Our Ministry of Service
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 118 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. Our ministry is one of service, nondiscriminatory in the delivery of our
services, providing assistance to people of all faiths. Volunteers of
America never requires those we help to participate in worship services
or even to acknowledge specific beliefs. Yet, all of our programs and
human services are motivated by and exemplify Christian beliefs and
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.