The Odyssey Program

Service to the World

Experiences within and beyond the Hendrix community in which students are engaged in helping meet the social, environmental and spiritual needs of our time.

Service to the World (SW) experiences engage students in service projects for social agencies, service or civic organizations, public policy initiatives, or faith communities directly involved in providing resources, goods, political access, systemic change, or other services in response to serious human and environmental problems. Both activities that aim at alleviating present suffering and those that strive for long term social change are appropriate to this category.

Odyssey credit requires a minimum of 30 on-site service hours, exclusive of any service work done as a part of a New Student Orientation Trip, or the required courses Explorations and The Engaged Citizen. The student’s hours of service must be verified on a log sheet provided by the Odyssey Office and signed by the on-site supervisor or Hendrix sponsor. At the completion of the 30 hours, all log sheets must be turned in to the Odyssey Office with a Project Completion and Transcript Notation Form in order to receive Odyssey credit. The 30 hours need not be completed in one semester or in consecutive semesters. They may be spread among several projects and over a four-year period. Opportunities exist for students to complete service hours by participating in, for example, Hendrix College mission trips, summer service fellowships, internships, and service-learning courses; however, students may also initiate and propose service projects with other agencies and faith communities.

In addition to completing at least 30 hours of service, students must participate in a reflective exercise or set of exercises in which they analyze the social, ethical, political, environmental, personal and/or religious implications of what they have seen and undertaken through their Odyssey service experience. These reflective exercises may be in the form of journals, more formal papers, or structured discussions during or after the service experience, as arranged or approved by the Odyssey Office.

Examples of experiential learning activities which might fulfill this category:


Any course that requires at least 30 hours of community service could be eligible for SW coding.

Individualized Academic Experiences

This category includes service projects connected with internships and optional projects completed in conjunction with courses (modules) that by themselves do not merit Odyssey coding.

Co-Curricular Activities

Included in this category would be service projects for which students receive no academic credit. For example, approved college-sponsored mission trips, summer service fellowships, and volunteer work would fall under this rubric. Several service experiences may be combined to fulfill the required 30 hours.

Special Considerations for Service to the World (SW) Projects and Activities

Please consider carefully the way in which your project will involve a provision of resources, goods, political access, systemic change, or other services in response to serious human or environmental problems.

Note that for off-campus experiences you must have an on-site supervisor to verify your hours of service work in addition to a Hendrix sponsor.

If you are interested in developing a service project, you may wish to consult resources available through the Miller Center for Vocation, Ethics, and Calling (SLTC 127 or For civic engagement projects, you are encouraged to contact the Director of Civic Engagement Projects, Dr. Jay Barth (SLTC 245 or