Brethren Volunteer Service

Brethren Volunteer Service is a full time volunteer program that places volunteers in a one or two year long assignment in the United States and some locations around the world. This ministry of the Church of the Brethren has been a major program in this Christian denomination since 1948.

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BVS Summer Orientation Going Virtual

Brethren Volunteer Service has made the decision to transition the summer orientation unit #325 from in-person to virtual. Amid COVID-19, BVS is committed to the health of incoming volunteers and leadership while still providing much-needed volunteer support to BVS project sites.

The summer orientation will be two weeks long and will be done while volunteers are already at their project sites – building in a two-week quarantine time so that volunteers are ready to begin serving as soon as orientation is completed. Volunteers will gather virtually to grow in faith, learn about Brethren history, service, and social justice issues, build community, work together to accomplish common tasks, and have fun. Because of this new format, BVS staff will be working ahead of orientation with volunteers to discern their project placements, which is typically done during the three-week orientation.

The new orientation will take place July 26-August 7, 2020. The application deadline for this unit is Friday, June 5, 2020. If anyone is interested in joining this unit and has not submitted an application by the deadline, please reach out as soon as possible to There is still time to join!

Upcoming Orientation dates

Summer 2020 #325:
July 19 – Aug. 7 (Virtual) – Applications are due 6/5

BRF 2020 #326:
Aug. 16 – Aug. 24 (TBD) – Applications are due 7/3

Fall 2020 #327:
Sept. 20 – Oct. 9
Camp Brethren Heights – Rodney, MI – Applications are due 8/7

BVS updates

Jocelyn Siakula resigns as orientation coordinator for Brethren Volunteer Service
(June 19, 2020)
Jocelyn Siakula has resigned as orientation coordinator for Brethren Volunteer Service (BVS), a position that she has held since Jan. 5, 2015. She will conclude her work with the Church of the Brethren on July 18.

Denomination to sell longterm BVS house in Elgin, purchases new house near General Offices
(June 5, 2020)
Since 1948, the Victorian-style house at 923 West Highland Ave. in Elgin, Ill. has been called home by countless Brethren Volunteer Service (BVS) workers and Church of the Brethren staff. It originally was purchased by the denomination to supply emergency rental quarters for staff, on a temporary basis, and then over the decades became the residence of BVS volunteers and interns who were serving at the Church of the Brethren General Offices in Elgin.

More updates