Dominican Volunteers preach God's love through service to others, especially the economically poor and marginalized. It is an exciting experience, and it is also very challenging. It requires a mission-driven individual with dedication, flexibility, openness to diversity of all forms, and a deep foundation of compassion.
How exactly do we preach love through service? Every August, we place applicants in a house with other volunteers and Dominicans for 11 months (second year optional) and cover your basic expenses, all so you can serve in a ministry full-time (40 hours/week). Ministries include social services, education, organic farming, community organizing, systemic change, social justice, campus ministry, and more!
What makes us unique from other programs is the connection to Dominican life. The residences where you could live are intentional communities, and they are intergenerational. Other volunteers (1-4) provide peer support, while Dominican sisters or friars (2-12) provide mentorship and a connection to the Four Pillars of the Dominican Family: Prayer, Study, Community, and Ministry. Communities live simply, pray, share their faith, attend lectures, see movies, and discuss current events. Of course you also have time to see the new city, go out socially with friends, and have guests visit for the weekend. You also commit time to each other in community for encouragement, growth, accountability, and mutual support. Community living in this model is not easy, and you will be challenged to grow in your understanding of and communication across generations, vocations, and cultures. However, the vowed religious Dominicans in the community are mentors with decades of experience in ministry, often multiple Master's degrees, and an openness to share in formation with you as you join the Dominican Family as a lay person in ministry.
For many, the DVUSA experience is the beginning of a lifelong commitment to working for justice and peace. Some volunteers continue on as staff at their placements or other similar nonprofits. Others go on to graduate school to pursue careers of service (ministry, social work, education, law, medicine, seminary). Dominican Volunteers gain valuable mission and life experience that is well respected and a strong foundation for whatever they choose to do next.
Are you prepared for a year in mission? A year of full-time service requires deep commitment, flexibility, a willingness to take risks and to be stretched, a sense of humor, good health, and a positive, faith-filled disposition.
Are you eligible? Prospective DV's must be 21 or older, have two years of college or work experience, and be a U.S. citizen. DVUSA also accepts married couples, so long as they do not have dependents.
The priority deadline for the application is December 31st, but we accept applications on a rolling basis until March 31st. (If positions are not filled, we will accept late applications. An announcement will be put on the homepage when all positions are filled, or please call us to inquire). Early applicants have priority in being placed and will have the greatest possibilities for service. Remember to have three personal references submitted in addition to your application.
*Please note: DVUSA only places domestic volunteers. If you are interested in international placements we hope you will consider Dominican Volunteers International.