two people standing facing each other

— Gene Krcelic, PDA NRT

National Response Team (NRT)

NRT members represent PDA and the PC(USA) in the field following a national disaster. They provide support to presbyteries and synods as they assess the impact of the disaster on both the church and the community, and they assist in connecting presbyteries to recovery resources.

  • Initial three-year appointment
  • Minimum availability of four weeks annually - 2 weeks for field work; one week disaster training; one week annual NRT meeting
  • Typical response within 72 hours of a disaster (during periods of availability)

While all members of the team train together and are available to be early responders to natural disasters, some members of the National Response Team will develop competencies in Emotional/Spiritual Care, Human-Caused Event Response, Long-Term Recovery Organizing, Church Damage, and Volunteer Work Team Hosting.

All applicants should have excellent communications skills, demonstrated ability to work under stress, experience in disaster response, organizational skills, and experience in, or willingness to learn, conflict management.

National Volunteer Team (NVT)

PDA National Volunteer Team members represent PDA and the PC(USA) as they serve in areas of long term-recovery, volunteer management, disaster recovery organizing, emotional/spiritual care, hospitality and training. In addition these volunteers may also serve in middle governing body councils offering assistance to presbyteries and synods where requested.

While these individuals are not expected to make a four-week commitment per year, they may be invited to attend some of the annual meetings. National Volunteers go through the discernment process as other volunteers do, but they may have a more specific involvement. If needed and if available, they may be called into service on the National Response Team. National Volunteers make themselves available for specific tasks during the relief and recovery period following a disaster. PDA National Volunteers with specific disaster-related expertise may be asked to represent PDA at meetings in their area of expertise. For those with difficulty giving extended time to response or who already have a heavy schedule, this provides an important way to be involved with PDA national response efforts.

Some of these National Volunteer Team members serve as regional trainers, providing trainings to synod and presbytery Disaster Response Teams.

The Discernment Process for All Applicants

  • Interested individuals are encouraged to complete the application process below. Once your application is received the following steps will be followed:
  • Contact your local church pastor or presbytery staff to discern your call to this service.
  • A pre-screening committee composed of national staff, National Response Team, and National Volunteer Team members will review the applications.
  • Invitations will be extended to qualified individuals to attend a Discernment Event where applicants will have the opportunity to learn more about the work of the respective teams, the requirements for service, and an evaluation of their suitability as an applicant for national service.
  • Following the Discernment, the national staff will contact all individuals to discuss their call to service.
  • Next steps will be determined by the national staff to engage those who have been appointed for service.

Apply to serve with PDA

Application and appraisal forms are available in Microsoft Word and Adobe Acrobat formats.

Microsoft Word documents can be downloaded, completed on your computer, and emailed to us.

PDA Application

Appraisal Form (print three copies)

Adobe Acrobat (PDF) documents can be downloaded and completed by hand; the document can then be scanned and emailed, mailed, or faxed to PDA.

PDA Application

Appraisal Form (print three copies)

For more information on becoming part of the PDA Volunteer network, contact the national office at (800) 728-7228 ext 5806 or email


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