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Service & Immersion

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.

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.

Support our students on their Service and Immersion Trips today!

Immersion Trips

Alternative Winter Break (AWB) and Alternative Spring Break (ASB)

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.  Students applications available soon.

International Service/Immersion Experience (ISE)

After second semester finals, students travel to an international location where they immerse themselves in a new culture and cultivate their sense of openness and trust. This year, we offered a trip to El Salvador. April 29 – May 7. This trip takes an in depth look into the life and history of El Salvador from the pre-civil war struggles and the lives and legacy of witnesses to the Gospel including Oscar Romero, the UCA Jesuit Martyrs and the Maryknoll Martyrs. You will see firsthand how the civil war has impacted the people and their communities, and how life in El Salvador is today. You will have an opportunity to hear about the social and economic factors affecting people as well as visit clinics and community health organizations. You will meet people who live in the rural communities and immerse yourself in their homes as you will be welcomed in as guests. It is a safe and guided trip hosted and organized by Crispaz, a well-respected El Salvadoran solidarity travel organization. 

Click here for more information about CRISPAZ, our delegation host. 

There are opportunities for academic credit available in two ways: guided independent study available through Dr. Gail Presby as well as credit through the McAuley School of Nursing/Prof. Elaine Webber.

Fundraising opportunities are available for this trips. Scholarships are also available.

Mystery Trip

Without knowing where they were going or in what type of service they would engage, students they commit to service and accompaniment wherever it leads the week after second semester finals. We ask you come as you are, with a heart prepared to enter an unfamiliar place. No details are given until the week before the trip.  March 3-10, 2018

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!

Please Note: Detroit students and affiliates must register through the University Ministry office, NOT directly through the Ignatian Family Teach-In national website.

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!

Click here to sign up for April 14th UNI Mural Service and Clean Up

Click for to sign up to help with the Community Garden project


    Service in the city

    Every Wednesday from 2 to 5 p.m. and two Saturdays a month from 9 a.m. to noon, 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.

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