Mission Year Program

Mission Year is an invitation for 18-30 year olds (single and married) to embody love and justice for a year in community in Atlanta, Chicago, Houston, or Philadelphia.

As a Mission Year team member, you will be rooted in the neighborhood, become part of the local community, worship and serve alongside your neighbors, and live into being an advocate for solidarity and justice.

You are invited to pursue 8 core values and practices that will transform you and the city:

FAITH

Embodying love for God and people

Justice

Moving from awareness to action

Community

Developing authentic relationships

Diversity

Committing to inclusion across dividing lines

Neighborhood

Being rooted in place

Solidarity

Sharing in the joys and struggles with those at the margins

Partnership

Learning from and supporting local leaders

Service

Working toward the common good

In Mission Year you will:

 

  • Come alongside what God is doing in the city by partnering with local churches, organizations, leaders, activists, and neighbors who are transforming their communities.
  • Live as neighbors and share life together in community with a team of diverse Christians.
  • Devote 32 hours a week in holistic professional service to those who experience the realities of relational and systemic injustice.
  • Become active in a local church and deepen your relationship with God.
  • Embrace a lifestyle of intentionality and enter more fully into solidarity with your neighbors.
  • Work for justice by loving your neighbors as yourself and advocating for change in the neighborhood and world.

Your weekly schedule revolves around rhythms of life that enable you to better love God, love people, and live out justice.

CITIES

BENEFITS OF MISSION YEAR

Trainings

You will attend trainings on topics like spiritual formation, diversity/inclusion, antiracism, city-specific justice issues, conflict resolution, and community development.

Housing, Food, and Local Transportation Costs Covered

We cover all housing costs including utilities, and provide your team with money for groceries and local public transportation each month.

Professional Development

You will gain work experience and build professional skills at your service site and through city trainings.

Health Insurance Coverage Available

If you are not covered by your parent/guardian’s health insurance plan, you may be eligible for a basic accident/illness policy through Cigna. There is no cost for this coverage.

Graduate / Undergraduate credit

Earn college and graduate credit through our partnership with Eastern University. Contact us for more information.

One-on-one mentoring and pastoral care

You will meet one-on-one monthly with your City Director and also have the opportunity to be paired with a mentor in your Mission Year city.

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Monthly Living Stipend

You will receive $80/month for personal expenses and discretionary spending.

Retreats

You will get to spend time in guided reflection on who you are, where you come from, and how the various facets of your identity influence the ways you see the world.

Monthly Counseling/Spiritual Direction/Life Coaching allowance

Mission Year provides up to $50/month for you to pursue personal growth, healing, and spiritual formation.

How We’re Different

Mission Year is inter-denominational, which means we intentionally create a diverse space where Christians from across the theological and political spectrum can come together to build beloved community. We are one of the most diverse yearlong programs because we have made diversity a program priority. We center marginalized identities and do not remain silent when it comes to injustice and oppression in our communities. Mission Year focuses on personal, communal, and systemic change, rather than just one aspect. We believe faith and justice are intimately connected. Our justice work is rooted in relationship. Our love for our neighbors moves us to take action. We have built trust with community leaders and organizations and have credibility in our cities. We purposefully partner with indigenous leaders and leaders of color. Each city has a City Director who provides pastoral support, mentoring, and on-going training. We normalize mental health issues and encourage counseling and emotional care. Mission Year consults with other yearlong programs, community houses, and internship programs and has helped launch over 50 different ministry programs. Mission Year provides more structure, support, and intentionality around pursuing faith and justice than other programs or internships which allows for dynamic transformation in every area of your life.

Lena’s Story

How Mission Year changed a perspective on community.

Jenelles’s Story

How Mission Year deepened a passion for justice.

Demyron’s Story

How Mission Year supported a calling in ministry.

Dawson’s Story

How Mission Year revealed new opportunities after school.

Ruth’s Story

How Mission Year connected a career with a passion.

Nate & Zeny’s Story

How Mission Year influenced their marriage and purpose.

Living in an urban neighborhood and spending time with our neighbors has made me more attuned to the struggles our neighbors face. It’s made me more motivated to shape my life around compassionate service because I’ve come to see it as an integral part of my call as a follower of Christ.

