Volunteer Application

This application is for the following OHIO areas ONLY: Central Ohio and Licking County.
For other locations, please fill out the application on their local website: See All IFI Locations.

Frequently Asked Questions about the Volunteer Application

  1. Why does IFI ask for references?
    I wish we didn’t have to, but we have found that this is wise. Some very godly and good-hearted people are just not cut out for the “peculiarities” of working with international students. Among other concerns, we want to be certain that our volunteers have time for this work, that their spouses are happy with their involvement, and that we will not be putting any undue stress on a volunteer who is struggling with other issues.
  2. Why doesn’t IFI ask for references for the students? How do we know we aren’t being linked up with a trouble-maker?
    We have no way of screening students, and if the university did, it wouldn’t give us any information. So, we don’t know that you won’t be hosting or meeting with a trouble-maker. We have to trust the Lord about this – that’s the bottom line. However, please CALL IFI’s emergency number (614-975-5686, emergencies only) immediately if your student is doing or saying anything that makes you uncomfortable.
  3. My mom knows me the best of all. Can she be my reference? How about the pastor, who is my cousin?
    I’m sure your mom would be your greatest fan, but sorry, we need an unbiased opinion! No close relatives or spouses, please. As for the pastor who is also your cousin, this is a stretch, but we would allow it if you have given them permission to be honest! If you know your church’s Local Church Representative (an IFI volunteer) well, he or she would make a good reference.
  4. Why does IFI require a Background Check?
    In 2011 the Ohio State University asked us to have our volunteers undergo a background check. In order to keep the doors of ministry open we decided to require it of all volunteers who have direct contact with students in their home or one-on-one outside of their home. The only exceptions are made for OSU students or staff since OSU has already required they do a background check.
  5. How will IFI protect my social security and other personal information?
    With the identity theft that is going on today, we certainly need to be careful whom we give our information to. That is why IFI is committed to keeping your data private and secure, so we have partnered with Protect My Ministry. This organization is also utilized by the Southern Baptist Convention, the Lutheran Church of the Missouri Synod, the Church of the Nazarene to name a few. They are a reputable background checking organization, and will be keeping all of the data secure. You may learn more about them here: protectmyministry.com.
  6. What if something shows up on my Background check?
    We consider each situation on a case by case basis. We will look at the whole picture and take into consideration that the situation occurred prior to you being a Christian. We will not be sharing the results of this with anyone at OSU or anywhere else.
  7. Can I send you the results of a Background check I have already had for work or other organization?
    We will not accept background checks or copies of background checks from other organizations.
  8. Why do I need to attend the New Volunteer Orientation/Training Session?
    We require all new volunteers to be equipped to serve international students and to understand all of the services that IFI makes available to the students. Since each volunteer is an important part of the ministry and represents IFI to the students, volunteers need to understand and be in agreement with our ministry focus and philosophy.
  9. How long is the New Volunteer Orientation/Training Session?
    The training is 2 hours long.
  10. When and where is the next training?
    For dates and locations, visit our web site at ifipartners.org/new-volunteer-training/, or contact Leila Gardner at 614-294-2434, or .
  11. What is covered in the training?
    The first part is an introduction to international student ministry and IFI’s history, values, goals, and volunteer opportunities. The second part includes cultural awareness, cross-cultural friendships and communication, hospitality, and sharing your faith cross-culturally. You also have access to a Resource Manual for future use.

IFI Volunteer Application

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What you need to know before starting this form
We are so glad that you're interested in volunteering with IFI. Before you get started on this form, there are a few things we'd like you to know.
  1. Completing this application is step one - IFI carefully screens all of its volunteers, especially those who will interact directly with students. This application is step one of the required three steps of the New Volunteer Application Process (NVAP). The other two steps are 1) completing a new volunteer training session and 2) submitting a background check on IFI's website.
  2. Your application is good for 5 years - This application is valid for a 5-year term, beginning on the date you submit it (we hope today!). After 5 years, you'll need to complete an application renewal form to maintain your status as an IFI volunteer. But don't worry, we'll remind you beforehand.
  3. One application per person - If you're married, and your spouse would like to volunteer, too (and we hope so!), he/she will also need to complete this application. 
  4. Three spiritual references needed - We will ask for the names and email addresses of 3 non-family member references who can answer questions about your character and spiritual life. One of your references must be a pastor, small group leader, or other person on staff with your church who has known you for at least one calendar year. Click here to view all of our volunteer policies.
  5. Save your progress! - Check the box at the top of each page before advancing to the next page - this will prevent unnecessary loss of data in the event that your browser is closed or something else happens to interrupt you while you complete the form.
IMPORTANT NOTE: For best results, please use a computer to complete this application form. We have had several reports of data being lost upon "save," data loss upon "submit" and other bugs by tablet/phone users. 
The video below will give you a brief overview of this application and some pointers. If you're ready to start filling out your application, by all means, feel free to skip right to page two!

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General information
ex. Bob for Robert or Becky for Rebecca, etc.
Example: (123) 456-7890
Example: (123) 456-7890
Example: (123) 456-7890
Since your spouse wants to volunteer, please complete this section
NOTE: We will email your spouse and ask them to complete this application if they have not already done so. Each volunteer will need to have his/her own application on file.
ex. Bob for Robert or Becky for Rebecca, etc.
Example: (123) 456-7890
IFI will use your contact information for communicating directly with you and helping you to communicate with international students if you so choose. We never, ever sell or share your contact info with other businesses or organizations (no matter how nice they are).

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Employment Information (Type "N/A" if an item is not applicable)

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Please tell us a little more about yourself

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Training Info
Example: 01/15
Available training dates can be seen here.
Example: 01/15/2014
Your Heart for International Students
Volunteer Abilities & Interests
Leadership Opportunities
Select all that apply.
Advanced Volunteer Opportunities
Select all that apply.

Entry-Level Volunteer Opportunities

Select all that apply.

Please note that IFI will send you information about each of the volunteer opportunities you select.

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References please provide an email address for each reference
Pastor/Spiritual Leader (Non-Family Member who has known you for at least a year)
Reference #2 (Non-Family Member who has known you for at least a year)
Reference #3 (Non-Family Member who has known you for at least a year)

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I have read  and understand IFI's volunteer policy, statement of faith and liability release for volunteers. By submitting this form: I understand that as a volunteer of International Friendships (IFI), I am representing a Christian ministry and thus the Lord Jesus Christ, and I will seek to conduct myself in a manner consistent with a Biblical lifestyle. I agree to comply with IFI's volunteer policy, statement of faith and liability release for volunteers by not teaching or practicing contrary doctrines. I give permission for IFI to contact the pastor of my church as a reference if needed. I understand that because volunteers will represent IFI to the students, IFI reserves the right to make decisions regarding placement.