Action Research Center

Alternative Breaks



Each year, Chaplain Elyse Nelson Winger provides leadership for one or two of Illinois Wesleyan’s Alternative Break opportunities. Past breaks have included: A Local Service Break, giving students the opportunity to engage with local communities in West Bloomington; An Interfaith Engagement and Service Trip to Chicago; a trip to Mission, South Dakota and the Tree of Life Relief Agency at Rosebud Reservation; Habitat for Humanity Collegiate Challenge Programs in Georgia, Florida, Texas, Alabama, and West Virginia; and the Appalachia Service Project in Kentucky. 


Alternative Spring Break: Habitat for Humanity Collegiate Challenge

March 9-16, 2019


Habitat for Humanity St. Tammany West  in Mandeville, Louisiana

March 9 - 16, 2019

This year, IWU's Alternative Spring Break program has again partnered with Habitat for Humanity and its national Collegiate Challenge Program.   Thousands of students from colleges and universities from across the United States spent a week in March 2019 building and repairing homes in urban and rural locations alike.  IWU students may learn more and apply here!  Applications are due Friday, November 9, 2018 by Noon.  For highlights from last year's trip to Alabama, visit Teagan Potter's ASB Blog here. In addition to our volunteer work, we visited the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute, hiked at Ruffner Mountain, and zip-lined at Red Mountain Park. 


Alternative Fall Break: Changing Climates, Changing Faiths 

October 18–21, 2018

Chicago Alt Break 2018

This trip, for up to twenty participants, is designed to promote religious literacy, encourage interfaith dialogue and appreciation, make connections between spirituality and social justice, and explore the ways faith communities are responding to changing climates, particularly global climate change. We will stay at the Cenacle Retreat Center in Lincoln Park, visit different faith communities across the city, attend a screening of an interfaith-related film at the Chicago International Film Festival, and volunteer with non-profit organizations. The cost to each student for this trip is $150.  Scholarships are available.  Student may apply online beginning in September 2018.