Mennonite Voluntary Service

Ages 20+

1- or 2-year terms

Serve in Community

Put your faith into practice with Mennonite Voluntary Service. Join an intentional community with peers, serve with a local nonprofit, and plug into the local congregation. Placements include social or health services, education, immigration law, restorative justice, business and more.

Receive room and board, health insurance, student loan assistance, and a stipend. MVS units are in Chicago; San Francisco; Alamosa, Colorado; Tucson, Arizona; and Puerto Rico.

No. MVS welcomes people to participate from all faith backgrounds.

MVS serves in communities around the United States. For a complete list, please visit the unit section.

We want MVS to be an option for everyone who wants to participate—regardless of their economic reality. Most of your financial support comes from the agency where you will be serving. The agency pays MVS a monthly stipend that goes to cover your food and housing costs. Another chunk of your financial support comes from Mennonite Mission Network, which uses money that has been donated to our organization to support our service programs and to pay staff salaries.

And, finally, we ask for a donation of $4,000 from your home community to help support you. This money is often donated by your home church congregation. Many of our participants need to do some fundraising to gather this money, but you don’t have to do it alone. We will help you partner with an advocate from your community who can help you find ways to raise the funds you need.

Don’t let the $4,000 discourage you from applying to MVS! There are many ways to fill this requirement, and if you are willing to work with us, we will find a way for you to participate in our program.

We want you to stay connected with your home community while you’re in MVS, and your advocate is a designated person from your community with whom we can share your reflections, photos, etc. If you need help with fundraising to raise the suggested donation, your advocate can also help with that.

The $4,000 asked for doesn’t have to come from your home congregation. There are many ways to raise the money you need, and your advocate can help you. If the $4,000 suggested donation is a barrier to you, please talk to us about other options.

If you don’t have a home congregation, you can ask for support from your home community instead. This can include family, friends, neighbors, co-workers, professors, etc.

MVS staff will assist you in getting your loan payments postponed during your MVS term.

MVS has also set aside funds to provide assistance for all participants with student loans upon the completion of the MVS term. This is a new offering, and the scholarship amount could vary year to year. If you would like more detailed information, contact us.

There is a wide variety of positions available. Once you are accepted into MVS, we will work with you to find a community and placement that fits you and supports the ministries of our partner churches. There are options for almost every skill set.

We do our best to find communities and placements that are a good fit for each applicant. We begin that process by asking you what kind of community you’d like to live in, what kind of church you’d like to be a part of, what you’d like to do, and if you have any location preferences. Then we take a look at the needs of our communities and agencies. Balancing all these things, we will give you options from which to choose. We do want to know what your preferences are, but we also ask that you remain open to the needs of the communities. The earlier you apply, the easier it is for us to find options that fit your interests.

Yes. MVS can provide you with health coverage during your term. More information can be found in the MVS Handbook.

First, you should complete the application! When references have responded, you will be contacted to schedule an interview either in person, by Skype, or phone. Once you have been invited to serve with MVS, staff will generate a list of placement options for you to choose from. After you choose an option, we will put you in communication with a local leader from the community. They will help you find the best placement option for you.

It is best to apply before March 1, but you can apply as early as September 1 and as late as June 1. Occasionally, we accept applications after June 1, but this depends on placement availability. The MVS year begins in August.

Each unit will host a local orientation upon your arrival at the MVS unit. It will include some discussions of MVS values and expectations, discussions to set up your own personal house guidelines, as well as tours and discussions to get you up to speed on local history, current issues, transportation, and other things helpful for you to know as you join a new community.

The MVS year begins in August with an on-site orientation.



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