Build a foundation for a lifelong commitment to social activism and your Catholic faith through a meaningful year of direct service in Washington, DC.
We have opportunities in both direct service and in serving through administrative nonprofit support, gaining valuable professional skills. For both opportunities, volunteers live in intentional community, pray together, and strive to be witnesses to justice and peace.
Spend 35 hours a week serving with a local nonprofit agency working directly with the marginalized to address issues of poverty and justice, or choose to serve at FMS headquarters. Each week you’ll also gather as a cohort with other DC Service Corps volunteers for intentional leadership development, guided reflection, and discussions focused on integrating faith into your service experience.
DC Service Corps volunteers serve in the community in areas such as homelessness ministries and professional readiness support for high school students, or, if serving at the FMS office, grow their professional skills in graphic design, writing, or development.
Services Access Team Member – The Father McKenna Center
Do you have a passion for leadership, organization, and working with those on the margins? Serve in the Center’s Food Pantry, Hypothermia Program, and Day Program, supporting men who are experiencing homelessness by providing food, shelter, and clothing services.
Staff Writer – FMS Headquarters
Do you love language? Do you get as excited about editing as you do about writing? Come manage the FMS blog and write marketing materials as a DC Service Corps volunteer addressing issues of poverty in DC and around the world. Fill your portfolio, get solid references, learn about nonprofits, and grow in your Catholic faith as the Staff Writer in the DC Service Corps program.
The DC Service Corps Difference
As a leadership-focused Catholic service program in the DC region, we offer a unique opportunity for young adults ages 21-35.
Get leadership training, mentorship, and formal leadership development goal-setting. Be exposed to all the key components of nonprofit management, provide leadership training, and identify your own areas of desired growth and a path for achieving your set goals.
Formation courses, community life, spiritual direction, and retreats will facilitate your human, Christian and Franciscan Growth. Benefit from trainings in team-building, consensus decision-making, active listening, and conflict transformation. Enjoy courses on Franciscan spirituality and values, simplicity, peace and nonviolence, and contemplative prayer.
Grow through your shared community life together, including weeknight meals, daily prayer, and monthly pastoral theological reflection. Participate in monthly spiritual direction and bi-annual retreats to deepen your Franciscan identity and ongoing conversion in a radical Gospel life.
Direct Service with those in Poverty
Provide skilled labor to meet real and direct needs in the nonprofits they serve. Focus on cultivating relationships and connections in marginalized communities. Spend time with and listen to the people, empowering them to believe in themselves, to identify solutions, and to value their own opinions. For many volunteers, this ministry of presence will be the most meaningful and challenging aspect of their service, as it in turn affirms the dignity of some of the most wounded and rejected members of society.
Work for Structural Justice
Foster a commitment to justice by reading the signs of the times and challenging your acquired ways of thinking. Seek to understand the situations of marginalized persons and communities through your relational ministry, allowing yourself to be impacted by the hopes, obstacles, and suffering of those whom you serve. This will cultivate your responsibility to advocate for these individuals, and to challenge and change the structures that create poverty and oppression.
An Educational and Meaningful Experience
DC Service Corps offers experiences with issues of poverty, inspired by Catholic Social Tradition and the Gospel mission “to service and action for a more just and humane world.” Placements offer opportunities for direct service with poor and marginalized populations, focused on relationship-building and personal support, combined with training in leadership skills, advocacy and efforts to change unjust systems and institutions.
As a volunteer, you pledge to:
• Equip nonprofits as a skilled and educated employee to help them sustain and expand their services
• Cultivate relationships and a spirit of solidarity with the poor and socially isolated people with whom you work and learn from their experiences
• Strive to become more just in your thoughts, language, and actions so that you may be more credible witnesses to justice and peace
• Address your stereotypes and preconceived notions as you seek the truth of situations you encounter
- Gain hands-on experience with nonprofits and grow your understanding of your own core skills, abilities and interests that can be applied to the sector
- Fully-furnished private bedroom in an intentional community house
- $350 monthly living stipend
- Health insurance
- Initial orientation and formation plus two retreats
- Monthly spiritual direction and facilitated community reflection
- Professional development and network building: one-to-ones with nonprofit leaders and monthly mentorship meetings
- Coverage of commuting costs to and from service site
- Metro-accessible location: Live within walking distance of the Brookland-CUA station (10-minute train ride downtown on the red line; access to multiple bus lines)
To be considered for DC Service Corps, you must:
- Be between the ages of 21 and 35
- Have a desire to actively develop your servant leadership skills to address our world’s needs
- Have a demonstrated commitment to service and social justice
- Have a demonstrated commitment to your faith/spiritual development and openness to learning about the Franciscan charism
- Have a desire to engage in the FMS intentional community/house of hospitality (includes weekly meals and prayer)
Our volunteers have a variety of backgrounds, which may include education, social work, and counseling.
Applications will continue to be accepted on a rolling basis until all positions are filled. Please see above for specific information about current placement openings.
The application form, short answer responses, resume, personal statement, and transcripts must be sent to email@example.com.
Once you have completed interviews with program staff, we will ask you for five references. We will provide forms for your references to fill out and return directly to Franciscan Mission Service.
- Professional Reference – (need 3) – We want supervisors from past work experiences, even if it is from a summer job or internship. One of these may be a professor.
- Pastoral Reference – (need 1) – This might be from a parish priest, campus minister, spiritual director, etc.
- Personal Reference – (need 1) – Ideally this is someone who has lived, worked, or volunteered with you.