The Center for Civic Engagement supports teaching, research, scholarship, art, and other university-based activities that benefit communities. Working collaboratively with community organizations and other institutions, we develop sustainable partnerships that can help both Drew and its partners meet their goals. In keeping with this priority, the Center has developed some key partnerships with the potential to achieve significant gains in addressing community needs and building community assets.

National and Regional Initiatives


Imagining America: Artists and Scholars in Public Life

A consortium of over 100 colleges and universities, and their partners, Imaging America emphasizes the possibilities of humanities, arts, and design in knowledge-generating initiatives. The mission of Imagining America is to animate and strengthen the public and civic purposes of humanities, arts, and design through mutually beneficial campus-community partnerships that advance democratic scholarship and practice.

As a member institution, Drew University enjoys multiple benefits, including reduced registration fees and prioritized proposals for the annual conference. With over 400 attendees each year, Imagining America’s national conference features innovative campus-community partnerships that advance community-engaged scholarship and practice. We also benefit from opportunities to participate in national policy initiatives, research projects and seminars.

The Imagining America Engaged Undergraduate Research Group

Imagining America’s Engaged Undergraduate Research Group explores civic professionalism as a new paradigm for undergraduate liberal arts education. “Civic professionalism” is a value and framework that integrates the traditional strengths of liberal arts, the needs and goals of a vocational path, and the skills of being effective citizens in a democracy. As a bridge between intellectual and practical learning, and between individual vocational goals and the common good, civic professionalism offers a new language for thinking about arts and humanities in the context of a liberal arts education.

Principal Investigators, Amy Koritz (Drew University) and Paul Schadewald (Macalester College), head up a team of research fellows from Auburn University, Syracuse University, University of Miami, Fordham University, and Millsaps College. This project is supported by funding from the Teagle Foundation’s Faculty Work and Student Learning in the 21st Century Program.

Campus_Compact_1955New Jersey Campus Compact

New Jersey has joined 33 other states in forming a state affiliate of Campus Compact, a national organization dedicated to furthering the civic mission of higher education. The presidents and chancellors of 17 NJ colleges and universities have joined the new organization, New Jersey Campus Compact (NJCC), which seeks to have a demonstrable impact on pressing issues facing the state and its communities.

The NJ Campus Compact member institutions include Bergen Community College, Berkeley College, Brookdale Community College, Drew University, Fairleigh Dickinson University, Georgian Court University, Monmouth University, Montclair State University, New Jersey City University, Princeton University, Ramapo College, Raritan Valley Community College, Richard Stockton College, Rutgers-Newark, Union County College, University of Medicine and Dentistry and William Paterson University.

projectpericleslogoProject Pericles

Drew University is honored to be a member of Project Pericles, a consortium of 30 colleges and universities committed to incorporating civic engagement into their core educational mission.

Project Pericles is a not-for-profit organization that encourages and facilitates commitments by colleges and universities to include education for social responsibility and participatory citizenship as an essential part of their educational programs, in the classroom, on the campus, and in the community.

This learning experience is intended to provide students with a foundation for social and civic involvement and a conviction that democratic institutions and processes offer each person the best opportunity to improve the condition of society.

Debating for Democracy

Debating for Democracy (D4D) is a distinctive campus-based program that represents the mission of Project Pericles in action. On each campus, Periclean students research, develop, and advocate their opinions and positions on current public policy issues. The goal of the National Office of Project Pericles and the faculty and administrators who are working with the students at the Periclean campuses is to inspire and encourage all D4D participants to become successful and resourceful advocates in their community.

University Initiatives

Engagement at Drew goes beyond academic programs and Center-sponsored projects. To learn more about Drew’s range of programs, take a look at the list below.

Communities of Shalom

Communities of Shalom exists because so many communities are torn and frazzled from extreme poverty, cultural barriers, racial divides, and social conflict. Yet there are hidden assets in every community that can be uncovered and aligned. Congregations and communities can work together to re-weave the textures of shalom in their midst, and raise the quality of life in their immediate neighborhood. Communities of Shalom seek to transform the world one community at a time. Contact the director, Michael Christensen for more information.

Disaster Relief Project

Drew Disaster Relief Project, in partnership with Centenary College, has spent the past four winter breaks helping the people of New Orleans get back into their homes. We are committed to helping as many people as possible affected by disaster return to normal life. We’ve worked side by side with the home owners as we help them take the next step in getting back into their homes. Contact the director, Shawn Spaventa for more information.

Sustainability Initiative

The Sustainability Initiative aims to move the campus towards climate neutrality and transform Drew into a more ecologically-aware community. Currently, this program is focused on analyzing Drew’s greenhouse gas footprint and starting to tackle a climate action plan. Contact the Sustainability Coordinator, Christina Notas for more information.

Summer College

The Summer College program is a special opportunity for public school students from New York City to learn about the realities of the college experience, including the benefits, challenges, pressures and opportunities of being a college student and a college graduate. Drew students involved in the programs as tutors and summer mentors learn in a number of ways from their experiences with the participating high school students. They become more intentional and reflective about their own college educations as they help those students imagine what it would be like to be a college student.  Drew Today describes the program in a news piece that ran the week of February 27, 2012.