Frequently Asked Questions
- Where can I go and what will I be doing?
We send teams both domestically and internationally and they participate in all different kinds of service. Some trips involve medicine, computer science, social work, kids programming, urban ministry, relational evangelism and more. Click here for a complete list of our trip locations, ministry, dates and more.
- How long are the trips?
Trips lengths span from one week to six weeks depending on the location and type of ministry.
- When would I go on the trip?
The majority of Action Teams are sent out during summer with most departing in May. However, we also offer a few trip during spring break. Trip dates are listed in the Trip list.
- What organizations does CSA partner with?
Each Action Team is partnered with missionaries and organizations who are active in their communities. You can find out which organizations we are partnering with this year on the Trip list.
- How big are the teams?
The average team size is 6-8 members. However, this can vary depending on the location and the host’s needs.
- Are Action Teams limited to undergraduate students?
Nope! Past CSA trips have included faculty and staff members, as well as alumni and graduate students.
- What if I have never traveled before?
All members, well-traveled and otherwise, are welcome on an Action Team. We are excited to work alongside our members as they prepare for their travels.
- Is it safe?
Safety is our first priority. We take many precautions when choosing our leaders, hosts, and locations to ensure that all team members are safe. When planning our trips, we are continuously aware and adapting to current events and political climates in host countries. We also provide emergency action plan training for leaders and members in preparation for their trip.
- How do I apply?
- Who is accepted as team members?
Everyone! We believe that everyone is called to stop talking and start acting and has a special role to play on one of our teams. While applicants are not always placed within their top three choices, deep consideration goes into team placement. Learn more about our member placement process here.
- Who is accepted as team leaders?
We view leading teams as a major responsibility. Because of this, we are very selective in choosing team leaders and are looking for a passion towards service as well as past leadership experience. All applicants who are not chosen to lead are encouraged to attend a trip as a team member. Learn more about our leader placement process here.
- Will I receive training before I go?
Yes. We believe that informed and prepared participants make for better team leaders, members, and overall servants. We will spend the entire spring semester helping you to prepare mentally, spiritually, physically, culturally, and specifically for your team’s type of ministry. While we will do our best to provide information and opportunities for you to prepare, it is ultimately up to you to engage in the training program in order to position yourself for what God has prepared for you and your team.
- What is the time commitment per week for members?
Members can expect on average two hours every other week for team meetings beginning in the spring semester. This time will be used for training, fundraising and team building and may vary per team. Individual team meeting schedules will be set by team leaders in January.
Members will also be required to attend the All Team Training Retreat February 23-25, 2018.
- What is the time commitment per week for leaders?
About two hours per week. Every other week, leaders will meet with their training group for leadership development lead by an Action Team staff member. They will then meet with their own teams on the opposite weeks – or weekly if they choose – for team building and training. Individual team meetings will be set by the team leaders.
Leaders will also be required to attend two training retreats:
- Leaders Training retreat January 12-14, 2018
- All Team Training Retreat February 23-25, 2018
- Do I have to go to all the meetings?
While exceptions are made for emergencies, it is expected that participants will all attend weekly/bi-weekly meetings. These meetings are important to build your team and prepare for the culture and ministry you are stepping into.
- Who do I contact if I have any questions?
Laurelyn Shaw is our Sr. Program Coordinator for Action Teams. You can reach her at:
- How much does an Action Team cost?
Each trip is priced individually based on location, host fees, ministry costs, and travel fees.
- What is included in the trip cost?
Trip costs include transportation to the ministry site (car or flight), transportation to LAX (if flying to ministry site), health and travel insurance, all in country/local transportation, meals, housing, ministry costs, host fees, visa fees (where applicable), emergency money, training costs, debrief/re-entry costs, and program fees. The cost does not include your passport, transportation from LAX upon arrival, necessary immunizations, souvenirs and any personal expenses incurred while on-field.
- When is money due?
Once you have been placed on a team, leaders and members will confirm their placement with a $250 non-refundable deposit which goes toward the cost of the trip. Deposit deadlines are:
- November 3, 2017 for all leaders
- December 15, 2017 for all members who were interviewed and placed in the Fall semester
- February 9, 2018 for all members who were interviewed and placed in the Spring semester
Additionally, payment deadlines are set throughout the spring semester based on your trip’s overall cost and departure date. A chart of the payment deadlines can be found here
- How will I pay for my trip?
We encourage all Action Team participants to prayerfully fundraise the cost of their trip with their team. We understand that fundraising is a challenge but we encourage you to consider it an important part of the team and individual preparation for the trip. If this is your only barrier to applying, please know that the Center for Student Action is committed to partnering with you and your team in the fundraising process.
- How is fundraising done?
The Center for Student Action offers training and resources for participants to raise money for their trip. We primarily utilize Mobile Cause – which allows students at no cost, to create individual online fundraisers which they can simply share with a unique link, to family, friends, and organizations. We also encourage teams to work together and organize fundraisers as this not only increases the gains but also serves to build the team in the process.
All participants will be required to attend one fundraising info meeting.
- Monday, December 4, 2017-located in Wynn 6 from 4:00pm-5:00pm
- Tuesday, December 5, 2017– located in Wilden Room 119 from 4:00pm-5:00pm
- Thursday, December 7, 2017– located in Wilden Room 119 from 4:00pm-5:00pm
- How can donations and payments be made?
Donations and Payments can be made online here, mailed to the Center for Student Action, and in person at the Center for Student Action Service Center. We accept cash, checks and credit cards.
- How can I track my financial progress?
The Finance Team in the Center for Student Action processes all payments and donations for each participant. Beginning in January, each participant will be given access to their online Team Folder, where they can access updates on their individual and team finances. These folders are shared confidentially. Access is limited to protect the privacy of members and donors.
- Are donations tax deductible?
Yes. For online donations, the confirmation receipt serves as the donor’s tax deductible receipt.
- Who can I contact if I have questions regarding finances?
Sasha Santillan is our Finance Coordinator. You can reach her at:
Stop by the CSA Service Center for more information
- Do I need a passport?
Passports and copies of passports are required for all international trips and trips to U.S. territories. Passports must be up to date and valid for six to eight months prior to the return date of your trip. All domestic trips will require a driver’s license or legal ID for identification. International students are also required to turn in a copy of their student visa, as granted by the U.S. government. The Center for Student Action Operations Team will work with you to acquire any additional immigration documents where necessary. A copy of your passport or evidence that you have applied for your passport will be due March 1, 2017.
- Do I need a visa?
Only certain countries require that American citizens obtain a tourist visa for legal entry and exit. The CSA Operations Team will follow up with those trip participants to gather necessary applications and paperwork where applicable.
- What about vaccinations?
Required and suggested vaccinations are all specific to what country the team will be visiting. This information can be found on www.CDC.com (Center for Disease Control). Additionally, the CSA strongly encourages participants to check with personal care providers and/or the APU Student Health Center about personal health and required vaccinations prior to trip.
- Where do I drop off forms and deposits?
All forms and payments can be brought to the Center for Student Action Service Center, located on East Campus. The CSA is split into two buildings, the Mobilization Center (with the flags outside) and the Service Center (right next to the Study Abroad office). Feel free to come by! We would love to meet you!
- Who do I contact if I have questions regarding logistics??
Julie Ploehn is our Operations Coordinator. You can reach her at,
Stop by the CSA Service Center for more information.