Faith and Community Engagement at Anchor Institutions

Exploring the Intersection and Turning toward an Engagement of Hope


  • Patrick M. Green Loyola University Chicago
  • Cynthia P. Stewart Loyola University Chicago
  • Daniel J. Bergen Marquette University
  • Chris Nayve University of San Diego



Anchor Institution, Community Engagement, Faith-based engagement


In a year that has featured a global health pandemic, a racial justice political-social movement, and a divisive political election that stretches democratic principles, the topic of faith and community engagement may seem more prescient than ever. The exploration of the intersection of faith and community engagement at anchor institutions, though, began prior to all of these events. Yet, the topics that emerge in this special issue of Metropolitan Universities journal are even more relevant in our current context, as scholars, practitioners, and community partner co-authors explore the relationship between faith traditions and engagement in the community.

            As we framed this special issue as an editorial team, faith initiatives were initially broadly interpreted and all faith traditions were encouraged and considered (including, but not limited to, Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist, and Hindu). Faith was loosely defined as a religious historical tradition and set of beliefs centered on a higher power. Faith-based organizations were generally communicated as religiously-affiliated colleges and universities, while faith-based initiatives included programs that were religiously affiliated. This special issue focuses on the intersection of faith and community engagement, specifically how they inform each other and the relationship between them at anchor institutions.

Author Biographies

Patrick M. Green, Loyola University Chicago

Patrick M. Green, EdD is the Executive Director (founding director) of the Center for Experiential Learning at Loyola University Chicago, overseeing programs in community-based learning/service-learning, academic internships, undergraduate research, and learning portfolios. Dr. Green serves as the Director of the Engaged Learning curricular requirement, in which he facilitates faculty educational development programs that foster learning innovation and experiential pedagogical strategies, and a Clinical Assistant Professor in the School of Education at Loyola University Chicago. Dr. Green teaches a variety of experiential learning courses, engaging students in service-learning, community-based research, internship experiences, learning portfolio development, and undergraduate research. He is coeditor of Crossing Boundaries: Tension and Transformation in International Service-Learning (Stylus Publishing, 2014) and Re-conceptualizing Faculty Development in Service-Learning/Community Engagement: Exploring Intersections and Models of Practice (Stylus Publishing, 2018). Dr. Green serves as an Engaged Scholar with National Campus Compact, a Scholar-in-Residence with the International Association for Research on Service-Learning and Community Engagement (IARSCLE), and an Engaged Scholar with the National Society for Experiential Education.

Cynthia P. Stewart, Loyola University Chicago

Dr. Cynthia P. Stewart is the Director, Experiential Learning at Loyola University Chicago, Parkinson School of Health Sciences and Public Health. She has over 20 years’ experience as an instructor and administrator bringing light to the importance of partnerships with urban higher education, faith based institutions, and community development organizations. Known as the “Urban Theologian” she has provided opportunities for faculty and students within higher education to move from the classroom to urban communities to learn from the stakeholders who are the advocates and co-educators for the disenfranchised within the Chicagoland area. She is a published author with focus areas on gentrification, resilience, and African American spirituality within the context of urban communities. In addition, through academic internships and career development, she has a passion for walking alongside undergraduate and graduate level students as they discern their vocation after college to “Go Forth and Set the World on Fire,” spark by spark.

Daniel J. Bergen, Marquette University

Dr. Daniel J. Bergen is the inaugural, executive director of Community Engagement at Marquette University where he is responsible for the promotion, support, and advancement of community engagement in research, community-based teaching, and service. He has 16+ years of experience in higher education leadership and administration, previously serving as the interim assistant vice president for Student Affairs. He has published and presented locally and nationally on the topic of community engagement in higher education, and adjunct taught in the English Departments at Marquette University and Carthage College. He is a proud alum of Marquette University, native of Wisconsin and, in his free time, enjoys spending time in the Milwaukee community with his wife and two small children.

Chris Nayve, University of San Diego

Chris Nayve is the Associate Vice of Community Engagement and Anchor Initiatives at the University of San Diego and has over 20 years of experience in the field of community engagement and community economic development.  Chris has partnered and served in a leadership capacity with the leading outreach and engagement associations and conferences including Ashoka U, California Campus Compact, Campus Compact, International Association for Research on Service-Learning and Community Engagement, Coalition of Urban and Metropolitan Universities, Anchor Learning Network, and the Place-Based Justice Network.  Chris is committed to building the field of community-engaged scholarship and practice through the integration of social innovation, place-based justice, and anchor institution approaches.  He is passionate about deepening the breadth and depth of community engagement for faculty, students, staff, alumni, and community partners in order to address “critical social issues through the beneficially mutual exchange of knowledge and resources.”  Chris’ first public service experience was serving as a hospital corpsman with the United State Navy and when away from the office, he enjoys barbecuing for his family and friends.  


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