If you are a student at a Seventh-day Adventist university, your first step is to talk with your Chaplain or Student Missions Coordinator on your campus. They will guide you through the application process, and can often provide support with things like fundraising, loan deferment, scholarships, and training. The process below are the basic steps of the process, but your Student Missions program may include other important steps.
The main qualifications to serve as a Student Missionary through Adventist Volunteer Service include:
- Between the ages of 18 and 79.
- Baptized member of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in good standing.
- Financially able to serve without compensation other than a small living allowance.
Other important things to consider in your decision are included in the Qualifications section of the AVS website.
Contact your Chaplain or Student Missions Coordinator in the Campus Ministries Office at your university about starting an application to be a student missionary. They will provide guidance throughout the process. If you are having trouble finding or connecting with your Student Missions Coordinator, you may contact our office and we can help connect you.
To start an application, you will first need to create an account and log in to the Adventist Volunteer Service website. Then you can start and submit your online application. Make sure to add your university as your "Sending Organization."
The following documents and forms need to be completed and turned in to your Student Missions Coordinator. If you choose to attach them to your online application, please let your Coordinator know.
A missions orientation training based on a book called Passport to Missions is required for all student missionaries and volunteers. Check with your Student Missions Coordinator to find out if this training is offered on your campus. If not, you may enroll for the free online Passport to Missions course. You will find information on how to enroll on the homepage of your online application. With this option, you may complete the course at your own pace, but it must be finished by the final date of your cohort.
Once you have completed your application and training, your Student Missions Coordinator will approve it on the AVS database. Next, it will be reviewed by staff at the Office of Volunteer Ministries. If any follow-up is needed, we will work with your Coordinator who will be in contact with you. When this step is complete, we will vote to approve you at our weekly Appointees Committee. You will receive a notification email that you have been approved. If your application is denied, you will be contacted by your Student Missions Coordinator.
Next, your application is sent to your first-choice call. The mission organization has about two weeks to consider your application, although sometimes they take more or less time. You are welcome to contact them during this time to ask any questions you may have about the position. Once the organization has made a decision, they will accept or deny your application on the AVS database, and your Coordinator will be notified. If accepted, you will move to the next step. If denied, your application will be sent to your next choice.
After you are accepted by a mission organization, there is one more final assignment vote. Your Coordinator will then be notified, and you can begin preparing for your trip.
If you are serving internationally, work with your Student Missions Coordinator and your mission organization to work out your travel arrangements, including:
- Airline Ticket
Please send your airline itinerary to Andrea Keele as soon as possible so your insurance can be arranged.
INSURANCE FOR INTERNATIONAL STUDENT MISSIONARIES
For Student Missionaries and volunteers serving outside of the U.S., you will be covered by Adventist Risk Management's Accident and Illness for Volunteers (ASV) plan. For more information on what is covered and who to call for travel emergencies or medical treatment, review our Medical Emergency page.
INSURANCE FOR DOMESTIC STUDENT MISSIONARIES
For Student Missionaries serving in the U.S., we will ensure that your mission organization will purchase Task Force insurance for you through Adventist Risk Management. More information on Task Force insurance coverage can be found on Adventist Risk Management's Travel Hub site.
Most volunteer positions cover the expense for accident and sickness insurance for volunteers which is required for all Adventist Volunteer Service volunteers, although a few ask the volunteer to cover this expense. Most also provide a small living allowance and accommodations, but most do NOT pay for travel to the mission location. Funding for travel or other mission-related expenses is the responsibility of the volunteer in cooperation with their college or university mission program.
Returning as a Volunteer
If you have served through AVS in the last two years and there have been no changes to your health, you will only need to submit the following for your re-application (whether or not you return through your university):
- Online Application
- Resume (optional, but helpful)
- 1 Reference
Incomplete or unsbumitted applications with no updates or communication may be "Inactivated" three months after the application was first submitted. To reactivate your online application, please contact your SM Coordinator or Benjamin Speegle.
- Married couples need to have been married for at least one year before serving. If it has been less than a year, more screening steps will be necessary.
- Married volunteers are allowed to serve only three months if their spouse is not able to accompany them, per Church policy.
- In the event that a spouse will accompany the volunteer as a dependent spouse (he or she is not a voted volunteer), the following forms need to be completed by spouse and included with volunteer's forms: