Why go through AVS?

  • You are identified as a part of the official program of the worldwide Seventh-day Adventist® Church.
  • You qualify for insurance from Adventist Risk Management (ARM).
  • Once you have been approved by the General Conference Mission Personnel Processing Committee, you are able to appeal to the total structure of the Seventh-day Adventist® Church for assistance in the event of sickness, trouble with a supervisor, an institution’s failure to honor an agreement, etc. while serving in the field through the Adventist Volunteer Service.
  • We offer a mediation and conciliation process for resolution of difficulties that no other organization offers.
  • Volunteer service can lead to lifetime employment or even full-time missionary service with the Church.
  • You establish a record of volunteer service which makes it easier to volunteer elsewhere.
  • We strive to match you with the task that best meets your gifts, qualifications and calling.
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Do I qualify?

Yes, if you are

  • Between 18 and 79 years of age (your must complete your service before your 80th birthday).
  • A baptized member of the Seventh-day Adventist® Church and have been in regular standing with the church for at least one year.
  • Financially able to serve without expectation of reward or compensation other than (possibly) a small stipend.
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How much will it cost?

Each Receiving Organization has different financial circumstances, so the way in which they can assist volunteers financially varies. Usually housing, a minimal monthly stipend (if any), insurance premiums and deductibles are provided. However, some Receiving Organizations cannot afford to offer volunteers a stipend or to cover their insurance costs at all. Carefully check the Finance section of each Service Request to see what financial assistance each Receiving Organization offers. Volunteers often pay their own airfare, airport taxes, expenses en route, excess baggage charges, and pre-embarkation costs such as the following: health evaluations/exams, immunizations, passport and visa documents, telephone costs, personal taxes in their home country and their country of service and deferred educational loans.

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Can I purchase my own ticket?

DO NOT purchase your ticket until your name has been voted through the General Conference Mission Personnel Processing Committee and your assignment has been confirmed by your Sending Division Volunteer Coordinator. Once your assignment is confirmed as having been voted by the General Conference Mission Personnel Processing Committee, you may purchase your own ticket. However, you may want to work with your Sending Division Volunteer Coordinator, as he/she may offer a service and counsel which you may not find elsewhere. You may also seek counsel from your Receiving Organization Supervisor to see what they might recommend. If you do purchase your own ticket after your assignment has been confirmed, you are required to immediately attach a copy of your itinerary to your homepage, or to fax/email it to your Sending Division Volunteer Coordinator so they can attach it to your application and apply for your insurance.

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What about insurance?

International volunteers approved by the General Conference Mission Personnel Processing Committee are covered by the “Accident and Sickness Protection for Volunteers” (ASV) insurance policy for the entire period of their service (an additional 21 days of coverage is added after service end date for the purpose of travel time). ASV coverage includes accident and sickness (pre-existing conditions are not covered) with death and repatriation coverage, a personal effects floater policy for $3,000 and worker’s compensation coverage. Once your status on the online database is “Assignment Voted” and before your date of departure, print out the AIG Assist-travel Assistance Services document on your home page and keep the card with you while on assignment. Your Sending Division Volunteer Coordinator is responsible for enrolling volunteers with insurance effective the day of departure. This is why it is important to send your itinerary to your Sending Division Volunteer Coordinator before you leave. If they don’t know the dateo of your departure, they may not request insurance for you by the time you leave. Click here for more information about ASV coverage. Volunteers who will be serving in the United States or in Canada are covered with Short Term Travel (STT) insurance rather than ASV insurance. For more information on STT coverage, click here.

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Do I need a visa?

Every country has specific requirements for citizens from different countries. Check the Travel and Visa section of your Service Request for visa requirements. Once your assignment has been voted by the General Conference Mission Personnel Processing Committee, you should begin working with your Receiving Division Volunteer Coordinator and your Receiving Organization Supervisor to obtain your visa. Exception: volunteers located in the North American Division (NAD) should check with their Sending Division Volunteer Coordinator for information about the visa process.

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Do I need a health exam?

Yes! You should be in good health and will need to visit a physician or medical professional and have them complete the Health Certificate to secure your health clearance. If you attend a college/university, you may ask the school nurse to complete the Health Certificate for you.

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Do I need immunizations?

For travel to some countries, you may not need any immunizations at all. For travel to others, you will. To check out what immunizations are necessary for the country where you will be serving, visit cdc.gov. Once you have been voted by the General Conference Mission Personnel Processing Committee, you may ask your Receiving Division Volunteer Coordinator or your Receiving Organization Supervisor for counsel on what immunizations you will need.

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Do you provide training?

Yes, through a required course entitled “Preparation for Mission,” which is available from the Institute of World Mission (IWM) at Andrews University. Depending on your location and circumstances, you make take the course in one of the following ways:

  1. You may take the course through group training on an Adventist college/university campus.
  2. You may take the online course, Preparation for Mission, which was prepared by the Institute of World Mission at Andrews University. You will need to have submitted your online AVS application in order to create an account to take the online course. You will find further instructions on your home page. For more information, contact lmerklin@sdamissioncourses.org.
  3. You may complete the course by correspondence. If you do not have regular Internet access and will not be able to take the class online or on-site on an Adventist college/university campus, you may download the Passport to Mission textbook online or order it for a cost of approximately $7.00 by contacting lmerklin@sdamissioncourses.org. Then you may write/type out the study questions and send them by fax or email to IWM at Andrews University. You may also send your course work to your Sending Division Volunteer Coordinator, who will then forward it to IWM for you. Before purchasing the book, however, contact your Sending Division Volunteer Coordinator to see if they can provide you with it.
    1. IWM Contact Information
      1. Email: lmerklin@sdamissioncourses.org
      2. Phone: 240-338-6681
  4. You may choose to purchase the book even if you take the online course. Order the book by contacting lmerklin@sdamissioncourses.org. A six-hour video accompanies the book, but is not required. Besides English, the book is also available in Spanish and Portuguese. We also urge you to obtain literature from your local library or the Internet regarding “your” country and its culture, economy, climate, etc. Besides the Preparation for Mission course, some organizations also provide on-site orientation/training.
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What skills do I need?

Most positions require individuals with specific qualifications both because of the expertise needed and immigration requirements. However, some positions allow for limited qualifications. For information on the requirements specific to each position, check the Qualifications section of each Service Requests which interests you.

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So, how do I get started?

See the section entitled How to Apply.

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