Brethren Volunteer Service

The Brethren Volunteer Service (BVS) is people sharing God’s love through acts of service. As a Christian-based volunteer program sponsored by the Church of the Brethren, BVS builds on the church’s strong commitment to service.

Volunteers bring hope to shattered lives, offer food and shelter to those in need, and build understanding between individuals, groups, and nations. They serve at projects that commit to one or more of the following goals:

  • working for peace;
  • advocating justice;
  • serving basic human needs; and
  • maintaining the integrity of creation.

BVS seeks people willing to act on their commitment, values, and faith. We challenge individuals to offer themselves, their time, and their talents to work that can be difficult and demanding, yet rewarding and joyful.


Volunteers begin their term of service in a three-week orientation. Each is designed to prepare and strengthen them for a life of service in BVS and beyond.

Each orientation unit provides a supportive and challenging environment where volunteers explore their faith and personal values, examine global social concerns, and form a community. Resource leaders assist the group in looking at issues of peacemaking, nonviolence, conflict resolution, social and economic justice, simple living, and cross-cultural awareness.

Orientation is a living and learning experience that seeks to build a spirit of community among volunteers through discussion, worship, recreation, work, and prayer.

Benefits & Requirements

Service benefits include:

  • housing;
  • food;
  • full medical insurance;
  • a monthly stipend between $50 and $70; and
  • the opportunity to serve others.
Requirements to serve include:

  • 18 years of age or older;
  • sound physical and mental health;
  • willingness to examine the Christian faith;
  • commitment to the goals of BVS; and
  • participation in orientation.

The minimum commitment for US-based projects is one (1) year; overseas assignments require a two-year commitment after arriving at the project. Volunteers waiting for an overseas assignment may need to take an interim project in the United States.

To serve overseas you must be at least 21 years old. You must also be a college graduate or have similar life experience.

BVS volunteers have been around for more than 50 years. They come from many backgrounds and from different faith perspectives. They are young adults and retirees. They are persons with little formal training and those with advanced degrees. They are U.S. citizens and those from other countries.