Service & Immersion

Detroit Mercy students and faculty pose for a photo during a service trip to El Paso, Texas in 2018.
A Detroit Mercy student interacts with a person at the border wall between the United States and Mexico during a service trip to El Paso, Texas in 2018.
A Detroit Mercy student spends time with children during a service trip to El Paso, Texas in 2018.

Ignatian Family Teach-In for Justice

Detroit Mercy students and faculty pose in front of U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow's office during the Ignatian Family Teach-In for Justice in Washington, D.C.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.

This year's conference will be held virtually with in-person delegation gatherings TBD. There will be opportunities to learn from Nationally-acclaimed speakers, peer-led breakout sessions, and time for advocacy reflection.

If you have any questions, please contact University Minister for Service and Social Justice Erin McDonald, SSJ, at or Associate University Minister Salena Ibrahim at

Check out the Ignatian Solidarity Network website and call 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

Service in the City provides service opportunities in Detroit to students with a coordinated transportation plan, with weekly options and special Saturday service days through the semester.

This year, volunteering options include virtual tutoring at La Casa Guadalupana Grade School and Loyola High School. We will have monthly formation discussions to engage in dialogue around the key social injustices encountered during service.

Saturday service options vary each semester but often include working with the Pope Francis Center, Habitat for Humanity and other local organizations. This year's Saturday service options will be advertised on social media and Detroit Mercy Live each month.

For information, contact Associate University Minister Salena Ibrahim at or call University Ministry at 313-993-1560.

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.

Immersion Trips

Detroit Mercy students and faculty at the Ignatian Family Teach-In for Justice in Washington, D.C.

A Detroit Mercy student working during the Chicago service immersion tripUniversity 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.

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.

The Detroit Mercy Service Immersion program offers students the opportunity to participate in service immersion trips centered around service and learning. Each trip has a different focus that encompasses a social justice issue 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.

For more information about service immersion trips please contact Erin McDonald, CSJ, University Minister for Service and Social Justice at