Service & Immersion

Immersion Trips

University Ministry immersion trips provide experiences of direct service rooted in relationship. They offer students the opportunity to work for the common good, encounter new realities, and reflect on their experiences in the context of a diverse community.

To support our students on their service immersion trips, donate here.

What are Immersions?

Immersions are key experiences of a transformative Jesuit and Mercy education rooted in social justice. These experiences include manual labor, cultural learning, relationship building, and daily prayer and reflection. They offer a life-long path for our students to become persons for others, and we believe that performing them changes the world.

During winter break and spring break, students travel to locations throughout the United States to engage in direct service. Students build community, reflect and share work with communities affected by injustice. They immerse themselves issues of social justice.  CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD THE APPLICATION

The Detroit Mercy Service Immersion program offers students the opportunity to participate in cultural immersion trips centered around service and learning. Each trip has a different focus that encompasses the social injustices of that region. The service immersion trips are offered over the winter break, spring break, and in April/May after classes conclude. The cost is dependent upon the location and covers transportation, lodging, meals, and a donation to the host organization. Trips are led by a student leader and a faculty, staff or alum of the University. Participants will be asked to participate in at least four preparation sessions and one post-trip session.

Spring Break


Cost: $300

Theme: Disabilities

March 3-9, 2019

This 6-day service immersion trip explores issues around people with disabilities. Misericordia is a continuum of care and a network of services operated by the Sisters of Mercy in Chicago, IL working towards a future where people with disabilities can achieve maximum independence. The community serves more than 600 children and adults from different racial, religious, and socioeconomic backgrounds. Participants will be paired with groups of people with disabilities on the Misericordia campus in a variety of ways that include work and community building Monday-Friday during the work-day. Each evening in Chicago we will be joining communities such as Jesuit Volunteer Corps, Catholic Worker and exploring areas of Chicago or hear various speakers on a variety of justice issues. Participants will be lodging at St. Scholastica Monastery at 7430 N Ridge Blvd, Chicago, IL 60645. Host Organization:


Cost: $300

Theme: Rural Housing Insecurity, Appalachian Culture

March 3-9, 2019

Nazareth Farm is a Catholic community in rural West Virginia that transforms lives through a service-retreat experience. Founded on the cornerstones of community, simplicity, prayer, and service, Nazareth Farm seeks to empower and work with its neighbors while celebrating God in all things, especially the richness of Appalachian culture. While the primary work at Nazareth Farm is home repair, volunteers can also expect meaningful relationships with the people of Appalachia as well as education around the issues effecting the local community. The staff at Nazareth Farm facilitates the week and Detroit Mercy volunteers will join groups from 2-3 other Universities. Host organization: Nazareth Farm

Mystery Trip

Cost: $600 (includes flight)

Theme: Urban Poverty, Hunger and Homelessness

March 3-9, 2019

The mystery trip is exactly how it sounds – a mystery. You are given a theme and the student leader and colleague will guide you through various topics to prepare for the trip. Guidelines will be given on packing as well. If you are interested in a surprise trip, this is a great way trip for you!

Ignatian Family Teach-In for Justice

The Ignatian Family Teach-In for Justice is an annual gathering for members of the Ignatian family (Jesuit institutions and larger church) to come together in the context of social justice and solidarity to learn, reflect, pray, network, and advocate together. It is a place where students are empowered, re-energized, inspired, challenged, and supported by a community that sees faith and justice integrally linked.

Over three days in Washington, D.C., students will listen to inspiring speakers, participate in break-out sessions, pray together, and spend a morning on Capitol Hill.

Check out the Ignatian Solidarity Network website and contact Julia Erdlen at or 313-993-1560 for more information!

Service Opportunities

Detroit Mercy is distinguished by graduates who lead and serve in their communities. Whether it's for one afternoon, one week, or all semester, all of our service opportunities will develop your leadership skills even as they give you an incredible, transforming experience of serving those in need, often in another cultural setting. Plus, you'll have fun with other students while you're at it!


    Service in the City

    Every Wednesday from 2 to 5 p.m. and one Saturday a month, University Ministry will be taking a group of students out to different service sites to serve others and get to know the local community. If you would like to sign up or have any other questions or concerns, you can contact Julia Erdlen at


    Current Students service learning

    See the Institute for Leadership and Service for more information on other service learning opportunities at Detroit Mercy.


    Post-graduate service programs

    What are you doing after graduation? Are you still trying to figure this out?

    Have you ever considered volunteering for a year or two after graduation?

    You have lots of choices even after you commit to doing service. There are many programs that are available to men and women who want to make a commitment. We recommend joining ones sponsored by the founders of our university, the Jesuits and the Sisters of Mercy.

    Each is committed to the pursuit of justice within a faith context, community and simple lifestyle. Be a part of something bigger. You can find your personal niche while staying connected. The experience goes beyond the year(s) which you serve. The opportunities are diverse and the experience is in common.

    If that sounds like you, check out the websites below or contact University Ministry at 313-993-1560.