Taking learning outside the four walls of a classroom has always been a primary goal and in turn an intangible benefit of Sewanee’s outreach program. For over 30 years, Sewanee students, faculty, and staff have ventured outside of their communities and comfort zones to forge new relationships and partnerships with people from all over the world and from all walks of life.  

Working together, we learn more about our values and identities, various cultures and traditions, and how social systems and inequities have led to populations and communities being vastly underserved and undervalued. Through short-term immersive service projects, our outreach and service-away programs work hand-in-hand with communities to make a difference and live into the visions and missions of community partners.

Outreach Goals

Our outreach program considers the University’s four values of community, inquiry, flourishing, and courage to ensure we are living into Sewanee’s vision and mission to “enable students to live lives of grace, integrity, and a reverent concern for the world.”  With this in mind, our goals are to:

  • Community: Create sustainable, collaborative community partnerships with mutually beneficial outcomes.
  • Courage: Design immersive, place-based learning that allows us all to step out of comfort zones and live into new experiences, while challenging our perspectives and ways of thinking and being.
  • Flourishing: Foster personal growth and continued development of meaning and purpose.
  • Inquiry: Increase awareness and knowledge of the communities in which we are invited.

Who can go?

If you are a current undergraduate student, you are eligible to apply! If you have already participated in a previous outreach trip, we encourage you to apply for a different trip location. Interviews, previous service experience, and class year help determine selection and placement for trips. 

Leadership positions are available for students who have previous outreach experience interested in repeating a trip, and seminarians who want to serve as Chapel Fellows, and faculty/staff who are interested in leading a trip. 

Where we go

We partner with communities from here on the South Cumberland Plateau to throughout the U.S. to abroad.  We seek to develop long-term, sustainable partnerships, and we are always open to creating new partnerships in new communities.


Why go on an outreach trip?

Top 10 reasons to go on an outreach trips by past outreach participants.

What are the expectations of outreach trip participants?

Attendance at approximately 11 or 12 weekly meetings during the months leading up to your trip is required for all participants. These meetings explore topics such as community development, teambuilding, meaning & purpose, benefits/drawbacks of short-term service work, place/community-based topics, and more.  Some trips integrate pre-trip advanced project development work, and some require students to participate in fundraising activities.  All participants are expected to attend and fully participate in all trip/program-related activities.

Do the trips cost money?

All of the trips have costs associated with them, including costs for travel, lodging, food, project fees, etc.  However, every student is eligible for funds to help cover some of the costs.  No student is ever turned away for financial reasons, and all students are encouraged to apply.

How do I learn more?

Please reach out to Lauren Goodpaster, Director of Outreach and Service-Away Programs, for more information.