Application and Interview Process

Eligibility requirements - Read about current volunteers

Ministry site descriptions - Communities (Houses)

Graduate school scholarships for alumni


We are excited that you're thinking about applying! Here is the overview of the application process:

I. Submit your application and personal references:  The rolling application/interview process begins with a priority deadline of December 31st and a regular application deadline of March 31st. However, if no announcement is on the homepage that all positions are filled, applications will continue to be accepted. Please call the office at 312-226-0919 before applying if it is after March 31st. Please send college and university transcript materials to Dominican Volunteers USA, 1914 S. Ashland Ave, Chicago, IL 60608. Please submit your application online and have three personal references submitted online as well.

II. Interview with DVUSA:  You will be contacted for either an in-person, phone, or online video (e.g., Skype) interview soon after your application is received, beginning the first week of January. If you do not meet the December 31st deadline, you will be contacted after all of the first round applicant interviews are scheduled.  Your interview will be with one or two DVUSA staff members and will last approximately 90 minutes. There is an opportunity during this interview for you to give input on ministry areas or specific sites that interest you.

Typically within two weeks or less a decision is made regarding acceptance to the program and notification sent. If you are accepted to DVUSA, you will receive an e-invitation to serve with DVUSA, a referral to 1-3 ministry sites and communities, and a .pdf copy of the Program Manual.  As part of this process, we expect you to utilize this website and other resources to learn more about the placements and communities.  We hope that you will pray over the possibilities, and will discuss the possibilities with family and friends.  We also hope that you will be flexible and open to serving where you are most needed.

IMPORTANT: A final match is the result of a mutual decision between you, the ministry, the community, and DVUSA, and is conditional on results of a background check. An invitation to join is not a guarantee of final placement.

III. Interview with a particular ministry:  Once we together discern ministry possibilities for the coming year, you should expect to interview directly with the ministries.  Within five days of receiving your invitation to join, you will be contacted by ministry site supervisors for an interview. The interview should take place within two weeks of your contact. It may be desirable for you to interview with multiple ministries; most applicants are referred to 1-3 sites.  In-person meetings with ministries are strongly encouraged when possible for you, but phone interviews are also common. This interview is another professional interview, and you may be one of 2-3 candidates (potentially from DVUSA or in some rare cases even from another service program) referred to a specific site as a potential match, so preparation is important. After these interviews are complete, you will notify DVUSA staff, who will then contact the ministry site supervisors for their feedback. DVUSA will then contact you for your feedback and discuss your site preferences. This is a fluid process where your input is highly valued and respected.

IV. Interview with a particular community: After finding a match with a ministry, you will be referred to a Dominican sister or friar in the potential host community. Typically, there is only one option for community with each ministry, though accommodations can be considered when requested. You will have a conversation with this contact (and possibly the whole community) so you can learn about the setup, living arrangements, schedules, expectations, and personalities of the community, and so that they can learn about you. While DVUSA cannot pay for you to travel to see a community, if possible for you, we encourage you to visit and have a meal or spend a night there during your discernment. After this interview or visit is complete, you will contact DVUSA staff with your feedback, as will the community contact.

V. Finalize Placement:  A final placement is the result of a mutual decision between you, the ministry, the community, and DVUSA. For those that apply by December 31st, we work to finalize placements by March 31st. All applicants should be finalized by May 31st.  Late applicants will be placed on a rolling basis until all positions are filled. An applicant with a finalized placement secures their position by signing and sending a Commitment Statement (in the Program Manual previously sent with the invitation to join) to DVUSA. After submitting this statement, backing out of the program has significant financial and programmatic consequences for DVUSA and the ministry site if spots are left unfilled, so it is a step we welcome being taken with serious consideration. Applicants are typically given two weeks after all interviews to submit the statement, and until it is received by DVUSA, DVUSA reserves the right to refer other applicants to open ministries and communities.

VI. Supplemental submissions: After a placement is finalized, applicants are asked to submit a health review signed by their physician, a fingerprint background check, and other enrollment paperwork (e.g., health insurance, payroll, I-9, etc.). The health review does not affect acceptance to DVUSA, but it can affect specific placement decisions if a community's living arrangements cannot reasonably accommodate an applicant's health needs. Final placement is conditional on the results of the background check.

We hope you will apply, and please don't hesitate to call 312-226-0919 or email with any questions regarding the application process!