LVC’s “legacy” program was founded in 1979! LVC places adults over 21 years of age (“Fellows”) in full-time service positions at organizations across the United States in Baltimore, Minneapolis, and Washington, D.C.— for one or two years. Group housing is provided for Volunteers who live together and are encouraged to explore LVC’s core principles: living simply and sustainably in intentional community while serving the cause of peace with justice. LVC places emphasis on using a liberatory lens in its social justice curriculum; and Fellows develop broad leadership skills while being placed with food justice, legal aid, environment, housing, immigration, education, health care, and other social justice missions. Many Fellows for the service year are new college grads, while others are mid-career, retired, between jobs, etc. — as the program is open to adults in all phases of life. A small stipend is provided.
LVC fellowships are not employment, and fellows are not employees; fellowships are volunteer learning experiences where fellows commit to the experience, and Placement partners provide a service opportunity for the year (or half) term. Expectations of service learning are not the same as employee and employer relationships; but center on the development of the fellow. As each fellow is different, each will bring a different set of gifts and growth opportunities — as will each Placement. All parties uphold foundational LVC values around welcoming of LGBTQ+ and BIPOC, and social justice.
Highlights of the Year-Long program include:
- Year-long service in an LVC program city
- Group housing, utilities, and Internet provided by LVC
- Modest stipend
- Health insurance, work-related transportation reimbursement
- Exploration of simplicity, sustainability and faith perspectives while living in intentional community
- Placement in a fellowship position with a partner organization
- A year-long learning series on a variety of topics facilitated by experts, practitioners, researchers, and Fellows
- Vocational discernment
NEW! LVC Virtual-Only (Remote) Semesters
LVC launched a flexible program in 2020 placing fellows over 21 at any stage of life, with virtual-only service opportunities. Flex fellows serve from their own hometown, and still commit to spending time together every week exploring the values of living in community, simply and sustainably. They also participate in LVC’s monthly Program Days, outside of daily service with their Placement. A small stipend is provided.
- Semester — Most fellows start in August for a full year. Flex semesters are virtual-only and we suggest they start in August so the virtual fellow can journey on the same schedule as the in-person cohort; but this is not required, and virtual positions can start at any time.
- Limited Duration — Virtual positions are typically half-year or full-year. Virtual positions may be renewed for an additional term.
- Availability — Virtual positions are limited compared to full-year, and depend on partners having positions that can be served remotely (direct service positions can not be virtual).
- Housing — Housing is typically not provided for virtual positions, but may be an option upon request if space is available in one of LVC’s houses.
Highlights of Virtual-Only service include:
- Semesters of half and full year
- Fellows can live anywhere in the U.S.
- Modest stipend
- Health insurance
- Exploration of simplicity, sustainability and faith perspectives while meeting weekly with other virtual fellows over the length of the program
- Placement in a virtual-only position with a social justice partner organization
- Monthly Program Day learning series on social justice topics, facilitated by experts, practitioners, researchers, and fellows
(Note: LVC retains the right to modify program services from one year to the next based on budget, new ideas, and needed modifications.)
Both programs require the following:
- At least 21 years of age
- Self-motivated, mature, stable
- Can commit to the program year from August to July, or virtual semester duration
- Interest in social justice work
- Wants to grow and engage with other fellows in intentional community and exploration of LVC values
- Wants to explore living simply/sustainability, spirituality, and social justice in practice
- Wants to expand anti-racism/oppression and social justice skillset by participating in self-guided and LVC-designed learning experiences
- Able to live in modest rental housing provided by LVC with a group of other fellows; or connect regularly with other fellows if serving remotely
- Able to have positive, healthy social interactions with others to promote living and/or working together
Cost of the Program
While the cost of benefits provided may average around $35,000 per year, fellows participate at little to no cost. In exchange for this grant of program services, fellows must commit to participate and engage fully for the duration of the program chosen, whether in person or remotely. Fellows sign a 3-Way Contract between the fellow, Placement, and LVC.
The cost of programming is shared by the nonprofit organization partners that provide a service position (Placements cover 30-50%), and LVC, which raises funds year-round. Partner organizations can request a worksheet to determine their fees, which are based on the organization’s salaries and benefits line as reported in the most recent 990.
There is a cost to fellows if they leave the program early. Fellows that leave the program early return part of this $35,000 grant amount to the Placement organization, since the Placement has committed to the fellow with its fees paid to LVC and service position for the full year or semester. Additionally, the Placement has depended on the fellow fulfilling the position requirements and often can not easily replace the fellow. The fellows reimbursement to LVC and the Placement host is a percentage of the cost, and depends on the length of time served.
Along with leadership development, skill building, social justice experience to propel new careers and engage more deeply in the social justice movement, and vocational discernment that fellows gain; alumni often report the living out of LVC values around community, simple and sustainable living, and exploration of spirituality perspectives, as lessons that remain with them throughout their lives.
Nonprofit partners gain fellows to advance their social justice missions. Placements also participate in LVC’s learning series as presenters to engage their employees in mission advocacy and discussions around social justice topics.