Document Type


Original Publication Date


Date of Submission

January 2021


As community engagement approaches continue to expand in urban-identified public colleges and universities, so have innovative community-university partnerships that now span a wide range of public and private sector organizations. Partnerships between public universities and faith-based institutions, however, have sometimes lagged because public universities have yet to appreciate ways in which their public missions align with those of local faith-based organizations. This paper examines the partnership established between a large, urban-identified, public research university and one of its campus ministries to implement a servant leadership model and asset-based community development methodology designed to enable the university community to work collaboratively, recognize their own and others’ gifts and talents, and improve their own broadly-defined diverse communities. This research shows that through a servant leadership framework, faith can inform and enact this public mission to create active and engaged citizens. The asset-based partnership model shows promise for realizing the intersecting missions of faith partners and public higher education institutions, which can be replicated in with other institutions.

Is Part Of

VCU L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs Publications