Academic Credit

Advising Questions and Answers:

Why do an internship or minor in Franciscan Service and Advocacy?

Siena College is rooted in the Franciscan tradition, which throughout its history has emphasized service with poor and marginalized persons. A minor in Franciscan Service and Advocacy will give students the opportunity to work with the poor and marginalized people, and to learn how to become advocates on their behalf. The program helps people to integrate hands-on direct service with intellectual and spiritual reflection, in the hope that they will continue to serve and advocate for the poor and marginalized. 

Pursuit of this Minor is guaranteed to give a lot more than 18 academic credits. It is a perfect complement to any major or program at the college, and will enrich not only a student’s life, but the lives of those a student serves: people who are often forgotten or cast off by society.

Service and Advocacy is at the heart of what we think a Franciscan education is all about. Students are encouraged to consider this Minor (or enroll in the Seminar and Internship in Franciscan Service and Advocacy only) as part of their academic program. Students intending to pursue a minor in Franciscan Service and Advocacy should declare their intention to the Academic Coordinator of the Franciscan Center for Service and Advocacy.

Back to top


What do I need to know before I sign up for the Seminar and Internship in Service and Advocacy?

Note: The INSA480 internship is governed by the same rules as all other internships at Siena College. A student may earn a total of six credit hours for all internship activity, and may take only one internship in a single semester. (An exception is made for students who take international internships. See the college catalog for details.)

Please contact the Franciscan Center if you would like further information.

Please contact Fr. Russel Murray for questions regarding this page.


INSA400, the Seminar in Franciscan Service and Advocacy, and INSA480, the Internship in Franciscan Service and Advocacy, are two elective courses that are designed to be taken together. The courses are open to juniors and seniors at Siena. Interested students must get the permission of the instructor to sign up for these courses. Please call the Franciscan Center at (518) 783-2333 in order that the permissions be set up so you can register on the web.

INSA400 is the prerequisite for the internship (INSA480). Students may be permitted to take INSA400 alone if there is sufficient space, but those who are signing up for both the seminar and the internship will be given priority.

INSA400, the Seminar in Franciscan Service and Advocacy (1 credit), introduces students to the theological and social principles that provide the foundation for service and advocacy among the poor and marginalized. Particular emphasis will be placed on the scriptural teachings on social justice, and how they are expressed in the Franciscan tradition and in Roman Catholic social teaching, as well as the teachings of other religious communities. The seminar meets for the first six weeks of the semester.

INSA480, the Internship in Franciscan Service and Advocacy (1-3 credits), is a field experience in service and advocacy among the poor and marginalized in the local community (Albany Capital District). Students will be expected to work in the field for 40 hours for each credit earned. Students will be required to keep a journal/log of their activities and to prepare a final internship report, in which they reflect on their experiences in relation to what they learned in the seminar.

Most students take the seminar plus two credits of internship (each credit = 40 hours of service), so that the total number of credits is equal to a regular course at Siena.

Students who are majoring or minoring in Religious Studies may take INSA400 and 480 for RELG credit. If they wish to exercise this option, they should consult with the instructor or with their Religious Studies advisor.

Back to top

Contact Us

  • Franciscan Center for Service and Advocacy
    Siena College
    515 Loudon Road
    Loudonville, NY 12211
    Location: Foy Hall 215 and 302
    Phone: (518)-783-2333
  • Fr. Russel Murray, O.F.M., Ph.D.
  • Ms. Judy Dougherty
    Associate Director
  • Mr. James Snyder
    Siena College Mentoring Program
  • Ms. Sue Corcoran
    Assistant to the FCSA


We’re located in Foy Hall. Click the photo below to see a map.