Urban Plunge: Church and Social Action

Social Concerns Seminar
CSC 33963
CST 33963
THEO 33963


The Urban Plunge is a one-credit, experiential-learning course designed to give students a brief but important opportunity to engage with communities experiencing poverty in U.S. cities. With sites in most major cities, students will spend two to four days in a city close to their hometown, with the chance to spend time with people and organizations who face the challenges of poverty. Leading up to and during this immersion, students will examine the root causes of poverty in urban areas focusing on dimensions such as opportunity, race, mental health, faith-based efforts, gender, housing, criminal justice system, and employment. 

Class Time: 7:00–8:30 p.m.

Class Dates: November 11, November 18,  December 2, December 9, 2019 and January 20, January 27, 2020

January Immersions

  • Immersions will be two to four day period between January 2–11, 2020, with the dates varying due to the different needs and availability of our community partners.
  • Locations are in many major cities in the United States.
  • Students are encouraged to choose a city in close proximity to their hometown. Transportation to and from the site is the responsibility of the student. (Financial assistance for travel may be available, e.g. train or air travel. Please contact seminars@nd.edu to inquire about possible assistance.)
  • Some students may be asked to provide transportation while on the immersion, but this agreement will be made only on a volunteer basis.
  • Available spots vary with each community partner depending on their lodging and programming capacity. For specific information regarding the capacity of the partner in your city, please contact uplunge@nd.edu.

February Immersion in South Bend

  • The South Bend Urban Plunge immersion experience will take place February 7–9, 2020. Students whose hometown is not near an Urban Plunge city are encouraged to apply, as well as students who are from the Northern Indiana or Southern Michigan area. However all students are welcome to apply.


Seminar Fee

  • $150 charged to your student account upon completion of the seminar (please contact seminars@nd.edu for inquiries regarding financial assistance) 
  • This fee offsets the cost of food, housing, and supplies associated with the immersion.
  • The fee will be assessed through Student Accounts in late January 2020. 
  • Additional recommended spending money: $75

Things to Note

  • As part of participation in a seminar, we seek to live intentionally and simply during the immersion, please be flexible. We ask that you take the opportunity to invest fully and embrace the change of pace and amenities.
  • You will receive more specific details about your experience during preparation classes.
  • Most meals will be prepared by your team or in conjunction with your hosts.
  • Student leaders and your seminar director will be your liaison with community partner contacts.
  • Lodging is provided. You will be responsible for your own bedding.
  • You must participate in all class sessions and entire immersion in order to complete requirements for the course. If you miss any class for any reason you will be responsible for making the class up. 
  • Student leaders must also complete the regular application for participation.
  • The seminars staff is considering accepting students who are studying abroad during the fall 2019. If this applies to you, please contact Seminars Director, Kyle Lantz at klantz@nd.edu for details.
  • This seminar is designated as either a Catholic Social Teaching Minor seminar, CSTS,  or a Poverty Studies Minor Experiential attribute, PSCE.

Information Sessions

Join us at an information session to learn more about Urban Plunge 2020! Information sessions will start at 4:00 p.m. in the Geddes Hall McNeill Library on the dates listed.

  • Tuesday, October 1, 2019
  • Wednesday, October 9, 2019
  • Tuesday, October 29, 2019
  • Wednesday, October 30, 2019
  • Thursday, October 31, 2019

Application Process

  • Use the link below to complete the online application for Urban Plunge 
  • You cannot register for the seminar until you receive registration information from Seminars staff. 
  • By submitting the application, you confirm that you are in good academic standing
  • With questions about your application, email seminars@nd.edu.

Urban Plunge Openings Are Still Available


Urban Plunge Leadership

Each of our Urban Plunge teams will have 1–2 undergraduate student leaders. For information on the role and responsibilities, please contact the Seminars team at uplunge@nd.edu

Please note that Urban Plunge leaders also need to fill out the general application to participate below.

Application Process: 
  • Complete the general application which will be available later in the summer of 2019.
  • You cannot register for the seminar until you receive registration information from seminars staff.
  • Notification of site placement will happen following the closing of the application. 
  • Please note that the credits earned in the class will be applied to your spring semester.
  • By submitting the application, you confirm you are in good academic standing.
  • With questions about your application, email uplunge@nd.edu.


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Upcoming Events

January 2020

2020 Social Concerns Fair
Tuesday, January 21, 2020 - 5:00pm to 7:00pm
Winter Career Fair 2020
Tuesday, January 28, 2020 - 4:00pm to 8:00pm
Leadership Formation Workshop: Organizing through the power of story
Tuesday, January 28, 2020 - 5:00pm to 6:30pm

February 2020

Application Close: SSLP 2020
Saturday, February 1, 2020 (All day)
Color of Compromise: Why the History of the Church and Race Matters
Monday, February 3, 2020 - 5:30pm to 7:00pm
Application Close: Community-Impact Grants
Monday, February 10, 2020 - 4:30pm
Information Session: Catholic Social Tradition Minor
Tuesday, February 11, 2020 - 6:00pm to 7:30pm
Junior Parents Weekend Open House
Friday, February 14, 2020 - 4:00pm to 5:30pm

March 2020