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Young Adult Volunteers

Important Dates

8/21/16 – 8/29/16

Transition Retreat
9/22/16 – 9/25/16

YAVocate Training
9/25/16 – 9/27/16

The YAV Experience

Want to put your faith into action?
Want to grow as a leader in Christian service?
Want to see what God is doing in the world while serving a local community?
The YAV Program might be just for you….

Meet Currently Serving YAVs

The Young Adult Volunteer program is a one year service opportunity for young adults from 19 to 30 years. YAVs live in intentional Christian community, deepening and developing their faith while serving alongside partners in sites across the United States and around the world. YAVs serve for one academic year, August—July, as they explore God’s calling in their lives.

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 are 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.

Each YAV experience is different—but all YAVs will participate in a mutual discernment process to be a part of the program, receive national and on-site orientation, work closely with mentors and peers, participate in vocational discernment activities, and integrate the whole experience at a transition retreat. All YAVs are eligible for health insurance and student loan assistance. The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), you and your supporting congregation and presbytery, and some placement agencies share funding of this program. All volunteers are required to raise some of their financial support—the requirements for fundraising have been cut in half since 2013—to $3,000 for national service and $4,000 for international service.

Being a Young Adult Volunteer (YAV) means entering into a transformational year of service. What do YAVs do? Typically, YAVs:

  • Volunteer alongside local partners in sites across the United States and the world.
  • Engage in root causes of poverty, reconciliation and holistic witness to the Gospel.
  • Participant in intentional Christian community with fellow YAVs and local partners.
  • Explore vocational discernment to articulate your passions, label your talents & live into God’s call.

YAVs are supported in their faith journey through orientation & end-of-term debriefing events.

Give to individual YAVs

What we look for in a Young Adult Volunteer

Anna Curl and school children in South Korea

Volunteers should exhibit crosscultural sensitivity and a creativity and willingness to work with diverse communities.

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.

Goals of the YAV Program:


Intentional Christian Community
YAVs explore what it means to be a Christian community with one another and their neighbors. While some will live in housing together and others spread throughout their country, all YAVs will reflect together on their service and explore their relationship with God, the church, and their ministry in a broken world.

Simple Living
YAVs are challenged to practice simple living – living an abundant life with less. Living simply pushes YAVs to evaluate their true needs with their lifestyle and beliefs.

Cross-Cultural Mission
YAVs will intentionally explore the diversity of God’s creation, living and working outside of their comfort zone. YAVs will work to confront the systemic challenges of race, class, gender, and power, while learning to examine their own lives and actions.

Leadership Development through Faith in Action
YAVs develop their leadership by serving in marginalized communities alongside local people of faith responding to poverty, violence, and injustice in their communities, sharing the gospel through word and deed.

Vocational Discernment
Through theological reflection and spiritual practices, YAVs will participate in the process of vocational discernment—unearthing God’s desire for each person’s life and work.

Do you have more questions?

Explore our Frequently Asked Questions or feel free to contact the YAV office at (800) 728-7228 x5300.