Mission & Values

Mission

The Lutheran Volunteer Corps is a community of faith uniting people to work for peace with justice.

We pursue our mission by placing Volunteers in full-time service positions at social-justice organizations for one or two years. All LVC Volunteers are encouraged to live into LVC’s core spiritual practices of living simply and sustainably in intentional community while serving the cause of peace with justice. In its program, LVC places a particular emphasis on racism, oppression, and privilege and how these contribute to ongoing injustice in our society. It also explores the role that spirituality plays in inspiring and sustaining work in the quest for peace with justice.

LVC places Volunteers in nonprofits across the United States in Baltimore, Berkeley, Chicago, Milwaukee, Minneapolis, Oakland, Omaha, San Francisco, St. Paul, Seattle, Tacoma, Washington, D.C., and Wilmington. Serving alongside those in their placements, LVC Volunteers actively respond to the gifts and needs of their community members. Partnering with their placements, LVC Volunteers provide direct service, community organizing, indirect service, advocacy and public policy.

God's love is open to all - Luther Place Memorial Church, Washington, DC
God’s love is open to all – Luther Place Memorial Church, Washington, DC

Core Spiritual Practices

LVC encourages volunteers, placements, supporters, and staff members in our core spiritual practices of intentional community, working for peace with justice, and living simply and sustainably.

Anti-Racism Work

As part of our mission, LVC is on a Journey to an Inclusive Community, forming and strengthening alliances among people of many cultures and communities, and intentionally dismantling racism in our organization, the church and society.

Reconciling in Christ

As a Reconciling in Christ organization, LVC welcomes and encourages the full participation of people of all sexual orientations,  gender identities, and gender expressions.

Our Lutheran Faith

Lutheran Volunteer Corps is a Christian ministry steeped in Lutheran traditions and theology which welcomes and celebrates the participation of persons of all faith traditions.

It is the intent of Lutheran Volunteer Corps to maintain affiliation with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA).  On this firm foundation Lutheran Volunteer Corps continues to grow and serve the community. LVC also participates in the Lutheran Immersion and Formation (LIFE) in Service network, consisting of the 5 ELCA-affiliated service year programs: ALT Year, Border Servant Corps, Lutheran Volunteer Corps, Urban Servant Corps and Young Adults in Global Mission.

If you want to learn more about Lutheranism, and the role of Lutheran theology and practice within LVC, please refer to our six-page primer “About the ‘L’ in LVC“.  You may find it useful to refer to our basic Lutheran Glossary as you read.

Religious Diversity

LVC is the most religiously diverse faith-based volunteer program in the US. Yearly, about 1/3 of LVC Volunteers are ELCA Lutheran, 1/3 are from other Christian denominations, and the last third come from a variety of other religious and spiritual traditions, including atheism and agnosticism. 

We do not discriminate on the basis of religious affiliation when hiring staff members, approving placements, or selecting LVC Volunteers. LVC is not under the authority of any particular church organization and is governed by an independent, national board of directors (most of whom are Lutheran and some of whom are not).

Spiritual Growth

A significant component weaved throughout the LVC experience is exploring spirituality. LVC staff and board commit to have a spiritual centering practice at every meeting and Volunteers are encouraged to use this year (and beyond!) to explore their own spirituality in the context of community. Accompanied by a spirituality mentor, Volunteers meet monthly as a house to do activities and have conversations related to spirituality. Also, in the 2015-16 program year, a number of LVC Volunteers are participating in two online contextual theology courses taught by Luther Seminary faculty, to provide a space for deeper theological reflection on their service year.