academic studies with structured time to research, reflect, discuss, and connect their experiences to their learning and their world view.

What is Servant Leadership?

The servant model, established by Jesus, was popularized and secularized in the twentieth century by Robert Greenleaf, who coined the phrase “servant leadership.” Someone who has a natural feeling to want to serve and then makes a conscious choice to lead represents the concept of servant leadership.

The ten characteristics of a servant leader, as described by the Greenleaf Center for Servant Leadership, include:

  • Listening
  • Empathy
  • Healing
  • Awareness
  • Persuasion
  • Conceptualization
  • Foresight
  • Stewardship
  • Commitment to the Growth of People
  • Community Building

Service in Theology Curriculum

At BSM, all students experience service in a deep, personal and meaningful way through their theology classes. The theology classes have a structured, tiered and progressive model that brings students from service to justice throughout their high school experience.

  • Grade 9 is about raising student’s level of awareness and understanding of the world around them and introducing them to a variety of ways to be of service to others.
  • Grade 10 encourages student’s to turn inward and grow in their own personal awareness of the gifts and talents they have to offer others. Intentionally teaching leadership in the way that Jesus taught, students learn they can become leaders by serving others.
  • Grade 11 challenges students through duration and intensity by choosing an area of concentration for a field experience dealing with those who are disenfranchised and marginalized in our society.
  • Grade 12 students will understand how service can be an agent of change as they develop skills to take action and be an advocate.

Servant Leaders

Living as disciples of Jesus, members of our community strive to embody what Jesus taught and how he lived.

Serving others first was central to Jesus’ message and ministry.

“…just as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life a ransom for many.”

(Matthew 20:28)

Living the Mission at BSM is experienced in a variety of programs, classroom projects, and activities beyond classroom or in the Twin Cities metro area.

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