The SJW Program is a service year program of women committed to social change. We build our Program around justice, spirituality, leadership and living in intentional community.

We strive to go beyond the usual volunteer experience by incorporating transformative components that allow women to reflect on their work and explore new possibilities for their lives. Each SJW works at their placement for thirty-six hours a week. Four hours each week are dedicated to training, educational opportunities, community time, spiritual growth, activism, and learning community organizing skills. By harnessing individual talents and passions, SJWs help create a better future for themselves, and the local and global community. Here are a few of the dynamic tools that SJWs use to become change agents.


Each Worker is matched with a non-profit organization where they serve for 36 hours each week. Our placements allow SJWs to do direct service or advocacy, serve in education, social services or health care environments and provide community outreach or communications. Our Workers are matched with an available placement site that best fits their interests, skills and passion.


Workers live together in an intentional community. More than just being roommates, living in community means sharing resources like transportation and a food budget and building relationships with each person by sharing time and experiences together. Creating community takes time, engagement and willingness to be honest and vulnerable with each other.


Each year Program staff seeks out and offers various local and national opportunities to enhance social justice knowledge and provide experiential learning. Past opportunities have included legislative advocacy with Joint Religious Legislative Coalition, Whipple building vigils, US/Mexico border immersion and service, attending the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women in New York, NY and participating in area social justice conferences.


A regular part of the program is the opportunity to delve more deeply into the program values of spirituality, social justice, leadership and living in intentional community. This takes place as:

  • Monthly program days for trainings, reflection and community building.
  • Monthly mentoring meetings with SJW Program Staff
  • Multiple retreats
  • Individual professional and justice focused connections


One-to-Ones, a cornerstone of good community organizing, are casual meetings over coffee involving two people who meet to consciously share their stories and their passions. Initiating one-to-ones is a skill that builds strong connections with leaders and other mentors in the Twin Cities area. This public relationship building is invaluable for the Workers and makes change happen.


In addition to the intangible benefits and personal growth that happens in a service year, our Program also provides:

  • Stipend
  • Housing
  • Food Allowance
  • Transportation for program activities
  • Health Insurance
  • Spiritual Mentor
  • College loan deferment or forbearance
  • AmeriCorps Education Award – if eligible (see below)
  • Ongoing connection to the community of Sisters of St Joseph


The St Joseph Worker Program is an AmeriCorps affiliate through our partnership with Notre Dame Mission Volunteers. Many of our St. Joseph Worker positions are AmeriCorps positions as well. Completing an AmeriCorps service year for qualifying positions earns an Educational Award of $6195 to repay past federal loans or to use towards future schooling. AmeriCorps Members are also connected with other AmeriCorps communities and resources.


To learn more about the St. Joseph Worker Program, contact our staff:

Lisa Murphy: or Bridgette Kelly:

Find more program details on our website and learn more about our online application process.

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September 15th, 2023

Posted In: Uncategorized