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Northern Ireland

2015-16 will be Northern Ireland’s last year as a YAV site.  Northern Ireland will not be available starting 2016-17. 

Photograph of a group of children sitting on the floor.

YAV Christine Coy with a children’s group enjoying weekend activities. Photo by the Rev. Doug Baker

Program or Partner

Community/Youth Ministry Volunteers

Program Description

The emphasis in this program site is on learning through service. Northern Ireland is primarily known for its tragic history of violence and inter-community conflict. These “Troubles,” as they are commonly known, have left behind serious economic, emotional and spiritual needs, particularly in urban/working-class districts. Volunteers work in support of faith-based efforts to address this legacy and will have the opportunity to see various responses from the churches and other organizations to community development, peace building and reconciliation. Each volunteer is placed both with a congregation and a community-based ministry, often, though not always, in the same district.

Site Coordinator

The Rev. Doug Baker

Watch this video about YAVs in Northern Ireland.

Intentional Community Living

There are three two-to-four-day group retreats in different parts of Northern Ireland in the course of the year. Volunteers join together for half a day every other week for reflection, study, prayer and community building led by the program site coordinator.


Northern Ireland / Scotland

Young Adult Volunteers (YAV) is a service and leadership development program through the World Mission division of the PC(USA). Young adults serve for one year in the U.S. or internationally, in areas such as fair trade or environmental issues, and have the opportunity to experience Christianity in a new culture. YAVs are between ages 19 and 30. Check out the YAV program blog here. 

Kara, Colombia


Leif Frymire

Mark Godwin

Emma Haas

Hillary Leslie


Placement Opportunities

Volunteers serve part-time in a local congregation and part-time in community-based ministry. Volunteers are needed to serve in the following types of ministries:

Within congregations:

  • Leaders for youth fellowships and open youth clubs.
  • Sunday morning youth program leaders, and in some instances, assisting in worship leadership, visitation and other pastoral duties.

In community ministries:

  • Assisting with after-school tutoring and activities for children and youth.
  • Organizing/supervising social, recreational and discussion activities for youth.
  • Working with senior citizens, parent-toddler groups, women’s groups, literacy, computer training and groups for children and adults with disabilities.
  • Occasionally volunteers spend a few hours a week working in local schools, teaching religious education or tutoring.


Photo of a group of teenagers sitting on a couch smiling.

Fort William Presbyterian Church youth during a drop-in session. Photo by the Rev. Doug Baker

Volunteers share apartment-style housing with one to three other PC(USA) Young Adult Volunteers in districts where they are working. All of the volunteers in the Northern Ireland program live and work within a 15-mile radius of one another.


Age: 22 to 30

Education: College degree or equivalent age and life experience