Welcome to the “everything you need to know” guide to becoming a Jesuit Volunteer (JV) in the Pacific Northwest. Learn more about Life as a JV, Where We Serve, the Benefits, Application, and Timelines.
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Be transformed by the call to peace and justice!
Jesuit Volunteers (JVs) become part of a 60 year legacy of service to those who are marginalized in our society, including people who experience poverty, hunger, disabilities, and abuse. JVs serve with organizations dedicated to social and environmental justice and advocacy throughout the Northwest.
JVs live in intentional community with other JVs for one year beginning in early August through the following July. JVs commit to integrating the four core values of community, simple living, social and ecological justice, and spirituality/reflection into their everyday lives.
Feel free to contact the Jesuit Volunteer Corps Northwest office at (503) 335-8202.
Life as a JV
The process of building community offers an opportunity to share experience, faith, and hope. In community, we learn that our lives are interdependent, we have a responsibility to others, and we come together to support and give life to one another. JVs live with three to seven other JVs in a simply furnished house or apartment, usually in low-income, racially diverse neighborhoods. Everyone is responsible for cooking and cleaning responsibilities. Each JV community meets weekly for:
- Community gathering
- Spirituality/reflection gathering
- Household business meeting
Simple living is an invitation to live more deeply and intentionally, to choose presence and mindfulness instead of being distracted by the noise and busyness of popular culture. Simple living also allows JVs to more fully connect with the communities in which they live and work and to more intently focus on relationships over objects. As an example, JV communities do not have internet connection and many JVs challenge themselves to limit the use of their laptops, smartphones, and other technological devices. For some, this is a new concept that can be challenging and rewarding. JVs may bring musical instruments and other personal items, but are asked to limit the number of possessions they bring to allow for a new outlook on the community and world around them. JVs are asked to not bring personal vehicles and to discern if they need a laptop or other technology during their year.
Social & Ecological Justice
JVs work for peace and justice by being aware of how attitudes and behavior affect others. Being aware urges us to change the attitudes and structures which create poverty, perpetuate oppression, and destroy ecological systems. Solidarity demands that we create change by working alongside people who are materially poor, oppressed, and vulnerable. We affirm the interconnectedness of life by making efforts to reduce our impact on the Earth. JVs live out this value each day in their service placement in addition to daily choices living in community. Examples include: use of resources, how money is spent, transportation choices, choosing to compost, etc.
Rooted in the Jesuit Catholic tradition, JVC Northwest encourages JVs to personally and communally seek and live their spiritual values. Jesuit Volunteers bring to community life a rich diversity of spiritual backgrounds and belief systems. This diversity challenges JV communities, through reflective listening and conversation, to deepen and broaden their wonder and appreciation of the myriad and mysterious ways God is at work in each person. JVs live out their spiritual values by participating in and facilitating weekly community spirituality/reflection gatherings, and by participating in three multi-communal retreats throughout the year. The cornerstone of the JVC Northwest year is, not only to live a spirituality of communal, simple living and working for justice, but to have the on-going time and space to reflect on one’s experience, which is often the reason why the JV experience can be so transformative for people.
Ignatian Spirituality is at the heart of the Jesuit tradition. A brief “freeze frame” of this spirituality is:
- Discovering God’s active presence in the ups and downs of daily life (Finding God in all things)
- Reflecting on one’s actions in order to become more intentionally present and compassionate (Becoming a contemplative in action)
- Working on personal transformation for the sake of the transformation of the world (The Incarnation)
- Seeking interior freedom to be present regardless of the outcome (Detachment)
Where We Serve
JV/AmeriCorps members serving in the Northwest have the unique opportunity to explore the incredible natural beauty and rich cultural diversity of the Pacific Northwest! JV communities are located in the following cities:
- Alaska – Anchorage, Bethel, Juneau, and Sitka
- Idaho – Boise
- Montana – Ashland, Billings, Hays, Missoula, and St. Xavier
- Oregon – Bend, Gresham, Hillsboro, Hood River, Portland, and Woodburn
- Washington – Grays Harbor, Omak, Seattle, Spokane, Tacoma, Wenatchee, and Yakima
Intercultural service opportunities
JVC Northwest has established relationships in Native American, Native Alaskan, and Latinx communities over many years. JV/AmeriCorps members have been invited to share their skills and talents as well as to learn about the rich cultures in which they serve.
