Bethlehem Farm

Goal of Program

Bethlehem Farm is a Catholic community in Appalachia that transforms lives through service with the local community and the teaching of sustainable practices. We invite volunteers to join us in living the Gospel cornerstones of service, prayer, simplicity, and community.

Type of Placement

Caretaker: live in intentional Christian community year-round and provide service-retreats for youth and adults through community service (primarily low-income home repair, and also including organic farming). Caretakers live out the four cornerstones of prayer, community, simplicity, and service as members of the Summers, Monroe and Greenbrier county communities, while also fulfilling the various administrative roles that keep the nonprofit going. Opportunities include rural Appalachian ministry, construction, home repair, retreat planning, youth ministry, office management, hospitality, gardening, environmental activism, and community building. Summer Servant: live with the Caretaker community to participate in community life, help with daily chores, and contribute to group week activities for 2 weeks-3 months from April-October. Service-Week Participant: A week-long service retreat experience provided by volunteer Caretakers is available for teens, college students, adults, and families.

Service Area

Summers County, West Virginia and surrounding counties. Appalachia.

Service Length

Caretakers: 1 yr (renewable, some have stayed as long as 18 years and counting). Summer Servants: 2 wks-3 mos Service-Week Participant: Week-long volunteer experiences for teens and adults.

Program Size

6-12 full-time community members. 1-12 additional people from April-October. Service-Week Participants: up to 32 participants during scheduled service-retreat weeks.


Caretakers: desire to live in community, service, simplicity, prayer; ability to learn construction, admin skills; 1 year community-living experience preferred, not required; at least 21 years of age.

Financial Arrangements

Room, board, $150/mo stipend(rises over time), $200/mo loan stipend, eligible for Medicaid plus $125/mo healthcare allowance, retirement benefits, transportation. $7,895/yr AmeriCorps education award.

Living Arrangements

Caretakers: live in community with 6-12 people, including single people, married couples and children. Have individual bedrooms in the Caretaker Residence sharing a common kitchen, living room, and bathrooms. Live next to the log home retreat facility that houses short-term week-long volunteers and retreat program. Summer Servants: live in community with Caretakers in the Caretaker Residence. Share a bunk room with up to 5 other Summer Servants/Fellows. Service-Week Participants: Participants live in community with other volunteers in double and quad bunk rooms in the log home retreat facility.


Caretakers: Orientation on Appalachian culture, Catholic Social Teaching, farming, and construction skills provided throughout service. All staff are trained in CPR and First Aid. Opportunities for staff development and retreat are provided. Summer Servants & Service Week Participants: Orientation, safety training and construction skills provided on-site by Caretakers for all volunteers.

Application Deadline

Caretakers: apps accepted on a rolling basis. Expect the process to take a few months.

Start Date

Contact Name:

Joseph Reilly


P.O. Box 415
Talcott, WV 24981
Phone: 304 445-7143



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