“I learned that service in its truest sense is not about only volunteering—but about devoting your life and all your work to Christ and putting all of your heart into all you do each day. This is a completely priceless experience and there are indescribable things to learn from it.”

—CAP Volunteer

Long-term Christian Appalachian Project Volunteers make a commitment of one year, with an option to apply for an additional year. Though we have volunteers of all ages, most of our long-term volunteers are either recent college graduates engaged in post-graduate volunteering, or retirees who want to continue to make a difference in their “encore careers.” Because of the greater time commitment they are making, long-term volunteers are able to take on mission-critical service positions that require someone willing to give the time and energy needed to address Appalachia’s most persistent challenges. CAP typically has two admissions cycles for long-term volunteers, though exceptions are made when one of our programs has an urgent need. Please see our admissions timeline for important dates.

Benefits of Long-term Volunteering

Long-term volunteers receive a multitude of benefits from their service time, including

  • Immersion into the communities they are serving
  • Intentional Christian community
  • Lasting friendships
  • Valuable job-related experience
  • Two retreats per year, one of which focuses on vocation (i.e. “Life after CAP”)

Even though volunteers receive many intangible benefits, it is important to note that making a long-term commitment can be a significant financial sacrifice. CAP offers the following benefits to long-term volunteers to help make volunteering more feasible:

  • Room and board
  • Modest stipend
  • Health insurance
  • Vacation days
  • Potential student loan deferment
  • Potential AmeriCorps Education Award to repay eligible student loans and/or pay tuition expenses


To become a long-term CAP Volunteer, you must meet the following requirements:

  • Minimum age of 18 years old with a high school diploma or equivalent.
  • For positions that require volunteers to drive a CAP vehicle, applicants must be 21 or older with a good driving record. There are a limited number of positions available for non-drivers.
  • Complete a volunteer application, including a complete driving records check, three personal references, and a national background check.
  • Be personally interviewed by CAP Volunteer Program staff and at least two service program managers.
  • Pass a drug screening upon arrival at CAP.

We are looking for volunteers who are dependable, flexible, mature, self-starting, fast learners, sensitive to other cultures, religions, etc., able to live in community, have a sense of humor, and have a desire to serve others. For many programs, we can teach the particular skills needed to succeed in your service position; what we can’t teach is a compassionate heart and a passion for our mission.

Please refer to our Frequently Asked Questions page for more information about long-term volunteering.

Pillars of CAP Volunteer Life

At Commissioning, long-term volunteers are invited to sign a covenant representing their commitment to our core values of Service, Community, and Spirituality. Follow the links below to learn how each value contributes to the volunteer experience.

CAP Volunteers serve in a variety of programs that utilize a self-help philosophy for those living in poverty and that uplift young people.

Whether a volunteer lives in one of CAP’s volunteer communities or independently, each volunteer makes a commitment to community life by sharing in the joys, challenges, and growth that comes with being a long-term CAP Volunteer.

CAP is an interdenominational organization that encourages people to share their faith and express it through their actions. Personal spiritual growth can be an integral part of the CAP Volunteer experience. To foster a spiritual environment, volunteers gather for prayer and reflection after weekday dinners.