Would you like to join our ministry in Amsterdam? But do you still have questions? Check the frequently asked questions below. If this FAQ doesn't give you the right answer, send us a message!


Yes, you can! It is possible to spend your FSJ as a volunteer in our Christian hostels in Amsterdam. We think our ministry is a great place to do your FSJ im Ausland. You will be living and working in our international Christian community. Through and with this community, you run the hostels in a team of Christians between 18 and 30 years. As a community, you share the gospel of Jesus Christ with travelers from all over the world. Want to know more? Read more about out hostel ministry and mission here. Important: If you want your FSJ to be officially recognized, you have to apply for our ministry through the organization Co-Workers International. Please check out their website for more information and their application procedure.

It is hard to describe what community life looks like in a few sentences. Living with 30 to 40 Christians of your age means that every day is completely different. No matter if you stay for a few months or a full gap year. Of course you work together as a team. But in your time off there is so much time to hang out, worship God, have fun, grow in faith, pray together, explore Amsterdam, go to church and do many more things. As you see in the video below, created by one of the volunteers some time ago, community life is very diverse. Many volunteers describe our community life as an Acts-like community. There is so much growth, so much compassion, so much hunger for God. You will definitely grow in your faith and experience what it means to make friendships for life.

Compared to other ministry programs, you will not have a lot of costs as a volunteer. During your Shelter time we will provide you accommodation and training (our Ministry Training Program) free of charge. We only ask a fee of €60 per month for all your meals and drinks. At the hostel and the community house you can help yourself with everything you need for breakfast or lunch. Every day one of the volunteers prepares dinner for all the volunteers in the hostel. So as a volunteer you will have to provide and pay for:

  • A €60 food fee per month
  • A return ticket to Amsterdam
  • Your medical insurance
  • Extra money to spend

We greatly appreciate any donation! Thank you so much! Your donation will be used for evangelism materials and tools to help our volunteers grow in reaching out to our hostels guests. Your money can also be used to offer Shelter to someone in need.

If you prefer to make a donation via a bank transfer, please use the following bank account details:

For Europeans
Stichting Tot Heil des Volks
Bank account 104944
IBAN code: NL34 INGB 0000104944

For non-Europeans
ABN-Amro in Amsterdam: 4667.85.992
Name: Stichting Tot Heil des Volks, Amsterdam
IBAN code: NL 38 ABNA 0466785992
(Please mention both)

You can also make an online donation through their website: www.thdv.nl/donate. Please mention in the comment-section that your gift is meant for the Shelter Youth Hostel Ministry.

Again, thank you so much for your support!

“Lots of free time” is probably not how a volunteer would describe his or her Shelter time. You will be working five to six days a week. On these days you will be working at one of the hostels. And you will have MTP classes and small group, join worship sessions or lead evangelism activities. So living and working in the Shelter community can be quite intense! But you will have enough time to grow in your relationship with God, make fun with other volunteers, explore Amsterdam, practice sports, make music, etc. We make sure you have at least one day off every week. If you stay longer than three months with us, you also get some vacation days.

First of all, is our mission to make the gospel of Jesus Christ knows to travelers. We have two Christian hostels located in the heart of Amsterdam. In this context of hospitality we connect to guests, through both our words, actions and a personal approach. Through meaningful conversations, we try to share how Jesus is the center of our lives.

In addition to this goal we train and equip young volunteers. Our volunteers (between 18 and 30 years old, from all nations) learn to engage in hospitality and practice evangelism in a culturally relevant manner. Through our ministry and Christian community, we especially want to equip you for a life of ministry and service. So you will have the chance to grow and discover your unique gifts. Want to know more? You can read our full Mission Statement here.

As a volunteer at the Shelter, you do not have to rent a room. Because during your stay in Amsterdam, you will live in a Christian community house with all volunteers of both hostels. This means you will live with almost 40 young Christians in one house! Our volunteers come from all over the world and are between 18 and 30 years old. In the house, you share a big kitchen and living room, a terrace, a library and bathrooms. You will share a bedroom with one to three other volunteers. Indeed, no private bedrooms ;-). You will have your own bike during your time here for cheap transportation through the city. The classes of the Ministry Training Program (MTP) take place in a classroom in the house.

Living in the ‘Jordaan’

Most noteworthy: the community house is just a quick five to ten minute bike ride to or from the Shelter City Hostel and the Shelter Jordan Hostel. So you will live close to work, in probably the most beautiful area of Amsterdam: the Jordaan. This safe and beautiful area is famous for its architecture and is surrounded by canals. You will find the community house a wonderful place to stay!

To be able to live and work in the Shelter community, it is important that you speak English. Volunteers from many countries join our Christian community. Also guests from all over the world visit the Shelter hostels. So that is why we do our training, work and all communication in English. Consider if you are able to have training and conversations with managers, volunteers or guests in English. Is the language something you worry about? Please let us know via your application form. In the interview we will have with you we will check if your language skills are good enough to join our ministry. One thing is sure: if we do accept you as a volunteer, you will surely grow in this!

