Get Involved - Inner City Chicago

Urban Immersion™

Share the Good News. Serve the Poor.

Cru® Inner City - Chicago is excited to be able to host Urban Immersion™ once again! Participants will spend time on Chicago campuses doing evangelism and meeting students as well as serving with Cru Inner City partner ministries and churches to serve the needs of children, teens, and the poor throughout Chicago. You'll have great opportunities to both minister cross-culturally and engage in cultural learning.

Dates and Registration:

March 13–18
Registration Link:

March 20–25
Registration Link:


$135 covers materials, supplies, outings and one meal per day. This also covers a Cru background check, which is required because you will be ministering to minors as a part of this trip. (Not included in the cost is housing, breakfast, and lunch. See below for housing details.)

COVID Safety:

The city of Chicago has some pretty strict guidelines for visitors from other states. They are requiring all visitors to be vaccinated — or to get tested and then quarantine for a week, which is pretty much impossible (Chicago Travel Guidelines). All participants will also need to wear a mask at all times when in buildings and/or on ministry trips.


The Agape Community Center is owned by Cru. It is our central meeting place during Urban Immersion. Most of our meetings, trainings and celebrations will take place there. Some campus groups will be housed there. Many groups will have the opportunity to minister there throughout the week. For more about the Agape Community Center visit click here.


Because of COVID, we will be unable to house people at the Agape Center as in years past. We have set up options at a handful of hotels nearby. Group leaders will need to choose one of these options (or another option on their own) and set up arrangements for housing. We do have a staff liaison who can assist with housing options. These hotels will be around $100 per room a night and will include continental breakfast.


You are responsible for your own automobile transportation during Urban Immersion. Groups should either coordinate rides using their own cars or plan to rent vehicles upon arrival to Chicago via plane or train.


Participants will need to arrive on Sunday at 3:30 p.m. The last meeting for the trip is Thursday night and housing ends Friday morning. The trip will be a mix of ministry and evangelism on college campuses and urban ministries and churches. You’ll also get teaching from Chicago pastors, training from Cru Campus and Inner City staff, and chances to explore and have fun in Chicago! Our detailed schedule is still in the works, but if you want to get a feel for what it will be like you can look at this schedule from a past trip.

Things to Bring:

Bible, sleeping bag, pillow, toiletries, towel, gym shoes, work clothes, casual wear, money for lunches, gas and other minor expenses.

Campus Ministry Activities:

Primarily you’ll have the opportunity to share your faith with Chicago college students. You’ll have the opportunity to use surveys, Soularium, and the Perspectives tool to engage students in spiritual conversations.

Urban Ministry Activities:

  • S.A.Y. Yes!® — It’s a biblically-based, holistic after-school program. Those who serve at a S.A.Y Yes! center will have the chance to help with the program by helping lead Bible lessons, helping students with homework, and by being a friend to some of Chicago’s youth. (S.A.Y. Yes stands for “Save America’s Youth — Yes!”)
  • Roseland Outreach — If you participate in Roseland Outreach you get to help meet the physical and Spiritual needs of those in the neighborhood where you’ll be staying. Included in this is distributing food, and sharing your faith with those who are your neighbors for the week.
  • Pacific Garden Mission — Since 1877, Pacific Garden Mission has been a refuge. Millions weary of struggling through life’s storms, have come to the “Old Lighthouse” seeking food, shelter, clothing, medical, and dental care. At this ministry site you’ll have the chance to prepare and serve food for hundreds of Chicago’s homeless population as you partner with this ministry that seeks to bring people to faith in Jesus!
  • Pui Tak Center — Located in the heart of Chinatown, the Pui Tak Center offers programs for youth, recent immigrants, and those trying to learn English. Those who serve at Pui Tak could help in any of the variety of programs that the center has.
  • Roseland Good News Day Care — Help out with the day-care children. Feed, recreation, teach Bible stories, etc. Also do odd jobs for the ministry.
  • By The Hand Club for Kids — Help with the after-school ministry Teach bible lessons, tutor, mentor, etc.
  • Restoration Ministries — Helping in their clothing resale shop, mingling with men and women in recovery.
  • Roseland Christian Ministries — Hang out with the homeless, playing cards, games, serving snacks and sharing testimonies, etc.
  • Dunne Elementary School — Helping tutor children in Chicago public schools, helping teachers with one-on-one tutoring, etc.

What Others Have Said:

At the Harold Washington College cafeteria Ian and I did a survey with an African-American guy named Robert. He wanted to know more, so we went through the gospel tract and spoke with him for a while — good discussion. He received Christ into his life! He's now planning on attending Crusade services.

This was my first time experiencing anyone coming to Christ — very unexpected and encouraging. God showed me what he can do when I am feeling incapable and inadequate.

— Andrea from Truman State University

We were out on the town for our free time. We met a homeless man named Roland outside of Dunkin' Donuts and bought him some food and talked to him. He asked us to pray with and for him. We believed him when he told us he was a Christian and loved the Lord. And now he spends his days telling young people to stay in school and put God first in their lives.

He had so little but still loved the Lord and claimed that his residency is in heaven, not here. It really made me realize how much I take for granted everyday when God's the most important thing.

— Maryann from James Madison University

All questions can be directed to Marc Henkel.

Previous Story


©1994-2022 Cru. All Rights Reserved.