Life as an OVC Corps Member

Are you ready to serve?

At OVC, we invite you to join us for a 10-month journey of service, reflection & instruction, communal living, and immersion in the Church. We invite you to grow, to risk, to learn, to lead, to love, to lose your life … and find it.

Are you ready to serve? Read on.

Key Dates:

  • Application Deadlines for the 2024-25 program year are as follows
    • February 5, 2024 - EARLY Deadline - applicants who apply by the early deadline are given priority consideration
    • February 22, 2024 - Regular Deadline
  • The 2024-25 program runs August 26, 2024 - June 27, 2025 (breaks included).

Apply Now

Service at OVC

Live in Community

  • Housing: We secure and furnish a house where you’ll live in community with 5-7 other Corps Members. We cover the housing costs.
  • Community Commitments: Living with others is rewarding—and takes work. We’ll give support for your cohort to develop group norms and establish practices that will help you to live your faith day to day—serving other Corps Members in daily routines.
  • Simple Living: OVC will provide a modest living stipend to each Corps Member.
  • Health Insurance: We’ll make sure that everyone is covered.

Work & Seminar

  • You’ll work 4 days per week at a local nonprofit providing essential services to the community. The final weekday is for seminar.
  • OVC staff will build relationships with nonprofits, looking for placement partners who share our framework of service, will provide good supervision to you, are respected in the community, and are attentive to the lives of the most vulnerable.
  • Then we will conduct a matching process—get a project description from the placement partner, learn more about your interests, and facilitate interviews whenever possible—to find a good fit for everyone involved.
  • At placement, your supervisor from the nonprofit will be your primary support day-to-day, but OVC will continue to walk with you through weekly seminars and individual coaching to help you get the most from your service experience.
  • Seminar will be interactive and experiential. We’ll dig into your experiences of service and help you make meaning of it all—by exploring our Orthodox faith, models of service within that, liturgy and service, and more. We’ll also give you top-notch professional development—leadership training to hone hard and soft skills for effective engagement in church and community.

Local Engagement and Mentorship

  • We’ll dig into the neighborhood and city in which you are located (Pittsburgh or Boston). Enjoy the life of the city. Study its contradictions. Envision possibilities. Know the place in order to serve it.
  • We’ll also connect you to people—clergy and laity, Orthodox young adults, nonprofit professionals, grassroots leaders, leaders from Orthodox ministries around the country, and everyday folks in your neighborhood. There are a cloud of witnesses surrounding you; we’ll help connect you to them.

Are you ready for OVC?

  • What you can give
    • Your head, heart, and hands for 10 months
    • Courage to serve and learn even—exactly—when it’s a struggle
  • What you’ll receive
    • Deep friendships
    • Encounters to stretch and strengthen your faith
    • Unique professional development—hands-on service linked to robust leadership and formation—that will give you a leg up in your career
    • Serve for a year, Prepare for a lifetime. We mean it.

OVC Year

Life as an OVC Corps Member begins with a week-long opening retreat. Meet the other Corps Members. Reflect in community. Prepare for service at nonprofits. Pray together. Laugh and connect.

Then Corps Members travel to their separate locations, either Pittsburgh or Boston.  Settle into your OVC house. Walk the neighborhood. Tour the city. Connect to a parish.

The rhythm of OVC life begins. Four days a week, you’ll work at a local nonprofit. One day a week, you’ll be in seminar. Evenings and weekends are for building community--with each other, with your neighborhood and city, and with the local parish.

We’ll break the rhythm midyear and at the end for retreats. Midyear, we’ll gather to reinforce learning, relax, reconnect with Corps Members in other cities, and rejuvenate. At the final retreat, we’ll again gather all Corps Members to reflect on our time together, envision next steps, and participate in a service of commissioning.

Going into the World: Life post-OVC

The end is the beginning. Why? Because we mean what we say: Serve for a year, prepare for a lifetime. During the program, we’ll help you think about how service can become a way of life, a core part of your vocation. We’ll help you to be strategic in your next steps. And we’ll foster an alumni network that, over time, will become a rich resource.

Not ready to apply, but want more information?

Complete this short interest form and we'll be in touch.

Interest Form