Our Ministry of Service
Volunteers of America is a Christian church without walls dedicated to serving ALL people. We embrace the fullness of cultural, denominational, ethnic, political, racial, and theological differences. We acknowledge and respect the plurality of sexual and gender identity; and the diversity of voices that comes with difference in age, life experiences, and socioeconomic status. We believe every individual is made in the image of God and deserves to be lifted up to the glory of God.
We especially seek and strive to:
- Reflect Jesus' love for all people, especially the most vulnerable and marginalized through authentic engagement with the communities we serve;
- Pay attention with sensitivity to every individual's cultural narrative and the possible influence of our actions, words, prayers and praise;
- Have courageous conversations amid difference; and
- Uphold the values of diversity and inclusion in our acts of social service, worship and communal life.
In addition to being one of the nation's largest and most comprehensive human services organizations, Volunteers of America is an interdenominational church — a church with a distinctive ministry of service. For more than 124 years, Volunteers of America has provided essential services to heal both the body and soul. We provide human service programs and opportunities for individual and community involvement for people of all faiths.
Many of Volunteers of America's religious beliefs and practices can be traced in a direct line to the Methodist reforms and revivalism of the 18th century, and the social gospel movement of the 19th and early 20th centuries. More immediately, the church of Volunteers of America is an outgrowth of Salvationism, founded in England in 1878 by William Booth, an evangelical Methodist minister and the father of Ballington Booth, co-founder of Volunteers of America.
Volunteers of America has been ecumenical from the beginning. Its ministers have always come from all Christian faith traditions. In fact, ministers are encouraged to be active in other Christian churches for worship, service to others and continued spiritual growth. This understanding of ministry derives from the foundation of Volunteers of America as both a church itself and as an "auxiliary" to the universal Christian church with a special mission of service.
Volunteers of America offers people a very unique opportunity to put their faith into action. Working together with the help of our committed volunteer board members and volunteers, we can achieve our collective mission and make the world a more compassionate place to live.