You can stay with us from three months to a whole year as a ministry volunteer. In summer it is also possible to volunteer with us for one or two months. You can start with us on the 1st of January, March, June, July, August, September and December.

If you would like diving deeper into faith and have the time, we recommend you to consider staying longer. Because we often see that volunteers want to extend their stay after a few months of serving. So consider staying longer on forehand: you won’t regret! If you have the time, join our ministry for 4 up to 12 months.

Ever since the very beginning, the Shelter hostels have been a travelers ministry: focused on sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ among backpackers. We offer travelers in Amsterdam a low-budget way to travel. Through great hospitality, hostel activities and personal interaction we openly share Christ.

Why we share the Gospel with travelers

Backpackers are often very open to new experiences. And they usually love to interact with people of different cultures, backgrounds and interests. We often see that travelers are often not only on a physical journey, but also on a spiritual journey. This brings opportunities to think about and discuss beliefs and the purpose of life with them. We spend time conversing with them about regular things, attempting to make “bridges” to the Gospel. Travelers often like to exchange ideas and personal stories, to philosophize about God, Jesus and the Bible. But they don’t like to be pushed or preached at. We teach and help our volunteers to share in a culturally relevant and respectful way.

Travelers ministry

Each guest receives a booklet with a biblical message upon arriving and with further interest they can also get a free copy of the New Testament. We invite them for different activities, such as Bible Meditation, City Walk and Open Mic. Through these activities we make bridges to the Gospel. We want them to experience the Shelter as a safe place, and it is our deepest desire that they find God, the ultimate shelter for life.

We ask a fee of €60,00 per month for the food. With this fee we provide you with all the meals and drinks you need. This includes breakfast, lunch and dinner (as much as you want!). You can have your meals at the hostel and in the community house. You will work with us on a voluntary basis. So we will not give pocket money to our volunteers. Therefore we recommend you to bring some extra money to spend, if you want to explore the cities’ activities or to buy clothes.

Every two weeks you get a schedule of your activities. Most shifts are divided into morning, afternoon and evening shifts and last for about 6 hours. These shifts vary from cafe work to cleaning supervisor to reception work. At 6 PM the volunteers have dinner together in the café (Jordan) or in the staff meeting room (City). On this page you will find an example of what a week schedule can look like.


Short term volunteers will mainly be working in the hostel café. This means preparing food, serving guests, and being a great host by creating a welcoming atmosphere. Long term volunteers, who stay for four months to a full gap year, will also be trained to work at reception or as a cleaning supervisor. We will also train you to lead different activities that fit to the people we want to reach. Examples of such activities are: Hostel Night, City Walk, Bible Inspiration Time, Open Mic Night etc.


In our ministry we do not only focus on reaching out to guests. We also want to equip and prepare you for a life of ministry and service. And we want to help you to grow in your relationship with God. Therefore we have our own Ministry Training Program (MTP), which you will join twice a week. Furthermore you will take part in small group meetings and times of prayer and worship.

Our Christian volunteer opportunities vary from one month to one year. Ideally, we would like volunteers to serve for 3 months or longer. Especially if you would like diving deeper into faith and have the time, we recommend you to consider staying longer. We often see that volunteers want to extend their stay after a few months of serving. So consider staying longer on forehand: you won’t regret! If your visa allows you and you have the time, join our ministry for 4 up to 12 months.

To give you a impression of the type of work in the hostel, you could first of all check out the video at our homepage. As a volunteer you will start working shifts in the hostel café. Therefore you will do tasks like preparing food, serving guests, and being a great host. Probably your most important task here is to create a loving and welcoming atmosphere. If you stay with us from four months up to a year, the type of work will vary. You will become part of our receptionist team. Also you could improve your leadership skills as supervisor in our cleaning ministry. There are many opportunities to share Christ by connecting with our guests.

Evangelism and activities

We will train you to lead different activities that fit to the people we want to reach. Examples of such activities are: Hostel Night, City Walk, Bible Inspiration Time, Open Mic Night etc. During your shift you will have enough time to share the Gospel.

What is a gap year?

Maybe you have read the information on our website. But maybe you are wondering: “What is a gap year?”.

A gap year is any year between educational transitions. People take gap years after graduating high school, in between university, during their studies, or right after they graduate. In this “year”, you can take time away from your education to pursue something different. We see it as an experience of a lifetime. It’s a unique opportunity to take a little detour from your regular life. And do things you’ve always dreamed of but never had the chance to do. For example exploring new countries, meeting people from all over the world, do volunteering work or work abroad. Or learn new things by taking a course or classes. Traveling also helps you to improve your English or learn a new language.

Our ministry in Amsterdam is a great place to spend your gap year. First of all, because you will become part of an international community of young Christians. Secondly, through this community, the Shelter is a place where you have the opportunity to grow in your personality and to discover your unique gifts. You will grow in your faith and gain life experience with over people who chose to do (part) of their Christian gap year at the Shelter. Come and spend your Christian gap year at the Shelter! Experience ministry and life in Amsterdam, live in an international community, grow in your faith, and share Christ with others. Read more about our gap year opportunities here!

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