Frequently Asked Questions

Table of Contents

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.

Do I qualify?

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.

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: 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.

Can I purchase my own ticket?

DO NOT purchase your ticket until you have been instructed to do so.  You should seek counsel from the Receiving Organization Supervisor to get instruction on the travel details (what airport to fly into and what kind of visa that you need). You may want to work with your Sending Division AVS Coordinator, as he/she may offer a service and counsel which you may not find elsewhere. When you purchase your ticket after your assignment has been confirmed, you will attach a copy of your itinerary to your application and download your insurance verification certificate and carry it with you.

What about insurance?

International volunteers are covered by the “Out of Country” (OOC) insurance policy for the entire period of their service (an additional 31 days of coverage is added after service end date for the purpose of travel time). OOC 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. out the AIG Assist-travel Assistance Services document on your home page and keep the card with you while on assignment. The Organization where you will serve is responsible for for enrolling volunteers with insurance effective the day of departure. This is why it is important to upload your itinerary to your application as soon as you get it. If they don’t know the date of your departure, they may not request insurance for you by the time you leave. Click here for more information about OOC coverage. Volunteers who will be serving in the United States or in Canada? are covered with Short Term Travel (STT) insurance rather than OOC insurance. For more information on STT coverage. You should download the International SOS app on your cell phone so you will have it if you need it.

Do I need a visa?

Every country has specific requirements for citizens from different countries. Check with the receiving organization coordinator for the type of visa that you will need,.

Do I need a health exam?

A health exam is not necessary for if you are serving less than 2 months.

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 You may ask your Receiving Division Volunteer Coordinator or your Receiving Organization Supervisor for counsel on what immunizations you will need.

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 assignment which interests you.

So, how do I get started?

See the section entitled How to Apply.