3 Things to Know Before Applying to JVC

Where the needs of the world and your passions cross, there lies your vocation. - Aristotle

At JVC, our goal is to meet you at the intersection between your passions and the needs of the world. You tell us where you’re feeling called, and we’ll point you in the right direction. This is our admissions process in a nutshell, and the framework that we use to match applicants with positions that inspire them.  

Have you given any thought to where and how you see yourself serving in JVC?  

Let’s be honest. It’s easy to apply to a program like this with a specific image or goal in mind. Maybe you’ve always wanted to live in California, and this feels like your chance to do that in a meaningful way. Or maybe you plan on going to law school and think that having JVC on your resume will look great next to your LSAT score. If either of these perspectives resonate with you, we totally get it.  After all, what’s wrong with wanting to beef up a resume and check off your bucket list in the meantime?  

Nothing… if you’re applying for an internship. This brings me to the first thing you should consider before applying to JVC:  

#1) JVC is nothing like an internship.

When you accept a placement offer, you commit to so much more than working for an agency. You also commit to engaging with our four values; where simple living, spirituality, community, and social justice become the heart and soul of your daily life. You’ll have a responsibility to your community, your agency, and all those you serve to uphold this commitment entirely.  

So ask yourself: Is this a commitment you’re ready to make right now? 

Another thing we hear often is applicants referring to JVC as nothing more than a “gap year.” While we discourage gap-year language, we understand where it comes from. Many college grads like the idea of taking a break before going to grad school or entering the “real world.” To them, JVC is an opportunity to press pause on life and postpone having to make those big life decisions. If this sounds like you, you’re in good company. But it does bring me to the second thing you should consider before applying to JVC: 

#2) JVC is not a detour from life. It’s a foundation for it.

Our formation program is rooted in daily reflection, providing an opportunity to grow in awareness of yourself and the structures that surround you. This process of dismantling internal biases and expanding your worldview is as exhausting as it is beautiful.  So if what you’re looking for is a program that lets you kick back for a year and press pause on life, JVC might not be for you.  

But if what you desire is a program that challenges you and provides a framework to develop a deeper capacity to love and understand those around you; well then, you’re in the right place. 


diso 16
Syracuse DisOrientation Retreat, 2021

Here's the thing.

If you’re still on the fence about doing JVC, that’s completely okay.  We know how big of a commitment it is, which is why our application process is designed to help support you in discerning if JVC is right for you. But if there’s anything else you should consider before hitting that “apply” button, it’s this: 

#3) The key is to be Apostolically Available.


Apostolic availability. It’s a term coined by Pedro Arrupe that refers to a kind of holy indifference or openness to serving wherever you are called. He describes it as mindset that places us “whole and freely” into the hands of a Higher Power to make all that we do an authentic, spiritual experience.  

Think of it this way. The word “apostolic” or apostle comes from the Greek word, aapóstolos, meaning “one who is sent off.” In the context of JVC, Jesuit Volunteers are literally sent off to work for justice and accompany folks on the margins. The “availability” component comes into play when we talk about one’s willingness to go wherever that need may be.  

Have you considered yet how willing you are to serve wherever YOU are needed?  

Apostolic availability is the key to experiencing freedom throughout your discernment. We know that when applicants enter the admissions process with a heart that’s wide open and a mind that isn’t focused on a particular job or city, they feel so much more connected to our mission.   

There you have it! Three things to consider before applying to JVC. Allow us the opportunity to match you with an agency that sets your heart on fire. Apply today, and we’ll give you a foundation for life!