Community Partnerships

There is some initial time needed to develop a partnership with an outside organization. Summer break, post-finals week, and other school breaks can be a great time to initiate this process.

Initial steps

Take some time to consider who might be the best fit as a partner for your course and your learning objectives. Consider organizations with which you are already familiar, and people you know. This can be a great starting point, or can put you in the right direction.

Bellarmine's Community Partners

Bellarmine has identified several organizations that have agreed to be our community partners. These partners were chosen based on their availability, alignment with Bellarmine’s mission, as well as faculty’s past successes in working with them.

The Dorothy Day Engaged Faculty Scholars developed a list of six community partners in 2013. Through formalizing these partnerships students, faculty, staff, and community have the opportunity to live and explore the Bellarmine University mission. The list of partners was developed through review of current engagement initiatives and with a focus on creating involvement in diverse communities across Louisville. These organizations have the infrastructure to support and understand the demands of service-learning curriculum. They have also been selected based on reciprocal need. It is important to the faculty and staff of Bellarmine that the organizations demonstrate a need for assistance and openness for collaboration. 

A list of our current community partners is listed below.

Nativity Academy

Nativity Academic is an independent Catholic middle school that transforms the lives of students who have a commitment to achievement and whose families demonstrate financial need. Offering dynamic services and programs during and after school, students are developed in a holistic manner. Each student is provided with after school studies and programs, summer programs, and graduate support, to encourage success. Bellarmine currently has a partnership with Nativity; the Dorothy Day Engaged Scholars would like to develop more opportunities to get students engaged.

Catholic Enrichment Center

The Catholic Enrichment Center is an extension of the Archdiocese of Louisville's Office of Multicultural Ministry. It was established to provide holistic cultural enrichment, formation and academic development. The Catholic Enrichment Center is a community gathering place where people are able to find the answers to many of their questions concerning enhancing one's life from a holistic perspective.

Services includes: Dare to Care Mobile and Emergency Pantry; nutrition and fitness programs; family life skills program which includes parenting classes, family counseling, financial management, communications and wellness; free physical therapy; smoking cessation; diabetes prevention and state of art computer lab. Additionally, West Louisville Community Ministries is a part of the Catholic Enrichment Center and assists families in crisis with housing, utility and prescription assistance. Catholic Enrichment Center currently has connections and programs supported by the Nursing and Health Science programs.

Volunteers of America

Volunteers of America helps people facing challenges to find lasting solutions. Research driven programs, provide services that address homelessness, addiction, developmental disabilities, HIV, low-income seniors, and other issues facing individuals and communities. Opportunities include tutoring, coordinating seminars, providing activities for children through adults, donations, coordinating fundraising, and more. There are three housing locations in the Louisville area. The IDC and School of Education currently work closely with VOA.

English Conversation Club

The English Conversation Club is a program that seeks to connect English speaking individuals with non- English speaking individuals to offer opportunities to practice language, develop community, and engage in mutual learning. The program is held at local library branches and offers all individuals participating a unique multicultural experience. Faculty within the Arts and Sciences and IDC have current collaborations with the program.

Joe Creason Park

This park houses the Metro Parks administrative offices and the Louisville Tennis Center's nine clay courts; the Louisville Nature Center and Louisville Zoo are nearby. The 41-acre Beargrass Creek State Nature Preserve, with a 3.1-mile hiking trail managed by the Louisville Nature Center, is open to the public.  The park is not currently “adopted” by any other organization. Through adoption of the park Bellarmine University would conduct ongoing park clean-ups, raise attention to natural resources such as Beargrass Creek, and focus on environmental issues. There is no cost related to adoption, and the only stipulation is at least two park clean ups each year. Beargrass Creek is a valuable resource used by the Environmental Studies program and many of the Sciences within Arts and Sciences.

Boys and Girls Club

Boys & Girls Clubs of Kentuckiana (BGCK) is an out-of-school time provider, offering a safe haven for youth who need it. Open to kids ages 6-18, in a safe, positive environment. Inside the Clubs, kids are greeted by name by adult youth professionals in a fun, family atmosphere.

The clubs encourage the development of the whole child by focusing on 3 priority outcome areas: Academic Success, Good Character & Citizenship and Healthy Lifestyles.

Currently there are 5 Clubs: Shawnee and Parkland in West Louisville, Newburg, Ed Endres in New Albany and Jeffersonville. Clubs are located in neighborhoods where our members live so they are convenient and easily accessible. Each Club has a gym, game room, computer room, education room and dedicated teen space.  Limited engagement is currently in place by Bellarmine University; however residents of the Parkland community have reached out for further support.

The Office of Service and Leadership is also available to assist you in the process of making connections and suggesting other possibilities. Please contact Brooke Wilson at for assistance.