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What is the Venturer Program?

The BGAV Venturer Program provides opportunities for long-term mission service with our partners around the world. BGAV partners request Venturers for ongoing ministries as well as for specific needs.

Who can become a Venturer?

Venturers are individuals at least eighteen years of age who support the ministries of BGAV partners around the world for one month to two years. 

Where can a Venturer serve?

Here are the current requests and opportunities for long-term service through the Venturer program.

When can a Venturer start?

The dates of service are flexible except for Project Vienna, which consists of an academic year.

An individual’s exploration of Venturer service begins with a conversation about one’s personal calling and gifts, a completed Venturer application, and a discussion of the needs our BGAV partners have identified.

Questions? Contact Craig Waddell..

To apply for the Venturers program, use this online form.

Current and Upcoming Venturers

Julia Wallace

Born in South Africa as a missionary kid, Julia moved with her family to Virginia Beach in 2004.  After high school, she moved to Texas to attend Baylor University where she earned a degree in International Studies. In May 2020, Julia will complete a dual-degree program from Baylor’s Truett Seminary and the Diana R. Garland School of Social Work, earning a Master of Divinity (MDiv) and a Master of Social Work (MSW). Julia is passionate about cross-cultural ministry and the global church, and hopes to use her degrees and experience to help equip local churches to serve faithfully in their own contexts and to connect with other churches across the world.

Julia will be joining the BGAV as a two-year Venturer to Lebanon in summer 2020. She has a heart for refugee ministry and is excited to use her experience in ministry and social work to contribute to the current work of Lebanese Baptists (via The Lebanese Society for Educational and Social Development) in providing for the physical, social, emotional, and spiritual needs of people living as refugees.

Support the Venturer Ministry in Lebanon

Judson Park

Judson will begin his Venturer service in fall 2019 in projekt:gemeinde, a multicultural church in the heart of Vienna, Austria. He will participate in Project:Vienna, a year-long practicum that includes serving in the local church, social work in the community, and supervised theological reflection.

Recently Judson worked nearly two years in a school in Denia, Spain, discerning a potential call to missions and ministry. In Vienna, he will work in various capacities with projekt:gemeinde, especially in refugee immigration and  in the church’s Farsi, Spanish, and German-speaking congregations.

Support the Venturer Ministry in Austria

Maria and Randy Lynn

Maria’s interest in ministry among the Lakota on Standing Rock began when she served as Mission Coordinator for WMU of Virginia in 2008. For the next 8 years she developed and coordinated the statewide engagement of hundreds of Virginia volunteers each summer, developed Standing Rock training curriculum for adult mission volunteers and mission education curriculum for children’s missions. Her passion for serving cross-culturally continued as she received her Doctor of Ministry in 2019 for developing curriculum aimed at increasing cultural intelligence among mission volunteers and led BTSR’s Mission Immersion Experience in the Dakotas.

Randy has served alongside Maria, providing his gifts in media to tell the story in visual form. Through native interviews, capturing the volunteer mission stories and God moments, and archiving the visual history of the partnership, Randy has been an integral part of engaging others in the mission.

This summer Randy and Maria will be serving alongside the missionaries at Tipi Wakan in Cannon BAll, ND. Due to COVID-19 mission teams will not be making their annual trips to the reservation. Maria and Randy are actively seeking God’s leadership about serving long term on the reservation. Your prayers for discernment are appreciated!

Support the Venturer Ministry in Standing Rock

Extended Volunteers

Virginia Baptists have long-term volunteers in church plants around the world!

Olivia Haynes

Olivia is a 2018 graduate from the University of Richmond who majored in English and minored in Film Studies. She was active in various music ensembles at the university through singing and playing flute, ukulele, and bass, and she enjoys being a part of musical worship. She spent her summers working with students as a worship ministry intern and as a member of summer staff with WorldChangers. These experiences helped her sense a call to ministry.

Through her involvement in campus ministries like BCM and InterVarsity, as well as her church and a service-learning group, Olivia has become passionate about proclaiming the kingdom of God through multi-ethnic, intentional communities that seek shalom and embody Christian hospitality with empathy and compassion. She hopes to find out more in Vienna about what this kind of community can look like.

Olivia was able to travel from her Virginia home to Vienna in May 2017 on a mission trip with the Kairos Mission Initiative. She is excited to return and learn more from this community, particularly through working with refugees. In this next year, she hopes to grow in her trust in God, in cross-cultural communication, and in cultivating a heart of openness and servanthood, while listening to God’s voice to determine her next steps.

