This article describes a January term community engagement service-learning course that used the musical and spiritually-based activism of the rock group U2 as an example of engaged spirituality using activism and advocacy. In addition to learning about the history, music, and activism of the band, students were taught a specific set of skills for activism, advocacy, and community organizing that included creating goal statements, developing and implementing action plans, and coordinating logistics for advocacy-based events on campus. Students were assigned to apply these skills as the service-learning component of the course. These activities were conceptualized as indirect service that reflected activism and advocacy as a form of engaged spirituality. The students were exposed to theological concepts and tenets of Catholic Social Thought as an attempt to expand their understanding of faith-based traditions to include living one’s faith in service with and to the poor and vulnerable. This article concludes by describing its impact and how learning objectives were met.


A new version adhering to APA guidelines replaced the original version on 12/01/2015.