Theology Service Hour Requirement Changes for Juniors


Mary Koby

Volunteering encourages students to help improve the community.

As a part of BSM’s theology curriculum, juniors are required to volunteer 25 hours for the Discipleship in Society class. The number of hours had previously been 35, but a recent deduction of 10 hours has sparked some controversy within the student body.

This decision was made by theology teachers Katrina Garcia Eveloff and Peg Hodapp in hope of making the experience more enjoyable and less stressful to encourage future volunteering. “I hope that a more meaningful, less stressful experience will leave students with a positive enough experience that they want to continue serving throughout their lives. Because this class is about living the Gospel message not just in Junior year, but every year,” Garcia said.

Stress is not the only reason for the reduction in hours. As a result of Covid-19, not all the popular volunteering agencies have reached pre-pandemic capacity. “The service hours changed because we were still seeing reductions in hours at many of our service agencies,” Garcia said.

The overall consensus amongst the junior class is positive. Most are relieved that an additional stressor of junior year has been made easier. “I am very happy that the hour requirement was changed to 25 hours. I would not have been able to do 35, and I think it shows great flexibility on the school’s part,” junior Jack Puncochar said.

On the other hand, seniors feel hurt by the change, since they were required to do the full 35 hours last year. “I feel like it’s unfair that last year us seniors had to do 35 hours and now the juniors this year only have to complete 25 hours of service. A 10 hour difference is a lot, and I know a lot of people that have some big issues with that,” senior Benjamin Laukka said.

Garcia Eveloff and Peg Hodapp have high hopes for the change and think it will help the juniors have a more engaging and meaningful experience with their volunteering agency.