Volunteer Opportunities

Opportunities to promote Catholic Social Thought on and around USD

CASA (Center for Awareness, Service and Action) and CSL (Community Service-Learning)

CASA and CSL increase awareness of the local and global community through expanding and enriching service learning opportunities. They provide six different ways for USD community members to get involved, ranging from on-campus involvement to international opportunities. Visit their website to find out more!

Africa Programs

Learn about the many issues that affect Africa by working to raise awareness among students about such issues as the crises in Darfur, Kenya and the Congo, HIV/AIDS, other health pandemics, etc. Engage yourself in the conversation by attending events, learning about political issues and participating in fundraisers and community outreach. To learn more about this program, visit the CSL/CASA "Volunteer Opportunities" website.

Color Your World

This program facilitates canvass mural painting opportunities with community students and organizations of all types and sizes. Murals engage students from varying backgrounds, ethnicities, ages and developmental levels to address group and individual concerns.  You do not have to be an artist to do group murals! To learn more about this program, visit the CSL/CASA "Volunteer Opportunities" website.

Cool Club

USD students bridge the gap between USD and the students with intellectual disabilities at Mesa Community College in the TRACE (Transition Resources for Adult Community Education) program. The goal of Cool Club is to show that, as college students, our similarities outweigh our differences. Volunteers engage with the TRACE students through various arts/crafts and sports activities. Cool Club meets every Tuesday and Thursday from 1:45-3:30pm in UC 113. Transportation is provided. To learn more about this program, visit the CSL/CASA "Volunteer Opportunities" website.

Hunger and Homelessness

Learn about issues of hunger and homelessness through educational workshops on housing issues, house-building projects with San Diego housing agencies, and participating in Hunger and Homelessness week with University Ministry. To learn more about this program, visit the CSL/CASA "Volunteer Opportunities" website.

Literacy Through Character

Literacy Through Character is a program where USD students can help juvenile youth practice literacy through discussion and writing activities at the local Kearny Mesa Juvenile Hall Facility. By discussing topics such as respect and goals, the youth can practice their critical thinking and discussion skills along with their writing capabilities. This program starts at the beginning of each semester and continues throughout the semester. To learn more about this program, visit the CSL/CASA "Volunteer Opportunities" website.

Migrant Outreach

Migrant Outreach is a program that works with Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church in Rancho Penasquitos. Every Sunday morning members from the parish come to celebrate mass with the migrants. The parishioners provide lunch that we eat together as a community. USD students tutor the migrants in English for about an hour prior to mass to help them succeed in their new community. To learn more about this program, visit the CSL/CASA "Volunteer Opportunities" website.

Pro Kids Golf Academy

Pro Kids Golf is a safe and fun environment where underserved kids can learn the game of golf and develop values and life skills that will aid them in their future endeavors.  Volunteers are needed to tutor youth in the Pro Kids Learning Center and assist with various events and programs throughout the year. To learn more about this program, visit the CSL/CASA "Volunteer Opportunities" website. 

Social Issues Committee

The Social Issues Committee combines the energy and talent of faculty, students, staff, administrators, and community members to expand awareness and facilitate action concerning pressing social issues. Social Issues Committee activities include sponsorship of speakers, public forums, essay contests, themed courses and conferences. To learn more about this program, visit the CSL/CASA "Volunteer Opportunities" website. 

Sustainability/Fair Trade Task Force

The Sustainability/Fair Trade Task Force is dedicated to educating the USD community about sustainability issues that exist in our world and in our own communities.  This task force recognizes that environmental and social issues are intertwined, and by working to improve the standard of living in less developed countries, it will benefit the environmental quality of the world.  The Sustainability/ Fair Trade Task Force is dedicated not only to educating the community about these issues, but also providing opportunities to take direct action. To learn more about this program, visit the CSL/CASA "Volunteer Opportunities" website.

University Ministry

Inspired by Gospel values and the Catholic social tradition, the University of San Diego encourages students to serve with compassion, foster peace and work for justice.  In this spirit, University Ministry offers students opportunities to serve and encounter people who suffer and experience injustice to reflect on their vocation as disciples of justice and citizens of the world. Visit their website to find out more!

Interfaith Shelter Network

Once each semester Univesity Ministry takes responsibility for staffing the Interfaith Shelter Network, a rotational shelter program serving homeless women, men, and children in San Diego County. Spend time preparing, serving, and sharing meals, playing and visiting with and learning about the lives of those who are homeless.  Volunteers spend the night and also help prepare breakfast.

The dates are November 13-19, 2011.

To sign up your club, floor, team or group of 4-8 people contact Elizabeth Coyle at

St. Vincent de Paul Village

Help prepare the lunchtime meal at this downtown soup kitchen, the largest transitional housing program in San Diego County, serving over 1.7 million meals a year. A group departs USD each Thursday at 10:45 a.m. and returns by 1:30 p.m.

In addition to assisting with the preparation and service of lunch, USD students spend time learning about homelessness and poverty in San Diego as well as developing relationships with the clients of St. Vincent’s.

To sign up, contact Erin Bishop at

Breaking Ground: Tijuana Day Trips

We spend the day with the people of La Morita, one of the poorest and fastest-growing colonias (neighborhoods) in Tijuana. Many people have come from all over Mexico in search of a better life but struggle with the reality of low wages and still live in houses with dirt floors and no running water. We literally break ground when we work to improve these conditions. At the same time, the grounds of our hearts break open to become more loving and dedicated to service. We go not just to help these families improve the quality of their lives, but to witness to Jesus' response to the question "Who is my neighbor?" Quite literally, the people of Tijuana are our neighbors, but they are also those most in need.

For more information, contact Erin Bishop at

Contact Information

Catholic Social Thought
5998 Alcalá Park
San Diego, CA 92110

Phone: (619) 260-4600