Q: What is the Young Adult Service Corps and who can apply?
A: The Young Adult Service Corps is a ministry for Episcopalians ages 21-30 who are interested in exploring their faith in new ways by living and serving in communities around the world. Applicants must have a high degree of maturity and possess a faith commitment, the willingness to be a humble guest, and the ability to be an authentic companion.
Q: Do I need to be Episcopalian to apply?
Q: What is the difference between YASC and the Episcopal Service Corp (ESC)?
A: YASC is the international missionary program of The Episcopal Church and all of the placements are outside of the United States. YASC volunteers are sent out on their own to be part of and work alongside local communities around the Anglican Communion. The Episcopal Service Corps is a network of intentional communities located in Episcopal dioceses across the United States. For more information about the Episcopal Service Corps, please visit their website at episcopalservicecorps.org.
Q: How many Young Adult Service Corps volunteers are there each year?
A: The number of young adults who serve with YASC varies from year to year but the program can accommodate approximately 22 people each year.
Q: What do I get out of the Young Adult Service Corps?
A: You get a unique opportunity to be in relationship with people from a different culture in a different part of God’s world. Many young adults use their year of service as part of the discernment process for continued lay and ordained ministry in the church. YASC also provides a foundation for ongoing work in development-related fields, opportunities to learn or improve language skills, and a way to connect with the church in a different way.
APPLICATION, DISCERNMENT, AND ORIENTATION
Q: When are applications due?
A: Applications are due in early/mid-January of each year.
Q: What does the application/discernment process include?
A: Applications will be reviewed by Episcopal Church staff and all applicants invited to continue the process will attend a discernment retreat in mid-February. The retreat is a time for applicants to come together and engage in conversations about discernment, mission, and the calling to serve God overseas. There are opportunities to speak with YASC alumni and staff, to learn about specific ministries around the Anglican Communion, and ask questions. The retreat includes one-on-one conversations as well as small and larger group conversations. It is a time of mutual discernment for the applicant and the Mission Personnel Office.
Following the discernment retreat, the Mission Personnel Office will work on placement arrangements for accepted applicants. During this time, YASC candidates will work on fundraising and preparing for their placements. All candidates must attend a two-week cross-cultural orientation session, usually held in June.
Q: What does the orientation entail?
A: The two-week missionary orientation is facilitated by the Mission Personnel Office and is a mandatory part of the YASC program. During the orientation, candidates will prepare for cross-cultural life and work. Topics of discussion include, but are not limited to, guidelines and expectations for missionary service, the history of mission in The Episcopal Church and the Anglican Communion, region-specific information, cross-cultural communication, and security, health, and wellness overseas.
Q: How are YASC placements arranged, and may I request a specific placement?
A: All YASC placements are made at the request of a diocesan bishop of a diocese within the Anglican Communion. We make placements based upon the skills, gifts, and interests of the young adult and the desires of our partners around the Communion.
Q: What kinds of work do YASC volunteers do?
A: While YASC placements are personalized as much as possible, the majority of the placements are related to administration/communication, agriculture, community development, education, health care, parish ministry/chaplaincy, social services, and youth work.
Q: Where have recent YASC placements been located?
A: In the last few years, YASC volunteers have served in Costa Rica, England, France, Hong Kong, Israel, Italy, Japan, Kenya, New Zealand, Panama, the Philippines, Puerto Rico, South Africa, and Tanzania. Placements change each year depending on the gifts, skills, and interests of applicants and requests of our partners.
FINANCES, FUNDRAISING, AND HEALTH INSURANCE
Q: What costs associated with being a YASC volunteer does the Mission Personnel Office cover?
A: The Mission Personnel Office covers the cost of the discernment retreat, two-week mission orientation, re-entry retreat, language study (up to $1,200), health insurance, and a monthly stipend during the year of service.
Q: Do I have to raise funds for my year of service?
A: There is a fundraising expectation for all YASC candidates. Fundraising enables YASC volunteers to invite their parish and diocesan community – as well as friends and family – to actively participate in their mission service. Fundraising should not prevent anyone from applying to serve with YASC.
Q: I have student loans. What do I do with them while I am overseas?
A: It is possible to defer your student loans for your time overseas. The Mission Personnel Office will provide you with the appropriate paperwork.
Q: Do I get health insurance while I am overseas?
A: All YASC volunteers receive comprehensive health, dental, and life insurance. This includes coverage for emergency medical evacuation. We also cover all pre-trip vaccination costs and provide a month of coverage upon return.
IN-COUNTRY LOGISTICS AND SUPPORT
Q: What will my host diocese provide for me while I am with them?
A: The host diocese provides housing, meaningful work, and a local mentor. Depending on the location, housing ranges from family stays to private apartments.
Q: What is the role of the Mission Personnel Office while I am overseas?
A: The Mission Personnel staff will provide pastoral care and logistical support while you are overseas. Staff members follow blogs and Facebook updates and are available to talk on the phone, Skype, WhatsApp, and via e-mail. Staff members will also assist with travel arrangements, health insurance questions and issues, and reimbursements for program-related costs.
Q: What is the role of my home parish and diocese?
A: While the Mission Personnel staff will keep in touch with you during your year of service, we also expect that your home parish and diocese will do the same. They should pray for you, follow your blog, and keep in touch with you.
Q: What are the Mission Personnel Office’s expectations of me?
A: During your year of service, you should actively keep in touch with the Mission Personnel Office and your home parish and diocese. Many people choose to do this via blog or email newsletter.
Q: How will the Mission Personnel Office share my story with the wider church?
A: The Mission Personnel Office maintains a close relationship with The Episcopal Church’s Office of Communication, which sends out a media release when a new group of missionaries begins serving and often runs missionary-related news stories in the Episcopal News Service. The Mission Personnel Office also actively promotes readership of YASC blogs through episcopalchurch.org and social media.