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Service Leadership Program

Be a difference-maker!

DC's Service Leadership program teaches students the difference between volunteerism and service learning, moving their focus from random acts of kindness to making a larger impact on the world. As a result, students gain valuable leadership skills, cultural awareness, and a better understanding of their place as active global citizens.


Each Service Leader is required to complete a minimum of 500 hours of service before they graduate at any agency that aligns with his/her academic interests. Service Leaders interact in bi-weekly class meetings and have multiple opportunities to participate in personal development, professional development, and leadership workshops.

7 students posing in a work site and smiling at the camera


We offer a $1,500 renewable scholarship to students who demonstrate a record of service in their communities.

Students will be given the opportunity to apply their academic and personal expertise to a real-world issue through a service-learning project. Each year, up to 25 incoming students with an interest in service and/or leadership are awarded this scholarship to continue their commitment to civic engagement while at DC.

six students dressed in work gear and hard hats standing in front of a construction site



  • Admitted to DC in good standing
  • Service Leader short essays

or PDF Application Form

12 individuals standing in a line facing the camera, wearing white construction face masks. Their clothes are dirty from working on a house.

Agencies Service Leaders have worked with include:

Independence Education Center
Defiance City Schools
Defiance Dream Center
United Way
Kaitlyn's Cottage
Night to Shine
Susan G. Komen Northwest Ohio
Defiance Regional Medical Center
Defiance Mercy Clinic
Defiance and Paulding Job and Family Services
American Red Cross
Grant Insurance
Noble Elementary School
Mercy Children's Miracle Network
Dupont Church of the Brethren
St. John United Church of Christ
Defiance Christian Church
Defiance Area YMCA

"The Service Leadership Program was an instrumental part of my success at Defiance College. Not only did it help me, through its various opportunities, to hone skills such as effective time management, communication, and collaboration, but it also served as a constant reminder to give of myself to help others. Perhaps the most lasting effect of this program on my life is the life-long friendships I have made with my fellow service leaders. These friends have been my inspiration and encouragement, and helped me feel a part of a family and community when I was so far away from my own."
--Cormack Lazarus '16

"As a service leader for four years and collecting over 2,000 service hours, I was able to grow into and feel confident in my leadership potential while impacting the local Defiance community. After graduating from DC I moved to Virginia and began working at a non-profit. Immediately I've been able to take the skills the service leadership program equipped me with to begin making a difference in my new home community. Being a service leader gave me a safe and comfortable place to try new things, meet new people, and reaffirm my passion for community development. As I begin forging a new path for myself as a working adult, I hope to continue volunteering for local organizations and maybe even helping high school and college students enjoy leadership development the same way I have."
--Dava Donaldson '16


Mia Mathews
Director of the McMaster School Service Leadership Programs

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