OUR HISTORY

For over 60 years, the Jesuit Volunteer Corps (JVC) has been a pioneer in the service landscape. With over 200 volunteers each year and 11,000 alumni, we are one of the largest lay, Catholic, full-time volunteer programs in the world. 

Jesuit Volunteer 1979 reads to students while teaching at their JV placement site in Newark.

JVC has its roots in 1950’s Alaska, where a small group of college students began serving the native people of Alaska’s Copper Valley. This group formed the basis for six regional organizations (JVC Northwest, East, Midwest, Southwest, South, and International) that provided vital service to hundreds of thousands of individuals and families across the world.  

In 2009, five of these regional organizations merged to become the Jesuit Volunteer Corps, a global institution that currently operates in 46 communities across 6 countries. Today’s JVC brings a deep history and a timeless mission into an innovative and growing institution that has become the premier option for young leaders considering faith-based service.  

1956

Early Beginnings

A handful of college students arrive in Alaska’s Copper Valley at the request of the Sisters of Saint Anne and the Oregon Province of Jesuits. These young leaders helped to build the Copper Valley School and stayed on to teach and support the Native Alaskan population of Copper Valley.

1960s to 1980s

Expanding the Model

Six, regional organizations develop to bring the model of passionate young leaders engaging in vital service to the Pacific Northwest, East, Southwest, Midwest, South and abroad. The Jesuit Volunteer Corps model proves successful, providing thousands of agencies at the front lines of social justice with crucial assistance via highly-skilled and enthusiastic volunteers.  
 

Historical image from JVC East NYC 1979.

2009

Forming Today’s Jesuit Volunteer Corps

JVC East, Southwest, Midwest, South, and International merge to become the Jesuit Volunteer Corps. (JVC), headquartered in Baltimore, MD. The Jesuit Volunteer Corps draws on decades of close relationships and institutional knowledge to become a global organization that effectively furthers its mission and values in communities across the world. 

NYC Jesuit Volunteer Community 2018-19

2015

Celebrating 60 Years of JVC

Since the founding of JVC East in 1975, over 11,000 Jesuit Volunteers have taken on the world’s most difficult challenges in order to build a more just and hopeful world. Former Jesuit Volunteers have gone on to do amazing things: they serve the public interest as members of Congress, found and lead organizations at the forefront of social change, heal bodies and minds as medical professionals, advocate for justice as lawyers and judges, and continue to work with the poor and marginalized. Over these 60 years, JVC has created a movement and a way of engaging with the world that will continue to live on for generations.  
 

The 2010 Jesuit Volunteer community called Casa Thea Bowman house located in Oakland, CA.

Today

A Force for Change

Over 200 Jesuit Volunteers currently provide vital service within 46 communities across 6 countries. With the goal of forming leaders committed to faith in action, JVC provides young adults with the opportunity to serve poor and marginalized communities while engaging deeply with the Jesuit values of spirituality, community, simple living, and social justice. Our volunteers bring a dedication to the cause of justice and the courage to transform themselves and the communities they serve. We help them discover how to put this passion to work for life. 

Jesuit Volunteers stand up at 2018 Orientation at Loyola University Chicago when their community house names are called out in celebration of the year ahead. (2018)

JOIN THE MOVEMENT TODAY

Build a more just and hopeful world with the Jesuit Volunteer Corps.

Jesuit Volunteer,  Diana (Sacramento 2016-17) stands behind the counter at Loaves and Fishes to distribute items to visitors to "the park."