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“All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit.” —Acts 2:4

What is the YAV experience?

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.

Meet YAVs currently serving.

Hear about the YAV experience

Hear from YAVs Chad Pitman and Kristi Click, who were featured guests on NPR program “Keepin’ the Faith”  December 16, 2012. Listen to the show to hear Chad and Kristi discuss highlights of the YAV program and share their stories of how they found their way into God’s service.
Listen now


One of the most frequently asked questions in the church is, “Why can’t we have good news? 

One powerful example of the Good News coming out of Minneapolis has just been shared with me by the Rev. Christine Chakoian, pastor of the First Presbyterian Church in Lake Forest, Illinois, a commissioner who served as a member of the General Assembly Committee on Mission Coordination.

Continue reading

Do you have more questions?

Explore our Frequently Asked Questions to discover more about the YAV program

Photograph of a YAV singing with three young children.

Ginna Irby leads a kindergarten class in song. Photo by Essie Buxton

How old are YAVs?
The Young Adult Volunteer Program offers exciting opportunities in Chris­tian service for young adults ages 19 to 30.

How do I find out where I serve?
Candidates who are considering placements outside of the United States may attend Discernment Event to help them discern where they will serve. Candidates who are considering sites within the United States experience the discernment process over the phone.

Is there much competition?
Some sites have more placements than others. We aim to place every applicant. Occasionally a decision is made at that a candidate should postpone serving as a YAV until a later time.

Where will I stay while I’m a YAV?
Each site is different. Some YAVs stay in a house all year with other YAVs. Some live with families. Some live independently. See the site descriptions for more details.

What about insurance?
Health insurance is offered to YAVs. Details are explained during the application process.

Can I receive assistance with my student loans?
Every YAV is eligible up to $250 (to be applied directly to student loan) per each completed month of service.  YAVs are also provided with assistance to fill out the necessary forms to defer existing student loans.

Can I be considered for more than one site?
Yes. Please let your specific interests be known during the application and interview process.

YAV Stephen Speakman working with Church World Service in Nairobi, Kenya. Photo by Shannon Langley

Can I be considered for sites both in and outside of the United States?
Yes. Please let your specific interests be known during the application and interview process.

What is the interview process like?
After applying for the YAV Program you will receive an initial phone call from someone on the YAV staff. A series of conversations will be set up that are designed to help the inquirer to discern participation and site placement within the YAV program.

What does it cost?
YAVs are asked to go to churches, family and friends to raise a portion of the funds for their year of service. Starting 2013, YAVs serving  in the United States are asked to raise at least $3,000 and YAVs serving internationally are asked to raise $4,000. That’s half of previous amounts! The PC(USA) pays for the remaining half to two-thirds of the costs of supporting a YAV through the year. Limited scholarships are also available; find out more about raising support to become a YAV.

More questions? Feel free to call the YAV office at (888) 728-7228, x5024.

What are the phases of the YAV Program?
Find out more about the various stages of becoming a Young Adult Volunteer and and living the YAV life.



  • We would like info about how to become a Mission Volunteer site. Can you help? by Debra on 04/09/2014 at 9:59 a.m.

  • Hi everyone! I am in the process of applying to be a YAV in 2013-2014, but I can't find any deadlines anywhere... When are applications due? Or if it varies by location, where can I find out the deadline for applying for each placement? by Mallory on 12/23/2012 at 2:26 p.m.

  • Hi Dr. Bryant--thanks for your post! You are the first person who put a PC(USA) mission brochure in my hands, leading me to serve as Global Intern for the summer and then to apply for long term service with the PC(USA). So you are the reason that I work with YAV! Thanks so much for your important work. Go Blue Hose! by Essie Buxton on 03/08/2011 at 9:46 a.m.

  • Hey, Essie! I was just checking on mission opportunities for PC students and was delighted to see your post AND your position on the national staff. Just want you to know that all of us here at Presbyterian College are appreciative of your leadership and continued service to the church and world. Go Blue Hose! by Dr. Bob Bryant on 03/04/2011 at 4:38 p.m.

  • Justin--Happy Belated Birthday! The minimum age of 19 is not firm, and we have admitted 18 year-olds into the program in the past. Your site options will be limited to those in the U.S.--international sites require their YAVs to be 21 or older, or have a college degree. I encourage you to read about national sites and apply to the program for this year if you are interested in service in 2011-12. Thanks! by Essie Buxton on 02/23/2011 at 8:46 a.m.

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