Frequently Asked Questions

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).
  • 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?

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.

How much will it cost?

Each Service Provider 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 Service Providers 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 Service Provider 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.

Can I purchase my own ticket?

DO NOT purchase your ticket until you have been directed to do so. Once your assignment is confirmed and voted, you may purchase your own ticket. However, you will want to work with your Service Provider for guidance on the type of Visa to get, any required immunizations, and the airport that you should fly to. You may check with your Sending Division Volunteer Coordinator, as he/she may offer a service and counsel which you may not find elsewhere.

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. The Service Provider is responsible for enrolling volunteers with insurance effective the day of departure. This is why it is important to upload your itinerary to the link sent to your email 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.

Do I need a visa?

Every country has specific requirements for citizens from different countries. Once your assignment has been voted, you should begin working with your Service Provider to obtain your visa. 

Do I need a health exam?

A health exam is not necessary for short term positions of 2 months or less.

Assignments longer than 2 months require a health exam.

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 Service Provider for counsel on what immunizations you will need. You may also check with your home division AVS coordinator, as he/she may offer a service and counsel which you may not find elsewhere.

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.