Browse through current service positions
Curious to see what specific positions are available for JV/AmeriCorps members? You can browse through each of our positions, as well as sort by city, state, and service category on our Volunteer Opportunities page.
JVs receive food and housing, basic medical insurance and a monthly stipend of $100. Almost all of our service positions are AmeriCorps positions. AmeriCorps members receive a living allowance that covers housing costs, food, transportation (e.g., bike, bus pass), personal stipend and additional health costs. However, a few positions involve advocacy or pastoral ministry, and thus are not AmeriCorps eligible. JVC Northwest covers these costs for these non-AmeriCorps JVs. JV AmeriCorps members can also receive the $5,815 Education Award upon successful completion of their service year. AmeriCorps-funded aspects of the JVC Northwest program are contingent upon the availability of Congressional appropriations.
Basic medical insurance is also provided by JVC Northwest for all JVs. The cost of transportation home at the end of the year is provided, however, the JV is responsible for transportation costs to Portland, Ore. for Orientation at the start of the service year.
Support during service
JVC Northwest has a reputation for providing strong support to our JVs. Each volunteer receives individual support from:
- a program coordinator who visits each community twice a year and offers ongoing support
- local support people, typically former JVs and members of the Jesuit community
- three formal retreats providing JVs opportunities to gather, reflect, pray and connect
- a large network of former JVs that are involved throughout the year and beyond
In serving, something deeper was stirred, a deeper need was met. I was gifted with time and I was led sometimes gently, sometimes abruptly, again and again to consolation and peace.
-Fr. Joseph Carver, S.J., former JV, Seattle, WA
Many people become JVs to make a difference in the lives of others. Along the way, JVs often discover that they are the ones being transformed by the many gifts they receive. JVs’ lives are forever changed by the relationships formed with people who experience life from the margins of our society. The practical and professional experiences gained during service can assist JVs in their future career paths, and new found friendships and relationships with coworkers, clients, and housemates can last a lifetime.
The JV experience raises their consciousness of poverty, oppression and injustice, and moves the volunteers into solidarity with the people and places they serve. The experience is challenging on emotional, intellectual and spiritual levels and is often referred to by former JVs as one of the most rewarding experiences of their lives.
Jesuit Volunteer Corps (JVC) Northwest invites you to be transformed by:
- Unique cross-cultural encounters
- Ignatian spirituality
- Social and ecological justice
- Sustainable living
During their service year, JVs have the chance to develop and strengthen professional and transferable skills that benefit them in future positions.
Life-long community & friendship
Once Jesuit Volunteers conclude their year of service, they are considered “Former Jesuit Volunteers” (FJVs) and become part of a large network of over 6,500 FJVs from the Northwest, and thousands of others who’ve served around the country. Many FJVs stay or return to the cities in which they served, and become part of the larger JVC Northwest community, connecting with both current and former JVs in the area. Retreats, socials, and other gatherings often occur throughout the Northwest and rest of the country creating a close-knit FJV community. Through various city-based listservs, FJVs can meet other FJVs in their area, share job postings and resources, post about events, and locate housing opportunities with fellow FJVs. The invaluable FJV network connects and encourages service-minded individuals to remain rooted in the four values of JVC Northwest.
We are no longer accepting applications for the 2017-18 service year. If you are interested in future service years, read on to learn more about the application process.
Jesuit Volunteers (JVs) come from a wide variety of backgrounds, experiences, and locations. JVC Northwest is committed to broadening diversity among JVs and welcomes persons of every ethnicity, origin, religion, ability, sexual orientation, gender expression, economic status, and political affiliation. Applicants must be 21 years or older and have a college degree or applicable work experience. Applicants cannot be married, and we ask that applicants’ marital status not change during the service year. Several placements require a specific certification or skill (i.e. Teaching, Nursing, Spanish proficiency, etc.)
Click below to see more information.Learn more about/express interest in the program
Thanks for your interest in JVC Northwest! To learn more about a year of service with JVC Northwest, please fill out the Jesuit Volunteer Interest Form. One of our staff members will follow up with you shortly to share info based on your interests.
You can also contact Christie Costello, Recruitment and Marketing Manger, at email@example.com or 503-335-8202. She was a Jesuit Volunteer from 2009-11 and is happy to connect with anyone considering what a year of service might be like.
