Brethren Volunteer Service


Purpose and Goals

BVS orientations are designed to prepare and strengthen volunteers for a life of service in BVS and beyond. The goals are to encourage you to:

  • Share and examine your personal beliefs and values with the intent of growing in your understanding of yourself, others, and God.
  • Share in the responsibilities for group life while learning what helps and hinders satisfying group living.
  • Struggle with the prevalent spiritual and social issues of our day and examine Christian ethical responses to current social, political, and economic issues.
  • Learn ways to live simply and responsibly with the world’s limited resources.
  • Become more aware of people and situations throughout the world, including responsibilities of membership in the global family.
  • Explore ways to enable personal and societal change that embody mutuality and nonviolence.
  • Consider project possibilities with the support of the orientation community and finalize project assignments through discussions with the BVS staff.
  • Develop a BVS community of support and learn ways to develop local support for yourself while at your project.

Orientation Activities

  • Presentation, discussion, and information on project possibilities
  • Project placement
  • Service projects
  • Times of worship and devotions
  • Shared meals and small-group meal preparation
  • Personal sharing and group-building
  • Opportunities for recreation and reflection
  • Presentations and discussions on a variety of topics to prepare for service and gain awareness in the realm of peace, justice, and global concerns. Topics may include vocation, spiritual formation, cultural sensitivity, conflict resolution and communication styles.

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 26 – 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

Summer 2021 #328:
July 18 – Aug. 6 (TBD) – Apps due 6/4

BRF 2021 #329:
Aug. 15 – Aug. 23 (TBD) – Apps due 7/2

Fall 2021 #330:
Sept. 19 – Oct. 8 (TBD) – Apps due 8/6