Mary Bingham
(Team Member)

MISSION YEAR MARRIED

Mission Year Married invites you to fall more in love with God, the city, and your partner. Mission Year Married is a transformational journey for Christian married couples longing to merge marriage and ministry. In Mission Year Married, couples will live as intentional neighbors in a community while pursuing a lifestyle of loving God and loving people. While the program shares the same basic model as Mission Year, you will have some marriage-focused curriculum to read and discuss with your housemates. In addition, Mission Year hosts a marriage retreat to promote flourishing in your marriage and ministry. You will also have the option to meet with a married couple for mentoring and extra support.

FAQS

Is Mission Year affiliated with a certain denomination or tradition?
We are an inter-denominational Christian ministry. We welcome Christians from all across the theological spectrum to come together to love God and love people in the city.
What is the age requirement of Mission Year?
Mission Year invites 18-30 year olds, single and married, to pursue a lifestyle of loving God, loving people, and living out justice in the city.
What cities is Mission Year in?

Currently, we have openings in Chicago, Houston, Atlanta/LaGrange, and Philadelphia.

How are city placements determined?
We try to match applicant’s passions and skills with the needs of our local urban communities. We ask applicants for their top city preferences and do a skills assessment to make the best placements. Early bird applicants have a much greater chance of receiving their preference city.
Who are you looking for?
We are looking for passionate, committed people with a heart for Jesus and justice. We are looking for people willing to listen, learn, and become part of the life of the neighborhood. We are looking for authentic people with a diverse range of passions and skills that are ready to put the needs of others ahead of themselves.
Where will I serve?
In each of our neighborhoods we are partnered with dynamic organizations and ministries that are transforming the community. You will devote around 32 hours a week at a service site that is addressing the holistic needs of the most vulnerable in the city. To see a list of our current service site partners, click here.
What is justice?
We define justice as the way God intends the world to be. Justice is a tangible expression of love. It involves loving our neighbors in all the ways we love ourselves, standing with those who are suffering, and interrupting the systems that steal, kill, and destroy.
What areas of justice do you address?
We work in areas of education, homelessness, mentoring, arts, healthcare, legal aid, human trafficking, food justice, youth violence, immigration, community development, and public policy to give hope and bring about lasting change in our communities.
What are the program dates and application deadlines?

Mission Year runs from early September to late July each year. Our annual application deadlines are:

November 15th (early-earlybird)
March 15th (earlybird)
June 15th (final deadline)

We accept applications on a rolling basis. Have questions? Give us a call at 888-340-YEAR (9327) or contact us here.

Will my friends and family be able to visit? Can I visit home during the year?
Yes! Each year we host two “Come and See” Weekends, and we encourage you to invite your loved ones to, well, come and see what your Mission Year looks like and to meet your new friends and neighbors. Also, Team Members have two weeks off for Christmas, as well as a Spring Break that coordinates with the public school calendar in your city.
How is Mission Year Married different?

Mission Year Married is similar to the Mission Year program with a few key differences. In Mission Year Married, you live in community with other married couples, receive on-going marriage support and mentoring, read and discuss marriage-focused curriculum, and attend a marriage enrichment retreat.

What do people do after Mission Year?
Mission Year alums are serving in hundreds of different fields. Many are offered jobs in their Mission Year city, some go to college or grad school, some find new vocational direction and others continue on their path but with new eyes and purpose in their vocation. Want to talk to an alum? We can connect you with an alum in your area or your field of interest.
Can I earn academic credit?
Yes! You can earn undergraduate and graduate credit for Eastern University through Mission Year’s academic partnership.
Can my college loans be deferred?
Yes! In most cases, your federal college loans can be deferred for the year.
Does Mission Year have short-term options?

Yes! Mission Year flips the script on the typical mission trip. For us, missions is not just a trip, it’s a lifestyle. Our weekend retreats and week-long justice trips bring together Christians from all ages and backgrounds to experience transformation by encountering God in the city. For an unforgettable experience that will lead to lasting change, bring your college group, church, or youth group on a Mission Year justice trip! Contact us for dates and other details.

How much does Mission Year cost?

Mission Year covers all your living expenses for the year including housing, utilities, groceries, transportation, and monthly living stipend so you can focus fully on loving God and loving people. Everyone is asked to participate in collective support raising efforts to help offset costs but everything is provided regardless of how much you raise. We give everyone a goal of $8,800 to work toward, and tons of support and guidance along the way. Bottom line: we do not want money keeping anyone from this experience. For more information contact our Development Director.

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