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(Austin Young Adult Volunteers/ AmeriCorps)
About AYAVA House
Ayava House at Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary is an Intentional Community for young adults, with the following guiding principles:
  • Vocational discernment
  • Service to the community
  • Theological reflection
  • Engagement in spiritual practices
  • Simple living

Many young adults have grown up with service learning as an integral part of their high school and undergraduate education, as well as their church experience through short-term mission trips. The faith and values of these young adults have been shaped by these service learning experiences and they continue to value service as an integral part of their adult lives. Young adults are making decisions about careers and discerning participation in faith communities based on opportunities for continuing involvement in service. Institutions of theological education like Austin Seminary are uniquely equipped with the resources to provide service opportunities, theological reflection on those experiences, a sense of intentional community, and vocational discernment to integrate values and faith into the lives and careers of these young adults.

Many young adults who participate in such year-long service learning experiences (PCUSA Young Adult Volunteers, AmeriCorp, Peace Corp, CityYear) choose to enter the professional ministry, work for non-profit agencies, or go into other service-oriented professions. Austin Seminary recognizes the value of preparing these individuals by providing them with tools of discernment and theological reflection, as well as helping them to establish networks of colleagues in ministry and service that will nurture them for a lifetime.

Austin Seminary desires to offer its resources as an institution of theological education to a broader audience, sharing the experience of the seminary community with those who may never formally enter a seminary degree program but who will be leaders in their faith traditions and their communities of residence nevertheless. For this reason, Austin Seminary is dedicating a portion of its resources to the establishment of Ayava House.



Young adults, ages 21-29, who desire an intentional residential experience with the guiding principles listed above for 12 months. The program year will generally run from September through August.


Participants will live in community, housed on the APTS campus, sharing meals together on a regular basis. They will engage in regular service to the greater Austin community, both on an occasional volunteer basis and as a full-time “volunteer service corps” participant (either through the YAV program of the PCUSA, AmeriCorp, or a similar program). They will participate in corporate and individual spiritual practices, theological reflection, and vocational discernment, guided by faculty and staff of APTS. Opportunities for informal interaction with the students, faculty, and staff of APTS will also be regularly scheduled.

For more information, or to apply, contact


William West


Carolina Treviño



Participants will engage in a year of service in an internship-type placement (AmeriCorp or another placement), for the purpose of exploring vocation and service. They will live in a communal residential situation for the purpose of discernment and learning. They will also have the opportunity to experience theological education even though they are not formally enrolled in a degree program of the seminary.


Austin Seminary will house participants on campus, in a shared apartment, and provide program oversight and coordination. The Ayava House program coordinator will have primary responsibility for scheduling all aspects of the intentional living experience, from quarterly retreats to weekly house meals to monthly conversations and interactions with seminary faculty and administration.

Interested persons will apply through the Office of Admissions of Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary, and will be screened by the Vice President for Admissions and the Ayava House program coordinator. Selected applicants must agree to participate in all programmatic aspects of the Ayava House Program. A criminal background check is required of all adults living on the Austin Seminary campus as part of the housing application process.


The cost per participant for rent/utilities and programming will be $310/month. Selected participants must sign an “Intent to Participate” form, indicating their acceptance of an offer to join the House, and pay a $100 non-refundable housing deposit (which will be applied to the first month’s rent). Proof of adequate health insurance is mandatory and is the responsibility of the participant. A shared “house budget” will be developed in the first week of residency.

AYAVA House slideshow


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100 E. 27th Street Austin, Texas 78705
P: 512-404-4800
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