We are not currently accepting new applications for the volunteer role you are interested in, but your opportunity to serve could be next.
We want everyone to have a chance to volunteer on board, so we came up with a way to keep you updated as we open applications. We also want to give you the chance to get to know Mercy Ships. Fill out the form below and keep scrolling to read our most common FAQs!
We want to let you know when new opportunities become available.
Fill out the form to express your interest.
Be sure to use your preferred email address and professional field or skill.
Our recruiters send you updates.
We will email you when new opportunities become available that match your interest.
Seize the opportunity!
As soon as a position opens that interests you, begin your application and apply.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is this a volunteer position?
Yes, all Mercy Ships ship-based positions are unpaid, volunteer opportunities.
What languages do I need to know?
English proficiency is required for all positions in Mercy Ships, and fluency is required for some positions. French is beneficial, but not required unless stated on the job description.
For English proficiency, while Mercy Ships does not currently require proof of examination, we use the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) as a reference for English proficiency. All volunteers must be at level B1 on the CEFR scale (Independent User – Threshold or Intermediate) or higher in order to join onboard.
Level B1 summary:
- Can understand the main points of clear standard input on familiar matters regularly encountered in work, school, leisure, etc.
- Can deal with situations likely to arise while traveling in an area where the language is spoken.
- Can produce simple connected text on topics that are familiar or of personal interest.
- Can describe experiences and events, dreams, hopes, and ambitions and briefly give reasons and explanations for opinions and plans.
You may refer to the full summary of each level by clicking here.
How much does it cost?
Volunteers are responsible for crew fees, personal expenses, and transportation to and from a ship’s location. Crew fees are paid by all adult volunteers and vary in amount depending on commitment length and country of residence. Financial support is available for volunteers serving 24+ months, or for any crew in qualifying maritime roles. Contact a recruiter for more information.
Who can apply?
Mercy Ships welcomes a wide range of skills and demographics – we have a place onboard for you! Here are a few details to keep in mind: All volunteers must be between 18 and 70 years old* to join, must be in good health, and meet the physical demands of living onboard. Married couples and families are welcome to apply! (* temporary upper age limit due to COVID measures.)
How long does the application process take?
We recommend that volunteers apply six months before their preferred service dates, but the application process can be expedited. Applications can remain on file for up to two years. For an overview of the application process, check out our How to Apply page. If you have completed your application and have questions, contact us here.
Where are the ships? How do I travel to a ship?
Mercy Ships primarily delivers care and service in West Africa. All volunteers fly into an airport close to a ship’s port location and are transported to their ship by a Mercy Ships representative. (Don’t worry! Our team will guide you when the time comes to book your air travel.) Sailing isn’t involved unless your service dates line up with a sail – we remain in port for 10 months. For more info on our ships, visit Our Ships.
Do you require the COVID-19 vaccine?
We require several inoculations for all volunteers serving onboard.
- Hepatitis B
- Tetanus / Diphtheria
- Tuberculosis testing
- Yellow Fever
- Hepatitis A and Typhoid – only required for some roles
For detailed information regarding how Mercy Ships is operating during COVID-19, click here.
Can I apply if I am not a Christian or currently not attending a church?
Mercy Ships welcomes short-term volunteers who would like to give of their time, efforts, and expertise, regardless of religion. We regularly have non-Christians and/or those who are not currently a member of a church apply to volunteer. Although most of our staff and volunteers are followers of Jesus, we will consider all applicants. There are certain leadership positions where we do require the candidate to be a Christian and to be a strong spiritual leader in order to lead prayer meetings and lead their teams spiritually. All volunteers must have a lifestyle consistent with our Core Values and be willing to adhere to our Code of Conduct.