Center for Student Action

The Azusa Pacific community believes that the good news of Jesus’ love transforms every people, culture, and condition, that all people are created in the image of God, and that every person matters. This simple but critical belief inspires healthy and God-honoring steps to advance the work of God in the world. The Center for Student Action mobilizes and educates students toward responsible and transformational service locally and globally through a collaborative network of offices and programs, including the Center for Global Learning and Engagement (study away), the local, national, and International Mobilization programs, Mexico Outreach, International Students and Scholars, and H.I.S. Years.

University Service Requirement

Service, one of Azusa Pacific’s Four Cornerstones, stands at the heart of the university’s local and international outreach, mission trips, and service-learning endeavors. The university desires to see the service experience connect to a deeper relationship with Christ, develop in students a greater sense of community, and model scholarship put into practice. To this end, the university desires that every student have an intercultural experience during his or her time at APU.

A student’s service may correlate with his or her academic coursework or it may be an opportunity to branch out of the classroom experience. Students’ involvement in ministry opportunities satisfies the graduation requirement of 120 service credits.

The graduation requirement for full-time students is:

  • 120 service credits for students beginning fall semester as freshmen.
  • 90 service credits for transfer students beginning fall semester as sophomores.
  • 60 service credits for transfer students beginning fall semester as juniors.
  • 30 service credits for transfer students beginning fall semester as seniors.

APU recognizes the importance and value of service that happens on campus as students strive to serve one another. One of the goals of the university, however, is to encourage students to pursue opportunities to serve local and global communities outside of APU. Therefore, the following criteria must be met for an experience to count toward service credits:

  • The experience must take place outside of the APU community.
  • The experience must be unpaid.
  • The experience cannot be serving a family member.
  • Community events hosted on the APU campus may occasionally count toward service credits.

Through supervised, purposeful, and transformational service, APU students become consistent community contributors. Generally, students can earn credits according to the following guidelines:

  • 5 credits—one-day service (must be 5+ hours in one day)
  • 10 credits—two-day or weekend service project (each day must be 5+ hours)
  • 15 credits—semester of weekly involvement (generally 1-2 hours per week totaling roughly 15-30 hours of service)
  • 30 credits—intensive weeklong or summerlong service, or increased commitment and responsibility roughly equivalent to 40+ hours (e.g., Mexico Outreach, or National or International Action Teams)

APU encourages students to broaden their horizons through different experiences, and also recognizes that some students may desire to stay with a particular ministry to continue developing their gifts and sustain relationships. APU fully supports this continuity of involvement and encourages students to provide leadership in their endeavors. Each student can earn up to 60 credits maximum per academic year and up to 30 credits per semester (including summer). The following restrictions exist:

  • Athletic training students may use up to four sessions for a maximum of 60 credits.
  • Music ministry students may use a maximum of two ensembles for a maximum 60 credits.

Attention Nursing Students: The majority of nursing student service credits are completed through their service-learning courses. To ensure completion of the service requirement, these students are advised to complete 35 service credits prior to entering the nursing program. For more information about the service requirement or for questions, contact the Center for Student Action or email

Service Opportunities

In addition to the diverse service opportunities offered through Mexico Outreach and the Center for Global Learning and Engagement (study away), the Center for Student Action provides opportunities each year for students to serve in Azusa and greater Los Angeles, throughout the United States, and internationally.

Local Service Opportunities

Local service opportunities encourage students to invest time and energy with neighbors across the street in Azusa and throughout greater Los Angeles. Focused on collaborative relationships with organizations and churches, these service programs give students the chance to invest in the lives of local families and neighborhoods. This past year, opportunities included retirement center ministries, high school youth outreach (e.g., Young Life), local food banks, sports ministries, community development opportunities, children’s ministries, and educational immersion trips engaging the city of Los Angeles.

Action Teams

Each year, the Center for Student Action mobilizes more than 30 student teams to serve in the short term in more than 35 countries around the world, including several teams dedicated to serving within the United States. Depending on the need and partnership with local hosts, the type of ministry during the spring midsemester break and summer months requires all majors and a diversity of strengths and skills among the various teams. This past year, opportunities included a film team, youth and community development, evangelistic outreach, children’s ministries, economic development, caring for the sick and dying, and church partnerships, all designed to advance the work of God in the world.

H.I.S. Years

At Azusa Pacific, service doesn’t end at graduation—it should be a part of every student’s lifestyle as he or she goes on to make a difference in the world. H.I.S. Years (Hearing. Investing. Serving.) supports students passionate about serving among the world’s least-reached people groups. This two-year sending program equips volunteer alumni and connects them with service opportunities overseas through Christ-based community development and mission organizations. During the students’ two-year service, APU helps pay their student loans.

Other Opportunities

In addition to the service opportunities through the center, several other opportunities are available to help students learn and grow, including:

Azusa Scholars

Qualified students from the city of Azusa who have demonstrated a commitment to faith, education, service, and community are eligible to receive one of two scholarships and participate in a leadership development program for the duration of their tenure at APU. The Azusa Scholars program is open to incoming freshmen and transfer students.

Educational Programming

Educational programming opportunities for students take place throughout the year, centered around the Student Life values (e.g., Local and Global Engagement) and partnerships across campus to raise awareness about local and global issues connected to faith development.

For more information about these opportunities or to learn more about the center, call (626) 812-3027 or visit the center’s website.