Alternative Break Experiences (ABE)

New Orleans Group

 "You are not going to change the world on an ABE trip.  However, you will realize that you can never underestimate the power of the individual and how your interactions with people can change their world.  And find there is nothing more beautiful than that."   

~Dominican Republic Participant, 2013

What is ABE?

ABE is an ecumenical program offered through CSB Campus Ministry that works hard to provide meaningful, service-oriented trips, both nationally and internationally. We firmly believe that exposure to other cultures, places, and ways of life will enhance the lives and perspectives of trip participants. We differ from mission trips in that our purpose is not to spread the Word of the Lord but rather to attend to the needs of the site and serve them, while also learning about the issues that each site faces. Each year, we strive to provide quality experiences that will complement academic experiences and inspire hearts.

 2013-2014 Theme

"Open Hearts, Open Minds, Open Hands."

Five Pillars

Students, co-leaders and staff combine the 5 Pillars of ABE as a framework to guide their trip experience. Alternative Break Experiences are not typical mission trips, and our participants are not typical tourists. By embracing these pillars, our participants grow in values-based leadership and develop a more integrated global vision. Derived from our Catholic and Benedictine heritage, the concepts of Social Justice, Community, Reflection, Learning and Intentional Living merge, offering participants an experience to inspire their lives.

ABE Trips

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ABE Staff 2013-2014

Back left to right: Jackie, Katie, Carley.

Front left to right: Kaylee, Jill, Claire.


ABE Information

Alternative Break Experiences (ABE) aims to:

  • raise awareness of social issues and injustices
  • encourage reflection and questioning
  • move towards integrating justice and service into life
  • encourage a polycentric world view
  • encourage both individual and shared leadership
  • integrate faith into the fabric of the experience
  • approach the trips as a partnership with other people
  • foster respect and community among the participants
  • provide a fun, safe and challenging break experience