LU Serve Now FAQ Page
What is LU Serve Now?
LU Serve Now is Liberty University’s quick response team for urgent disaster relief and humanitarian needs on a global scale. Our goal is to train, equip, and mobilize students to be the hands and feet of Jesus to those in need after a disaster occurs. LU Serve Now seeks to be on the ground as soon as the situation is safe and governmental authorities allow for volunteers to respond. Teams are deployed to assist with the initial recovery, rehabilitation, and repairing of a community, post-disaster.
Is this program open to online students?
Yes, the program is open to LUO students. However, LUO students must be able to transport themselves either to campus before a trip’s departure or to the trip’s destination where they can join the rest of the team.
What is the requirement to be accepted into the program?
In order to qualify for the LU Serve Now program you must:
- Be 18 years of age or older.
- Be actively enrolled in courses at Liberty University (full-time or part-time). Both undergraduate and graduate students are eligible.
- Maintain a minimum GPA of 2.5. This will be verified in the application process.
- Be in good standing with the Office of Community Life. This will be verified in the application process, and before a student is deployed for a response effort.
- Demonstrate a past and present involvement in community outreach.
- Complete the application in full.
- Pass a criminal background check.
- Complete the LU Serve Now required training.
- Sign an Assumption of Risk form releasing the University from any liability.
- Notify parents/emergency contact of participation in the program.
In order to qualify for international response trips, you must
- Fulfill all the requirements for participation in the Domestic Team
- Complete an interview
- Acquire a US Passport & other government-issued photo ID
- Fulfill certain health requirements
- Preferred Qualification: Demonstrate previous travel experience outside the US & Canada OR extensive disaster relief experience domestically. While many students have a tendency to view LU Serve Now as an opportunity to gain cross-cultural experience, the program is not designed for this purpose. When considering students for an international trip, we specifically look for people who have significant cross-cultural experience prior to joining the program. Though we are reasonable in our expectations of students, it is important to note that international family vacations, cruise ship destinations like the Bahamas, and/or short-term mission trips are often not sufficient to be a part of the international team. Special priority is given to students with extensive cross-cultural experience.
After I am accepted into the program, what are the next steps I need to complete?
- You must submit your non-refundable deposit fee of $75. This is a one-time payment that helps fund the mission of LU Serve Now. This is the only payment the program will ever require of you.
- You must attend a Serve Now required training.
Upon completion of both of these steps, you will be eligible for deployment on a Serve Now trip.
What is the process for deploying a team?
When Serve Now decides to respond to an emergency, we will send a “callout email” to all students in the program. Upon receiving this email, students will indicate their availability to participate in the Serve Now trip. From the list of available students, LU Serve Now will select a team that would best benefit the specific trip. The team size will vary depending on the trip. If you are chosen as part of the team, Serve Now will contact you with all the necessary details and instructions.
Do I get excused absences for classes if I go on a Serve Now trip?
Yes. The Provost has granted students five days of excused absences per semester if they are chosen to deploy with Serve Now. Once you have been chosen for an LU Serve Now deployment, you will receive an approved excused absence form that you can give to your professors to be excused from classes. It is the responsibility of each student to coordinate with his or her professor to make up missed assignments, quizzes, and tests. Faculty have the discretion to determine when the student should make up missed work.
Will every student in the program get deployed even if they pay the $75 deposit?
Although it is the desire of Serve Now to send out as many students as possible, unfortunately not all students are deployed. Serve Now is limited on how many trips can be deployed based on the resources available. We do guarantee all students in the program access to our on campus events and Serve Now training, such as DART training and humanitarian aid workshops.
Do I need to reapply to the program?
No. Once accepted, you will be in the program until you are no longer enrolled at LU. However, there are a few reasons that could prevent you from deploying with Serve Now:
- Your GPA falls below the minimum requirement
- Your IDs have expired
What if I was initially denied/withdrawn and want to reapply?
You do not need to reapply. Your initial application can be updated to reflect any new changes.
In these situations, you will first need to email email@example.com and request to update your application. In the email, you must provide the semester you were first accepted or first applied and the reason you want to update your application. If you are approved to update your application, the Serve Now team will open your application for editing and will provide you with the instructions on how to access it.
How does LU Serve Now handle donations?
LU Serve Now accepts all cash, check, and online donations. Serve Now ensures all monetary donations will be used to send students to help post-disaster and/or sent directly into the hands of trusted organizations and churches who can quickly and efficiently purchase exactly what people need in exactly the right quantities.
People often ask if we can organize clothing/material drives when a disaster strikes. However, after extensive research, our program has realized that collecting material goods can often hamper disaster relief instead of helping and waste valuable financial resources. Serve Now does our best to empower those in need and supports USAID’s donation strategy towards disaster relief. Unless suggested otherwise, monetary donations are the best way we can help people in need after a disaster. You can give any time on our donation portal located on our homepage. In the event that Serve Now decides to accept material donations, it will be heavily promoted around the University.
Where is LU Serve Now Located?
LU Serve Now is in the LU Serve office, located on the first floor of Dorm 20 (on the Hill).
Do I need to pay for a background check?
No, LU Serve Now will cover the cost of the background check.
When can I apply for the program?
The application for LU Serve Now will be open for a brief window of time (approximately one month) at the beginning of each semester. Once the application window closes, you will have to wait until the next term.
Is there a cap on enrollment in the program?
Currently, there is no cap on enrollment. However, the application is only open for limited periods of time at the start of each term.
What is the easiest way to contact your office?
Students can email firstname.lastname@example.org.
What types of opportunities will I have in LU Serve Now?
LU Serve Now will offer several international and domestic trips each year. However, the available slots for these trips are very limited. In addition to trips, students will have the opportunity to engage in local events, service projects (e.g. Meal Packing Event, Refugee Simulation, etc.), and additional trainings with strategic partners.
Does LU Serve Now offer CSER credit?
Yes. Students must serve a minimum of 20 hours a semester. These hours can be accumulated through trips, serving at events, or both.
What does my application status mean?
- Pending = Application start, but not submitted.
- Pending Review: Background Check = Application submitted, but waiting for the background check to clear.
- Accepted: Deposit Needed = Background check has cleared. Student has been accepted, but student is not deployable until deposit is received.
- Committed = Deposit is received. Student is deployable.
- Withdrawn = Application is no longer active. To reinstate, contact email@example.com