Service And Justice

Caldwell University Students Volunteering at Belize
“I am not capable of doing big things, but I want to do everything, even the smallest things, for the greater glory of God.”
–St. Dominic

From freshman orientation on, the students of Caldwell University are encouraged to go beyond themselves to meet the needs of the world community and local communities through service programs. Part of our Dominican mission is to be of service to others—living in and responding to the “signs of the times”.

The Freshmen FIRST Program: The Freshmen FIRST Program is offered through the Office of Campus Ministry at Caldwell University and stands for “Freshmen Immersion into Reflection, Service, and Tradition. This is a unique program offered to incoming Freshmen who are interested in engaging in their faith here on campus. There will be aspects of faith reflection, service, and diving into the Dominican tradition. There is no experience necessary and all incoming freshmen are encouraged to think about applying. This program is in its first year and we can take up to 15 incoming Freshmen!

Sample Schedule for the Program:

Thursday, August 24, 2017

1:00-4:00 PM: Move-In for Freshmen participants
5:00 PM: Welcome Prayer Service (Parents and Students)
5:45 PM: Parents say good-bye (All Parents are encouraged to come back on Saturday for Parent Sessions through move-in weekend orientation activities)
6:00 PM: Dinner
7:30 PM: Evening activities
10:30 PM: Head back to Residence Halls (or head home if commuting)
11:30 PM: Lights Out

Friday, August 25, 2017

8:00 AM: Breakfast in Dining Hall
8:45 AM: Morning Prayer
9:00 AM: Head out to service
4:00 PM: Return from service site
4:15 PM: Reflection Circle(s)
5:15 PM: Showers/rest
6:00 PM: Dinner at Caldwell University President’s House
8:30 PM: Evening activity
10:30 PM: Head back to residence halls (or head home if commuting)
11:30 PM: Lights Out

If you have any questions, please contact Colleen O’Brien, Director of Campus Ministry, at 973-618-3660 or via email at or

Current Service Opportunities:

  • Tutoring at Our Lady Help of Christians

Join other Caldwell students as we head to Our Lady Help of Christian’s in East Orange, NJ Wednesdays throughout the semester. It’s helpful to have a list of who will be joining each week so please email is you’re interested in joining

  • Midnight Run

Twice a semester 10 students head into NYC from 9 PM-12 AM to help distribute clothes, food, toiletries, and blankets to our brothers and sisters living on the streets of New York City. Midnight Run is a volunteer organization dedicated to finding common ground between the housed and the homeless. Its goal is to forge a bond between housed and homeless people by establishing a foundation of sharing and caring from which solutions may evolve. Through Midnight Run, volunteers come to see the homeless as real people, not a commodity. And homeless men and women learn that many people have commitments and concerns that go beyond their own lives and families. All are welcome to sign up to participate in this program!

  • Caldwell Day of Service

Caldwell University “Caldwell Day of Service” – Celebrating the life of St. Martin de Porres is held during the fall semester. St. Martin was a Dominican brother whose passionate love for God led him to serve the poor in Lima, Peru during the early 1600s. The campus administration, faculty, staff, students and alumni commit to serve the local Caldwell/Essex County area and to put into action our Catholic Dominican mission as a university community. Caldwell Day will take place on Friday September

  • Alternative Break Immersions
      • Belize January Immersion: Since 2013 Caldwell University has taken small groups of students, faculty, and staff to Belize to serve in the poorest district of Belize, Toledo.  When you step back from the beauty of the resorts you discover that Belize’s coast is far different from its interior. The Caldwell group has stayed at St. Peter Claver Parish in Punta Gorda, a small coastal town in the Toledo District. Punta Gorda serves as the “base camp” each year from which the group travels from to their service sites.
        The dates for this year’s Immersion trip to Belize are January 8-15, 2018. Info sessions will be held in September, students can apply after attending an info session. Contact Colleen at for more information and details!


    • Kentucky Spring Break Immersion (Christian Appalachian Program, WorkFest): Since 2006, Caldwell University has been sending students to rural Kentucky to a program called WorkFest. Student spots are limited; applications are available in the Campus Ministry Office beginning January 2018. The dates for this year’s trip are March 10-16, 2018

“WorkFest is an alternative spring break for college students held annually in March. The event attracts more than 400 students from 40 different colleges and universities each year. At WorkFest, students serve in teams to repair substandard housing and build new homes for low-income families in Eastern Kentucky. No prior building experience is necessary.” – taken from CAP website

Current Justice Opportunities:

“Cry out as if you have a million voices, for it is silence that kills the world.” – St. Catherine of Sienna Campus Ministry at Caldwell is committed to providing students opportunity to live out their faith through justice. We are not only called to service but we are called to work for systemic change in our world, we are called to have a voice for the voiceless

  • Catholic Relief Services:  We have partnered with Catholic Relief Services to have a CRS University group here on campus. They will be focusing on how climate change affects food sustainability on a global level. Student ambassadors facilitate justice programs throughout the year.

Kappa Gamma Pi

Every year Caldwell is proud to induct a number of students to the National Catholic College Graduate Honor Society, Kappa Gamma Pi.  The inducted students are chosen because of their continued commitment to leadership, service and their faith communities, not only during their time at Caldwell, but pledge to continue this commitment after graduation.

KGP Mission Statement: “Kappa Gamma Pi, the National Catholic College Graduate Honor Society, exemplifies excellence in leadership, scholarship, faith, and service.”

The diverse membership serves as a network of motivated people who support each other and the wider community in the search for justice, compassion, and wisdom.