Kinney Program

Kinney Is Community Service at Rhodes

The Laurence F. Kinney Program
The Kinney Program is the Rhodes campus-wide effort to engage all students in service and social action in Memphis and the broader community. More than token or simplistic volunteerism, the Kinney Program helps students understand our community neighbors, reach across cultural, racial and economic barriers, and seek lasting solutions for a more compassionate and just world.

Beginning with the inspiration of Bible professor Dr. Laurence F. Kinney in the 1950s, Rhodes community service programs have grown to include 83% of all graduating students. For almost 50 years, Rhodes students have discovered the profound impact of serving in the community, as they learn to live their passions for social change and caring for neighbors in need. 

In addition to special service events and one-time service plunges into Memphis, most students make an ongoing weekly commitment to service. With connections at about 100 service programs in Memphis, the Kinney Program recruits, supports and motivates students to match personal passions and interests with social needs in the community. Kinney also sponsors voters registration drives, educational events on social issues, service training and reflection opportunities, social activism and advocacy, and works with faculty to develop service-learning courses and community-based research projects.

While sustaining a wide variety of established service sites, the Kinney Program also supports students in developing new strategies and initiatives to address unmet needs in the community.


Kinney Issue Areas

The Kinney Program is broken up into 12 issue areas, each focusing on a type of community issue and containing its own on-campus and off-campus community partners. By joining Kinney's issue areas, students can pursue service work according to their passions and be connected with some great local nonprofit and service organizations.

Advocates for Women
Animal Services
The Arts
Economic Justice
Mentoring and Education
LGBTQ+ Advocacy 
Disability Advocacy
The Environment
Healthcare and Wellness
Hunger and Homelessness
Intercultural Perspectives