KEY APPLICATION DATES
The application to volunteer for the August 2024 – July 2025 service year is available.
Application Timeline and Expectations
Step One: Review MVC's Apply Page
For U.S. and international placements, submit the short form on MVC’s apply page to start your application. For short-term placements, submit the short form on MVC’s short-term page to start your application.
This form is used to give MVC staff your basic information so we can assist you if needed. Following your submission, you will be directed to our online application.
Step Two: Review Materials and Complete Application
Review the materials and complete the online application. The application includes an application form, written responses, resume, transcripts, reference forms, and medical forms. The online application does not need to be completed in one sitting and can be saved and continued at a later time. Transcripts are for U.S. and International only.
Those seeking international placement should submit the medical forms with their application materials. Those seeking U.S. or short-term placement should submit the medical forms following acceptance into the program.
Step Three: Submit Your Application
Submit your completed application. The priority deadline is January 22 for U.S., international, and short-term placements. The final deadline is March 22 for international and short-term placements. The preferred deadline is March 22 for U.S. placement. The final deadline is June 22 for U.S. placement. MVC accepts applications on a rolling basis until all positions are filled.
Step Four: Email Confirmation and Processing Your Application
When your application materials are received by MVC, you will receive an email confirmation. MVC will begin to process your application. Once we have received your full application, it takes 4-6 weeks to move through the entire process.
Step Five: Personal Interview
Once the initial screening phase is completed, an MVC representative will contact you for a personal interview. The interview lasts 60-90 minutes and is conducted via video call.
For those seeking international placement: After your personal interview, if it is recommended that you move forward, you attend a virtual Discernment Day which provides a prayerful retreat setting where applicants can share together in discerning their call to international service. Discernment Days will be held February 17, March 1 and April 13, 2024.
Step Six: Final Decision
You will receive a formal email communication notifying you of the final decision, no later than 2 weeks following your personal interview (for U.S. and short-term placements) or Virtual Discernment Day (for international placements).
Step Seven: Service Site Review and Placement
Upon acceptance, you should contact the MVC staff member designated in the letter to discuss service site placement. Your formal commitment to MVC occurs following your placement confirmation.
For those seeking U.S. placement: Your application will be sent to an agreed upon service site. A site representative will contact you for a phone or video call interview. Following the interview, you and the site representative will contact MVC to notify whether it is a good fit. Calls to MVC need to be made no more than 48 hours following the interview. If it is a fit, you are placed. If the site is not a good fit for either party, further conversation will ensue and another site will be chosen.
Mercy Volunteer Corps places volunteers for a one year commitment in both the United States and South America. MVC also offers short-term experiences (eight weeks) at Mercy Ecospirituality Center in Benson, VT, and ARISE Adelante in McAllen, TX.
We know this is a significant commitment and that you may have questions as you start this journey! Below are some of our most frequently asked questions from our applicants. If you can’t find an answer you are looking for or need more information, please contact us. We are here to help you through the process.
What is Mercy Volunteer Corps?
Mercy Volunteer Corps promotes social change by placing and supporting volunteers for one year of service with people who are experiencing injustices, in any form, in the United States and Guyana, South America. Mercy Volunteers work in education, healthcare, and social services while growing spiritually and living simply in community.
MVC also offers short-term summer experiences (eight weeks) focused on Mercy’s Critical Concerns of earth and immigration.
Where do Mercy Volunteers serve?
Mercy Volunteers serve for one year in one of eight different service cities in the United States and in Guyana, South America. Volunteers also serve for eight weeks in Benson, Vermont and McAllen, Texas.
U.S. cities include Baltimore, MD; Cincinnati, OH; Detroit, MI; New York, NY; Philadelphia, PA; Sacramento, CA; and Savannah, GA.
International placements are in Georgetown, the capital city of Guyana, South America. Guyana is an English-speaking country.
Short-term placements include Mercy Ecospirituality Center in Benson, Vermont and ARISE Adelante in McAllen, Texas.
What service opportunities are available through Mercy Volunteer Corps?
