The RUIBAL Challenge

Attention: Due to the new PA Act 153, all volunteers working with minors are required to complete their background clearances prior to the beginning of service.  For this reason, RUIBAL registration will open November 11 until filled and service will begin in January.  For questions, please email

Background Clearances can be found here, under Criminal Background Check Process.


The RUIBAL Challenge is an All-Freshman service program that allows a group of first-year Villanova students the opportunity to build community by volunteering one day a week (3–6PM) to serve and support children in inner-city Philadelphia schools and community centers.  

Purpose of RUIBAL Challenge

The RUIBAL Challenge hopes to build strong partnerships and relationships between Villanova students and the students and communities they serve with. During RUIBAL, freshmen serve as tutors, mentors, and activity coordinators, including opportunities for sports, drama, the arts, dance... just about any interest a Villanova freshmen could bring to the grammar school children, including homework help. There are four main goals of the program: to engage first-year students in building community both with their peers and with the students at the schools in which they serve; to invite freshmen in Villanova’s tradition of service and to contextualize an understanding of service which is grounded in partnership; to help freshmen discover their own “God-given gifts and talents” which will help them become life-long agents of social change, and to create long-term partnerships which forward the mission and ministry of the school communities who partner with the program. 

Who will be selected to serve?

In order to honor participants’ interest and commitment to service, we accept applications on a first come, first served basis. In the words of Martin Luther King Jr.,

“Everybody can be great … because anybody can serve. You don’t have to have a college degree to serve. You don’t have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love.”

RUIBAL Mission

RUIBAL Challenge, a freshman-only certificate program, allows first year Villanova students the opportunity to use their unique gifts and talents to build relationships with Philadelphia students. Our volunteers also have the chance to build community with other freshmen in a unique environment. The program provides a framework in which students can learn about the justice issues which necessitate this kind of service, and reflect on how the experience of service impacts their own understanding of themselves, their world, and their spirituality.

Students serve in the spirit of St. Thomas of Villanova, who dedicated his life in service to the poor. In the tradition of Catholic Social Teaching which emphasizes a preferential option for the poor, a commitment to the Common Good, and the pursuit of solidarity, RUIBAL calls students to put their faith into action by practicing a love that does justice, building a community which creates change, and discovering a commitment which can transform their lives.

How can I learn more?

For further information email


Tuesday, Nov 10th
  Info Session, Stanford 4th Floor Lounge, 5:00PM
Wednesday, Nov 11th
  Registration opens
Friday, Nov 20th
  Registration closes at 11:59PM or until filled!


“This experience has changed my life and now I know that I want to work with kids forever.”

 “RUIBAL let me make friends with people I probably never would have met. RUIBAL means a lot for both the schools and for me.”

 “I have grown as a person from being involved in this program, and hope I have helped the kids in return.”

 “This program that Campus Ministry offered was the best experience I have had at Villanova!”

 “RUIBAL pretty much opened doors for me at Villanova.”

 “Being able to watch the students learn and grow was really meaningful. I love the look on a student’s face when they were able to have a breakthrough on a tough homework problem.”

 “The best part of when the Villanova students come is that it is fun and exciting.”