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Students painting for QuestWeek service day


Lipscomb University isn’t just big on service — we’re built on it.

Our founder David Lipscomb was known for his commitment to serving his community and the city of Nashville. Around here, it’s commonly known that he always sought to put others before himself, so much so that he almost lost his life during Nashville’s cholera epidemic in the mid-1800s, while transporting nuns to care for contagious patients around town.

Throughout the university’s history, we have followed this tradition set in place by our founder — a tradition of service-oriented, faith-based care for our community and world. It’s ingrained in all that we do, and it’s what we’ve become known for. In fact, Washington Monthly, U.S. News & World Report, the Carnegie Foundation and the Corporation for National and Community Service have recognized Lipscomb for its high rankings in student service volunteer hours, clocking in at an average of 60,000 hours per year. 

We are intentional about living out our Christian values and following the example of Christ, putting our knowledge and faith to use to serve others. And we seek to develop the same lifelong commitment in our students, who will go out and continue to build their communities.

Here are some of the opportunities you will have to serve in Nashville and beyond at Lipscomb University.


Annual volunteer impact on local community


Number of mission trip opportunities

Student packing crates at Rescue Mission

QuestWeek Service Day

From the moment you step on campus, you will be immersed in our service-focused tradition. During our extended weeklong orientation for first-year students, known as Quest Week, we provide you with an opportunity to not only increase your social awareness, but to serve with your peers (and potential best friends), for an afternoon within the Nashville community. Past partners and organizations our students have served include Safe Haven, Youth Engagement Services, Ronald McDonald House Charities, Carestone Assisted Living, Madison Church of Christ Christian Care Center and more.

A LIFE student taking notes


The Lipscomb Initiative for Education (LIFE) is one of only a few in the U.S. that offers college degrees to prison inmates. Each semester, Lipscomb students and inmates at the Debra K. Johnson Rehabilitation Center (DJRC) enroll in a course held on-site at the prison to learn together. This offers academic and character-building benefits to both groups of students, along with opportunities to expand their life experiences. In December 2022, 13 women in DJRC completed an associate, bachelor’s or master's degree.

LIFE Program
A Lipscomb student holding children in Ghana

Mission Trips

Our students are just as active serving populations in countries halfway around the world as they are serving our local Nashville community. Because of our emphasis on service, Lipscomb University hosts mission trips all year long. Beyond our fall, winter, spring and summer trips, we also host mission trips for national crises and disaster relief, as well as trips for our athletics teams to serve together. At Lipscomb, you will have the opportunity to practice compassion across borders and in places where the need is greatest.