All Augustinian Volunteers must be between the ages of 21 and 29 years of age, unmarried and a college graduate. Because the volunteer experience is centered on service, spirituality and community, AVs must be committed to a personal spiritual life and a Christian lifestyle, dedicated to serving others, and open to living with their peers in intentional community. Volunteers are expected to have a sense of humor and a willingness to step outside of their comfort zone. The most successful AV’s are open-minded, flexible, and willing to serve in a variety of capacities.
The Augustinian Volunteer program will provide volunteers with room and board, health insurance, transportation to and from his or her service site and all necessary living costs consistent with our commitment to a simple lifestyle. In addition, each volunteer will also receive a small monthly personal stipend.
Many prospective volunteers are concerned about student loans. Most lenders offer deference or other solutions for long-term volunteers. When requested, the Augustinian Volunteer staff will work directly with the individual to provide necessary documentation required by lenders.
Augustinian Volunteers live in either houses or apartments, typically with both men and women. The sizes of the communities can range from 3 to 5 people. The volunteers agree to live in an intentional community that is meant to foster growth on an individual as well as communal level.
While the exact number of volunteers varies from year to year, there are typically between 15 and 20 Augustinian Volunteers serving across the United States and internationally in Peru each year.
All domestic and international volunteers attend an eight-day orientation in late August in the Philadelphia area. The August orientation provides an introduction to Augustinian values and the volunteer experience, an opportunity to build relationships with fellow volunteers and practical tools for the year ahead. From there, those serving domestically travel directly to the city in which they will be serving. Once volunteers have arrived in their new home and being their service experience, any necessary service site-specific training or orientation is provided by the partnering service site. Domestic volunteers will also participate in two retreat experiences together: one mid-year and one at the end of the experience. These retreats provide opportunities for personal growth, reflection and fun!
All international volunteers are required to attend orientation in August. In addition, international volunteers will gather for another short orientation experience a few days prior to departure for Peru in early January. They will also participate two retreats, including a re-entry retreat, which is focused on processing the year and re-adjusting to life in the United States.
Augustinian Volunteers placed domestically serve for 10 months beginning in late August with an eight-day orientation, after which they travel directly to the city in which they will be serving. The term of service ends in late June/early July with a closing retreat. AVs receive approximately two weeks off at Christmas, part of which is spent at home with family and part of which is spent at a mid-year retreat.
International volunteers serve for 11-months, beginning in early January and ending with a re-entry retreat in mid-December. Volunteers serving in Peru are also required to attend the eight-day orientation in late August with their fellow volunteers. After the August orientation, international AVs return home and are free to seek or continue employment and will have limited responsibilities to the Augustinian Volunteer program until January.