The Winter Immersion Program invites students to live out a 'faith that does justice' by discovering God's presence in the lives of all those they encounter; and to integrate  justice-centered values into their lives upon return.

Saint Joseph's University and the Winter Immersion Program are monitoring the COVID-19 situation closely. Because of these uncertain times, we are making important changes in the program for this year. 

Most significantly, THE TRAVEL PORTION OF THE PROGRAM WILL TAKE PLACE IN MAY RATHER THAN IN JANUARY  this year.  Please attend a interest meeting in September for further updates.

Encountering in El Salvador

Encountering is seeing someone soul to soul, where walls come down, and where authenticity and mutuality are born.

"Kinship- not serving the other, but being one with the other." - Fr. Greg Boyle, Los Angeles

The heart of the immersion to Ecuador

"Where there is love... 

fraternal love... 

Where there is love...

There is God..."


La Bestia - Puebla, Mexico

La Bestia (the Beast) also know as El tren de la muerte ("The Death Train") refers to a network of  freight trains that are utilized by U.S.-bound migrants to more quickly traverse the length of Mexico.

Participants will meet weekly with their small groups - familias - for both semesters, learn about the communities they will be visiting, immerse themselves on site during Winter Break, reflect on their experiences, and the further work of justice to which they are called.


WIP's primary focus is to help students live in solidarity with the materially poor and marginalized, especially upon return to campus. WIP is rooted in Ignatian values, Catholic Social Teaching, liberation theology, and the building of relationships as we share our humanity. Our hope is to transform minds, hearts, and hands to live out a faith that does justice.


Our Pillars

  1. Faith

    • WIP invites students to dive into their own faith and reflect on how to live out a faith that does justice. WIP also encourages students to be open to seeing God in all things, including different cultures, relationships, and in marginalized communities. The WIP program is rooted in Catholic Social Teaching and Ignatian values. Students of ALL faith traditions, as well as those who do not identify with a particular faith tradition, are welcome and encouraged to deepen and explore their spiritual life through this experience.
  2. Encounter

    • WIP offers students soul-to-soul encounters and opportunities to have a meaningful interaction with a brother or sister who is on the margins of society.
  3. Justice

    • WIP offers students a difficult and often uncomfortable look at injustices in our nation and world. Students are challenged to open their eyes to, and critically think about, the injustices that exist around the world, examine root causes of injustice, and take actions toward a just lifestyle upon return.
  4. Education

    • WIP seeks to educate students and place them in a variety of environments where they can learn about their faith, justice, Ignatian values, and different cultures. WIP provides specific educational opportunities that are unique to the location where the immersion takes place.
  5. Simplicity

    •  WIP provides a space for students to live simply for a week and to find value in simple living when they return to campus.

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