Our recruiters start their travels in mid-September. Click here to see their travel schedule, which will be updated in late August.
Fill out a Jesuit Volunteer Interest Form if you’d like to be contacted the recruiters are in your area!
Want to apply for an additional JV year?
If you’re currently serving (or have in the past served) with JVC Northwest or JVC based in Baltimore and want to apply for an additional year, we’ll ask that you fill out the Additional Year Application. The priority deadline to apply for an additional year was February 21 2017, so we are now accepting applications on a rolling basis until July.
Please note: If you are currently serving in another full-time service program (faith-based or not, such as Lutheran Volunteer Corps, AmeriCorps, Urban Servant Corps, etc.), please fill out the main JVC Northwest application form (see “Submit an Application,” above).
Materials for Placed JVs to submit
The following resources and documents are for the incoming 2017-18 JVs currently placed in our program:
Please mail or email the following items to JVC Northwest firstname.lastname@example.org or P.O. Box 22125, Portland, OR 97269.
The following forms are to be submitted after you have been notified of conditional acceptance into the JVC Northwest program:
- Covenant of JVC Northwest
- A clear copy or photo of your government-issued ID
- for applicants coming from Oregon, please provide copies of two different IDs
- Criminal History Authorization Form
- Medical Form
The following forms are to be submitted after you’ve been officially placed in the JVC Northwest program. Forms will become available by late April.
- Health Insurance Acceptance/Waiver Form
- JV Info Form
- Orientation Travel Form
- JVC Northwest Drug and Alcohol Policy
- Code of Conduct 2017
- Sign at the bottom of signature pages and scan/email to email@example.com, or mail the originals to JVC Northwest (P.O. Box 22125, Portland, OR 97269)
- Save the full version for your records
- There will be time for questions regarding this policy at Orientation
Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org with questions.
Have questions about the application process?
Contact Christie Costello, Recruitment and Marketing Manager, at the JVC Northwest office. She recently served two years as a Jesuit Volunteer in the Northwest and is happy to answer any questions you have about the program, life as a JV, or the application process. You can contact her by email at email@example.com or by calling 503-335-8202.
Jesuit Volunteers (JV) make a service commitment of one year with the option to reapply for the same placement or a different community for additional year(s). Service begins in early August and ends the following July. If you are thinking about applying to JVC Northwest, we recommend spending time in the fall and early winter exploring all that the program has to offer and discern whether you are called to a year of service. During this time, we encourage you to contact the JVC Northwest office and speak with a recruiter, staff member, or current JV about the program.
We are currently accepting applications for the 2017-18 service year!Fall/Winter
Take the time to talk with friends who have been Jesuit Volunteers. Speak with a JVC Northwest recruiter about being a JV. Ask questions about the program and what it could mean for you. Find out if JVC Northwest is the right service program for you.
- Learn what actual JVs have said about their experience.
- Meet up with our Recruiters! Review their travel schedules to find out when they’ll be visiting a college near you.
- If you won’t get to connect with our recruiter, contact Christie Costello, Recruitment and Marketing Manager, to hear more about the program.
- Spend time to reflect on the decision to serve.
- Fill out and submit an application. The application asks for three references, a copy of your official or unofficial transcripts, a resume, a few essay questions, and three references. The application deadline will be mid-February 2018, and rolling after that date.
- Receive confirmation: Once we’ve hand-processed each of your application pieces, we will send a confirmation email within a few weeks receiving your application with information about next steps.
Within a few weeks of receiving applications, JVC Northwest staff will contact applicants about whether they’ve been invited to an interview. If offered an interview, we’ll share materials to help you prepare for your interview, including a short webinar, reading material, and a link to schedule your interview in an online calendar. We cannot guarantee that every applicant will be offered an interview.
If selected for an interview, please read the discernment packet before the interview. You will be asked to complete the Service Interest Form (SIF) prior to the interview and return it to your interviewer. You’ll receive information on how to access these documents upon completion of your application and/or being offered an interview.
From here, an interview will be arranged with a placement that is mutually agreeable for you, JVC Northwest and the partner agency.
Many placements are finalized by the end of May, but many may take until June or even July. Applicants will be accepted until all placements are filled or until the service year begins.