Support the Venturer Ministry in Austria

Will Cumbia

After serving as a Venturer for two years in Vienna, Austria, Will now works as the Field Coordinator for the BGAV missions partnership focus:refugees. He continues to live in Vienna, supporting church and refugee work in Austria as well as refugee work with Baptist partners in Croatia and Lebanon. Will is a 2016 graduate from the College of William & Mary and is working towards a MA in Christian Ministry from McAfee School of Theology. Originally from Fredericksburg, Will enjoys connecting with people, reading, writing, and singing. He is thrilled to be a part of the BGAV’s emphasis on refugee work throughout Europe and cannot wait to see the unexpected ways that God will move through refugees in the world.

Support the Venturer Ministry in Austria

Emily Niehoff

Emily has been a Venturer since August 2017 working with ProjektGemeinde, a multicultural church in the heart of Vienna, Austria. After graduating from Virginia Tech in May of 2017 with a BFA in Creative Technologies, she joined the Project:Vienna Bible school; a year long theological, social work and church internship program operated through ProjektGemeinde.

After finishing Project:Vienna she decided to stay and take over the position as Coordinator for the Bible School. In addition to being the Coordinator for the Bible school, she also works with ProjektGemeinde’s Refugee Integration Work as well as with the church’s Farsi, Spanish and German speaking congregations.

Support the Venturer Ministry in Austria

Patrick Clark

Patrick Clark was a Venturer for two years in Vienna. He served in the Austrian Baptist church, “project:gemeinde,” using his cello to help lead worship and as a way to share Christ. Patrick also made important contributions in the renovation efforts of this urban, international church. He will volunteer in “projekt:gemeinde” in these areas, as well as participate in the church leadership team.

Support the Venturer Ministry in Austria

Previous Venturers

Josh Nuckols

After taking a gap year from college, Josh is answering a calling to serve others in the country of Panamá at Cresta Del Mar, a Baptist camp in Santa Clara Panamá. Josh grew up in Second Baptist Church of Henrico, VA, and he was always on mission serving others through many mission trips with his family and youth group. “I knew I could not ignore God’s calling for me,” he explained. “While in Panama, I will have the opportunity to spread the word of God while also serving through my God-given gifts that have gotten me here today.”

Josh will work at the Panama Baptist camp for a half-year, utilizing his practical skills in construction, maintenance, and mechanical problem-solving. As part of the staff family Josh will also engage with campers and church groups, assisting with discipleship through his testimony and example of flexible servanthood.

Brittney Mumma

As a first-time Venturer, I am so excited to be partnering with a church in Chorrera, Panama during their summer and spring seasons immediately after graduating from the University of Mary Washington in December 2018. This trip will encompass many of my passions including connecting with people, growing through new opportunities, learning about languages and cultures, working with children/youth, social dancing, hiking the outdoors, and experiencing and witnessing God’s amazing power, presence, mercy, and love.

While in Panama, I will have the opportunity to help with the community youth through their summer camps, school, and other various programs while also building relationships with the community and members of the church of Chorrera. For many years I have had the desire to learn the Spanish language fluently to better communicate with the Latino families in my local community. How exciting to learn the language with the support of Christian families and individuals while working with their church! I look forward to what God has planned, the growth in my relationship with Him, and the mutual blessings from the relationships I build in Panama as we come together to love others.


The basic provisions for all Venturers are:

  • assistance in interpreting God’s call on the individual’s life and an appropriate response to that call;
  • development of a position for service including job description and supervision;
  • living arrangements;
  • assistance with travel to and from the place of service;
  • and a network for accountability, nurture, and council.


Funding for Venturers’ expenses takes four basic forms:

  • Venturers who serve in positions that are closely aligned with mission partnerships and strategies of the BGAV may receive expenses and a small stipend from the BGAV
  • Venturers may receive financial resources from the hosting ministry partner.
  • Venturers may be asked to provide for their own expenses from fund-raising or from personal fixed income (i.e. retirement). Individuals who serve in positions that are to be self-funded will be offered assistance in training and accounting for fund-raising.
  • Venturer placements may be funded by a combination of the three options listed above.


Qualifications for service as a Venturer are as follows:

  • Demonstrate a lifestyle of faith in and commitment to Jesus Christ as personal Lord and Savior and to the will of God as basic to all of life.
  • Demonstrate a commitment to and involvement in a local church congregation. This church should be related to the Baptist General Association of Virginia or to one of its partnering unions of churches.
  • Demonstrate a level of personal maturity and health—physical, mental, emotional and spiritual—commensurate to service in the intended field of service.
  • Demonstrate a willingness to live and serve for six (6) months to two (2) years as a volunteer independent contractor related to the BGAV, receiving only basic living needs and, in some cases, a modest stipend.
  • Demonstrate a sense of appreciation and respect for the diversity of cultures with whom Virginia Baptists serve. Further, agree to follow a missiology that values the autonomy of ministry partners and the primacy of their visions for God-called mission.
  • Agree to be accountable to a field supervisor and to the Coordinator of the Venturer Program, handling differences of opinion with openness, respect and professionalism.
  • Be at least 18 years of age.