Education: Classroom Aide, Tutoring (literacy, GED, life skills), After School Program, and Teaching (special education, elementary, secondary)
Healthcare: Patient Advocate, Medical Assistant, Community Health Educator, Pastoral Care, Nurse, Occupational Therapist, Physical Therapist, and Speech Therapist
Social Services: Homelessness, Immigration, Community Outreach, Food Insecurity, Peace & Justice Advocacy, Environmental Justice, Senior Supportive Services, Women
How long is the commitment? When does the service year begin and end?
Mercy Volunteer Corps placements require a one-year commitment beginning in early August. The ending date of the year-long commitment falls between July 15 and 31. International placements require additional cross-cultural training in late July, prior to departure for their site in late August. Short-term placements require an eight-week commitment during the summer, beginning in late May/early June.
How will I support myself as a volunteer?
Mercy Volunteers receive housing, transportation, food and personal stipends, medical insurance, and school loan deferment (if approved by lender).
What are the application deadlines? Where will my interview take place?
We encourage that applications be submitted close to the priority deadline where possible. As we accept U.S. applications on a rolling basis, more placement options are available early on and positions may fill before the final deadlines. The priority deadline is January 22 for U.S., international, and short-term placements. The final deadline is March 22 for international and short-term placements. The preferred deadline is March 22 for U.S. placement. The final deadline is June 22 for U.S. placement. Interviews will take place via video call.
Who is eligible for Mercy Volunteer Corps?
A member of Mercy Volunteer Corps must be 21 years of age or older, a high school graduate, able to work 40 hours per week at the assigned service site, able to live in an intentional community where there are persons of faith, and able to commit to living on a small stipend provided for personal and communal expenses. MVC accepts persons who are single or married with no dependents. An individual should have some college or work experience, and some service experience before applying. Motivation to serve, flexibility, and a sense of humor are essential characteristics of an appropriate applicant. Mercy Volunteer Corps invites applicants from all faith traditions who can live and serve within the spirit of the Catholic tradition and welcomes applicants of all races, gender identities, sexual orientations, ages, or ethnicities. [Note: Short-term volunteers may be 20 years of age and older.]
Based on our recent experiences as well as similar experiences of other volunteer programs, we have found it increasingly difficult and costly for applicants from outside the United States to secure a visa to allow them to enter the country. Since we are not in a position to sponsor volunteers, we find it necessary to suspend application submissions from applicants outside the United States. We will continue to evaluate this situation and it is our sincere hope that circumstances will change at some point in the future. We have, however, been able to accommodate international students for their Optional Practical Training (OPT) term.
Who chooses where I will serve?
The volunteer and Mercy Volunteer Corps work together to find the site that is the best fit. Geographic preference, job skills, experience, and the needs of the site are all taken into consideration. Applicants submitting their materials in response to the priority deadline have a broader site selection since placements are made on a rolling basis. If you are interested in a specific service site, we encourage you to apply as soon as possible.
What makes MVC unique from other volunteer programs?
MVC is small enough to offer personalized, individualized attention and a family feel, yet large enough to offer a variety of placements in locations around the country. Whether you want a big city life or prefer to experience a slower pace, we have a location and service site for you. Our placement process is personalized and a staff member will walk with you during the discernment process to ensure finding the best possible fit for a service site. We are one of the few programs that have placement sites for nurses, physical therapists, occupational therapists, and non-clinical healthcare opportunities.
Additionally, MVC offers the chance to be a part of the legacy of Catherine McAuley, a lay woman who started ministering to those who were poor, uneducated and sick in nineteenth century Dublin at the height of the cholera epidemic and went on to found the Sisters of Mercy. Since its founding in Ireland, the Mercy community has expanded globally and consists of sisters, lay persons, volunteers and ministry partners. As a Mercy Volunteer, you have the opportunity to join with the larger Mercy Community in their advocacy and justice efforts.
How do I begin the application process?
Qualifications: at least 21 years of age for U.S. or International placement and at least 20 years of age for Short-Term placement; high school graduate; single or married with no dependents; and currently residing in the USA.