Alternative Break Experiences (ABE)

"ABE will change your life if you open your heart and mind to the experiences you have.  Step outside your comfort zone and be vulnerable.  You will learn so much about the world and yourself."

-Dominican Republic Participant, 2014

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.

 2014-2015 Theme

"Do It Anyway"

People are often unreasonable, illogical and self-centered; Forgive them anyway.

If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives; Be kind anyway.

If you are successful, you will win some false friends and some true enemies; Succeed anyway.

If you are honest and frank, people may cheat you; Be honest and frank anyway.

What you spend years building, someone could destroy overnight; Build anyway.

If you find serenity and happiness, they may be jealous; Be happy anyway.

The good you do today, people will often forget tomorrow; Do good anyway.

You see, in the final analysis, it is between you and your God,

It was never between you and them anyway.

Author Unknown 

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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  Alternative Break Experience Campus Ministers

Billy Critchley-Menor, Molly Minnerath, Mac Neal, Carley Castellanos, Claire DesHotels and Kaylee Larson




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