The Volunteer Experience

Volunteers commit to a year of service and living simply in community. Each class starts in August with an orientation and completes their year at the end of the following July with formal closing. Volunteers are allowed sick and vaction time and paid a small stipend to cover basic living expenses.

Every Friday we meet together to take intentional time to connect as a group and reflect on where we see God at work. This time may take a number of forms but is intended to be a time to help us all make meaning of our week, reconnect with each other and with God and to get out of our norm to experience a new aspect of Detroit.

Motor City Mission Corps is a full-time, immersive program.

Challenge: Race & Privilege

Racism is an active force in our society and has had a significant influence on the history of Detroit. One cannot do work in the city without aknowleding the role that race has played in shaping it’s landscape. Detroit is a majority African-American city but race also shapes the history of the mostly white surrounding suburbs. Racism is about more than simple prejudice, it is felt in the enduring systems that shape all our lives and has skewed the availability of opportunities and resources. In many ways, racism is the challenge of Detroit.

We will challenge the role of racism, first within ourselves, then in the world around us, looking for ways to dismantle racist systems. Volunteers take this perspective into their organizations, looking for ways to alter the norm of white privielge while honoring relationships and the wisdom of those already at work in the community.

The challenge will come, not only in adopting an anti-racist perspective, but also in reconciling that perspective with their work with real people who might not see the world the same way.

Work: Apprenticeship

Volunteers practice not to become fisherman and shepherds but general contractors in the Kingdom of God. Volunteers are placed in organizations working on the toughest problems facing Detroit; poverty, housing, drug addiction, equitable education. Each of our organizational partners has a solid reputation for the work they do in the community.

Volunteers are supported with an initial orientation to prepare them for the cross cultural experience of serving in a new context. Partner organziations also provide training and ongoing support specific to their role.

Partners are commited to supporting volunteers’ professional development and establishing a mentor-apprentice relationship. Volunteers are not abandoned to the wilds of their work alone, rather they are challenged to step out futher than they thought they could.

Living: Community

In community we find friendship and support. Your class of volunteers will become a second family, bound not by affinity but by a mutual commitment of friendship and support. Participants are encouraged to recognize and draw energy from the layers of community around them; at work, at church, in the neighborhood and in the residence. This will be a challenging year but one that firmly places the volunteer in the midst of supportive communities.

Your year of service will be a year of living simply. We intentionally postpone many luxuries in order to focus on the work we do and the life of our residential community. Volunteers are provided basic housing, a small stipend for basic living expenses and assistance in finding creative ways to make ends meet.

Discernment: Vocation

Part of our process involves taking time to explore together who God is calling you to be. A sense of Calling often takes work and intentionality to discover. Through theological reflection, group process, and spiritual practices volunteers learn to listen for God’s voice and recognize the patterns that show where God is at work in the world.

We work together throughout the year to expand awareness around issues facing the communities we serve. We’ll look at the history of Detroit, the ways that our own history intersects with it and the role that race continues to play in shaping the fortunes of the city. On a weekly basis we will meet together for an intentional time of reflection, restoration and making meaning of the experiences of the week.



Participants will receive a small stipend to cover basic living expenses. Additional material support will be provided by local Detroit congregations.


Volunteers should plan on arriving no later than 5:00 pm on Sunday, August 27th. We’ll do a week of orientation and work in placements begins September 5, 2017.

Year one will be complete by August 18, 2018.

Who do volunteers work with and what do they do?

Our Partners


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