• Catalyst Trip

    Student Application

    Catalyst trips use direct service to investigate questions of justice and community. Catalyst is designed to provide students with an opportunity to learn about social justice, reflect about our roles in the community, and contribute via service over spring break. The trips are open to all currently enrolled Hamline University students who are not on any form of probation. 

    Applications are now closed. Applications for spring of 2016 will be open in fall of 2015. 


    Each trip will have a group of 10-13 people. The group is lead by two student leaders and a staff resource person. The staff resource person will be present and available for safety concerns throughout the trip. Washington DC, New Orleans, and San Francisco will fly to their destinations, Chicago and Milwaukee will drive together in a van . Each day will consist of doing direct service within the community, followed by reflection. Many trips also speak with elected officials, community activists, and take part in cultural activities.

    Student Fees

    We try to make the trip very affordable for students. Hamline contributes to the funding, we fundraise together, and there is a small student fee. The student fee for Catalyst trips to DC, New Orleans, and San Francisco is $300. The Chicago and Milwaukee trip costs $200. Student fees are due by February 2nd, 2015. This covers all transportation, all lodging, all meals except on the travel days(first and last days), and all educational experiences.


    If you are in need of a scholarship for part of your student fee please contact Margot Howard mhoward03@hamline.edu. A very limited amount of scholarships are available, please only inquire if you would otherwise not be able to attend the trip. We are not able to offer full scholarships*. Scholarship requests are due at the time of application.

    Trip Refunds

    Due to the high cost of arraigning each trip, if you cancel after Jan 1, you will be charged the cost of the plane ticket or student fee (whichever is higher). If you cancel before Jan. 1 you will not be responsible for any cost of the trip.

    Notes to Consider

    Catalyst Trips are designed to be high-impact experiences. Each day will be packed full with service and experiential learning. The trips may put people outside of their comfort zones to encourage learning and growth through new and unique experiences. Many trips will stay in hostels and use public transportation. All participants will be able to sleep in a private bed, but not a private room. Days may include up to five miles of walking. Some sites may do service that includes, but are not limited to heavy lifting, repetitive movement, standing for long periods of time, working directly with community members, working in messy or dirty situations, etc.. Each trip does different types of service and one should be ready to work on anything. Catalyst Programs will do it's best to accommodate students needs, but it may not always be possible. Please email mhoward03@hamline.edu with any accommodation request as soon as they are known.


    • Assist with fundraising efforts.

    • Attend an orientation on February 2nd, 2015.

    • Participate in a local service project with their group before and after their trip.

    • Contribute to a group presentation about what they experienced on their trip.

    • Be available for all of spring break: March 28th-April 4th 2015.


    • Who am I in the context of community?

    • How do I take personal and collective action for justice?

    • How does my privilege show up in different spaces/communities?

    • How do I challenge stereotypes and assumptions?

    • How can I open myself to urgent injustice and stay compassionate?

    • How are different social justice issues interrelated?