Young Adult Volunteers

Religious Affiliation

Presbyterian Church (USA)


100 Witherspoon St.
Louisville, KY 40202


(888) 728-7228 ext 5539


Being a Young Adult Volunteer means living a year you’ll never forget. What do YAVs do? Typically, they participate in the following:

  • They serve for one year in communities of need in the United States and around the world.
  • They meet regularly for prayer and Bible study.
  • They work with mentors to explore and grow in their expression of their Chris­tian faith.
  • They build each other up as Disciples of Jesus Christ.
  • They are supported in their faith journey through orientation and an end-of-term debriefing event.

All YAVs work on issues of addressing the root causes of poverty, sharing the good news of the gospel, and working for reconciliation in cultures of violence, including our own.

Application Deadline

International: February 14

Domestic: Rolling placement until May 15

Program Term

One to two years. August – August. Can reapply for a second year, and many do.


Fifteen domestic locations and seven international.

Funding and Benefits


Simple living stipend, varies by site.


Required. Minimum commitment is $3000 for national placement and $4000 for international.

AmeriCorps Education Awards


Loan Forbearance


Other financial benefits

Student loan grants



Intentional living community

Yes, all sites form a house covenant outlining expectations of the community. YAVs living in intentional Christian community and practice simple living.



Travel and Transportation

Provided, including to and from site.

Health Insurance


Other benefits

Discernment, Orientation, and post-service event costs covered

Mission and Distinctives

a year of service for a lifetime of change

The Young Adult Volunteer program is a one year service opportunity for young adults from 19 to 30 years. YAVs live in Christian community, deepening and developing their faith while serving in communities of need. The YAV program has sites around the United States and around the world, and YAVs serve for one academic year, August – July.

Volunteers are placed in community agencies or local churches, with jobs depending on the needs of partners and the skills of the Young Adult Volunteer. YAVs exposed to some of the hardest problems in the world – poverty, violence and reconciliation, and sharing the Good News of Jesus Christ – while living and reflecting with other volunteers on the meaning and motivation of their Christian faith.


  • To experience living in intentional Christian community — Whether or not the young adults live under the same roof, they explore what it means to be a Christian community.
  • To focus on spiritual formation — Through the mentorship of site coordinators and fellow interns, young adults reflect on their experiences and ex­plore their relationship to the church and their ministry in a broken world.
  • To engage young adults in the church’s mission — The church seeks to provide opportunities for young adults to serve the church and their communities. Young adults experience and develop leadership within communities of faith. With training and support, they can provide leadership in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) and in the ecumenical church.
  • To assist YAVs in vocational discernment.
  • To be present in communities of need and to facilitate young adults’ engagement in communities of need.


  • 19-30 years old

  • Partners considered


Yes, YAVs need to be Christian and willing to explore their faith throughout the year. No denominational requirements.

Can a non-believer feel welcome and accepted?

YAVs work in a variety of interfaith settings, but to participate in the program, must be a part of the Christian faith

Are there religious activities that members are required to do?

YAVs commit to being a part of a spiritual community during the year. Some YAVs will work in church placements.







Chinook, MT




Little Rock



New Orleans

San Antonio


Washington DC



Northern Ireland



South Korea




“When I went to Denver as a YAV I left with a serious underestimation of what God had planned. Thanks to the YAV program I gained experience in social work. I gained experience living in a Christian community. I gained more experience in leading worship, in speaking, and in leading discussion. I met church leaders who had a profound effect on my vision for what church could be and whom I hope to keep as mentors and friends in the future.  I came to believe in the transformative power of community, that we can only know our whole selves if we include the things we learn about ourselves from those we love and trust around us; thus, having a supportive faith community around me is something I cherish.  Perhaps most of all, however, I found a broader and richer understanding of mission, that mission is meeting someone where they are, giving them the space to tell their story, sharing your story with them, and inviting God into those places to bring peace and healing.”

– Chad Pittman (Denver 11/12 Case Manager at Denver Urban Ministries, New Orleans 12/13, Assistant Chaplain at Tulane Medical Center)

“The YAV Program has challenged me to look beyond the surface of issues facing the Church today. I’m learning that questions of poverty, social justice and sustainability cannot merely be addressed as topics in a class or choices we make as consumers. If we, as members of the body of Christ, believe in the Biblical narrative of redemption for all peoples, then further action is required.”

– Anna Owens (Northern Ireland 12/13, Community Volunteer, Whitehouse Presbyterian Church)

 “I honestly cannot express how incredibly thankful I am to be here in Belfast. I truly appreciate each day, whether it’s the green grass, the people, the growth in my faith, or the community I have felt. I have been challenged in ways I did not realize I could be, and have learned so much about myself. I was recently asked what have I learned and I think it is a question I will be answering for the rest of my life. This experience has pushed me out of my comfort zone and given me new insight into my faith and how I perceive the world. The Young Adult Volunteer program’s motto is “A year of service for a lifetime of change” and it could not be more true.”

– Courtney Townsend (Northern Ireland 12/13, Volunteer at Garnerville Presbyterian Church, Knocknagoney Community Centre & Primary School, working with youth in different activities towards peace and reconciliation)