Athletes in Action Volleyball was started in 1982 by Barb Bernlohr and Bobby Herron. The first women’s team was sent out that same year, traveling to Japan. Up until the last few years, the focus of AIA Volleyball has been to send our teams internationally, which has led us all over the globe to countries in Latin America, Africa, Europe and Asia. We understand the hunger athletes have to learn and to go out and see the world. From this hunger, tours and projects were born to challenge and provide space for those athletes to learn, grow and go.
Sport is one of the few languages that can cross cultural and spoken language barriers. This common language of volleyball gives us the ability to open doors, build bridges and change lives all over the country and the world. It’s impact goes well beyond the scoreboard. AIA Volleyball is committed to seeking God’s leading, looking to maximize the impact in the locations we travel to, and investing wholly into the participants on our tours.
We now offer opportunities ranging from international indoor tours, to beach tours, to pro communities and retreats. Within all of our opportunities two things remain very important to us: To offer quality volleyball training from highly qualified coaches and trainers who will invest in you on the court. And to see you as the Total Athlete/Coach (physical, mental and spiritual) that you are, therefore, offering high quality training to you off the court in ministry skills and in your walk with Christ.
We are all about Victory Beyond Competition and to play for an Audience of One!!!
Get a glimpse of a volleyball tour through the AIA Volleyball Team Blog
We have a range of positions open that we are looking to fill! As we expand into Beach and add an indoor gym to our complex here at the AIA National Office, we are also looking to expand our staff team! Through working with AIA, you will be a part of a worldwide movement using the platform of sport, to share the Good News of Jesus with the world. You will have the opportunity to win people to Christ, build them up in their faith and send them out to do the same!
This internship is located at the Athletes in Action National Office. You will be weaved into the every aspect of our AIA Volleyball Department helping to plan and put on all of our events throughout the year, refine or develop skills that will equip you to be a lifelong laborer and leader for Christ and pour into other volleyball players and coaches during our opportunities throughout the year! For further information about the AIA Institute click here.
This will be our first ever Beach Volleyball Tour!
Like all of our tours, we will start off with a training camp where you will receive high level training with other top university beach players. But the training won’t end when you leave the court.
We will, also, equip you to find purpose in and beyond your sport, what we call “Victory Beyond Competition.” You will learn to grow in Christ and multiply your life into others. We will then travel together to Southern California, where we will compete in local high level beach tournaments and put to practice the ministry skills we learned in training camp.
You will leave tour more equipped to grow and minister through the sport of volleyball and you will be connected to a community of beach volleyball players from all over the country.
This is our second year facilitating small groups for Pro Volleyballers. The purpose of these groups is to mobilize, equip and encourage players in the mission field that God has given them on their international pro teams. We meet weekly for 10 weeks in the fall and 10 weeks in the spring. We will accept players into groups anytime throughout the year. We, also, accept athletes from other sports.
This will be our first ever Pro Retreat! This is a continuation of the small groups we facilitate throughout the year for Pro Athletes, but being in the small group is not a requirement in order to come to the retreat. During the retreat we will have tons of fellowship designed to refresh you while you are on leave and we will equip you further to find purpose in and beyond your sport, what we call “Victory Beyond Competition.” You will learn to grow in Christ and multiply your life into others stateside and abroad on your team and in your host city. You must be playing currently playing pro or seeking a contract in order to join us for the retreat.
“My experience on tour with AIA impacted me in a major, positive way. I saw God unite people from various sports, nations, and cultures, despite language barriers or the fact that they are competing against each other, just to speak about Jesus....AIA has inspired me to bring the knowledge and ideals we implemented on our tour team to my team on campus. I'm going to try to teach my teammates how to play for Christ, and how to inspire others around us to do the same. ”
“What I learned on tour is that I need to lean into Jesus when I am on the court and ask that his grace, love, and strength rush to my heart when I am playing volleyball. He gets all the glory and is my Audience of 1 when I am on and off the court. Volleyball is no longer just a game, it is one of the many ways in which I can show thanks and worship my God who has so much love for me whether I am winning or losing."
“AIA is a ministry that has impacted my life in so many ways. I attended AIA meetings in college, but was never very serious about them. It wasn't until right after my collegiate career, and the beginning of my pro career, that I became passionate about learning what it looked like to invite God onto the volleyball court with me, and to glorify Him through my sport. On tour, God was a work on my heart, and I was able to learn so much from the amazing staff, our coaches, and my teammates. To be able to come alongside other Christian volleyball players, surrender control, and just play in freedom for God and God alone, was one of the best experiences of my life. Now I get to continue living out those principles alongside other pro volleyball Christians through a Bible study that the staff at AIA have been so amazing to organize. Being so far from home is extremely hard, especially not being surrounded by community. Having this small group is a highlight of my week, and a way to be encouraged and feel connected to other like-minded people playing volleyball abroad. "
“During the first week of training camp I was looking forward to playing a lot of
volleyball with talented athletes. What I didn’t realize was that I would
eventually turn my focus from playing volleyball to learning how to share my faith
with others. I didn’t know how to share my faith before my AIA trip, but I was
taught how to organize and present my testimony. I was excited about this because
it gave me the confidence to talk to anyone about my faith.
I loved the fact that we trained in our sport, but more importantly in our faith. Making athletics part of my spiritual life was a concept that really altered my faith. I learned that I could use my love of playing volleyball to show others my love for God and everything He has done for me. It was truly an amazing experience – being able to pray with someone who I’d never met before and to grow in my relationship with God.”
“The tools I've acquired with Athletes in Action still bleed into my life on a daily basis. AIA has so much to do with winning hearts for Jesus. God is so much bigger than our fears, weaknesses and less-than-ideal situations. There are lives at stake, and eternity is not a game. We need to GO and MAKE disciples with the same sense of urgency that we have in earning points in a match.”
“When I was in Israel, this is what Jesus taught me: every pass, every set, every move is centered around worshiping Jesus. I got to play volleyball with my best friend, Jesus.
Amber has been on staff with Athletes in Action since 2015. Originally from Houston, she played middle for Texas State University. Amber was involved in FCA and after catching the vision for how sports and ministry can be combined to make a huge impact for Jesus, she decided to join AIA in the mission of using the language of the sport to reach every with the Gospel.
Amber oversees all of AIA Volleyball: our staff and our ministry efforts in domestic and international beach, indoor and pro. During her staff life, she has led missional teams to Thailand, Central Asia and Brazil. If you asked her where within this department that she is most passionate about, she would tell you, without a doubt, beach volleyball! She has a heart to dive into the beach world and to provide opportunities for beach players to grow and make an impact.
Amber is married to Leif, who is also on staff working on local college campuses in Ohio. They have one beautiful daughter, named Abra!
Ashley has been on staff with Athletes in Action since 2012. Originally from Michigan, she played middle for Concordia University Ann Arbor. Ashley was heavily involved in the AIA on her campus after she said yes to Jesus during her second year. When graduating she desired to be a part of making an eternal impact on other campuses around the world in the same way God had impacted her through AIA. She interned in Mexico for two years before joining full time staff with AIA in our volleyball department.
Ashley coordinates our ministry to professional volleyball players around the world and leads our departmental marketing efforts. During her time with us, Ashley has led missional teams to Thailand, Central Asia and Brazil. If you asked her where she is most passionate about within AIA Volleyball, she would tell you our Pro Ministry! She sees our pro players as missionaries that God has strategically placed, and she loves to be a part of facilitating a community, training them in ministry skills and encouraging them as they are abroad!
Ashley is married to Tyler, who is also on staff in the football department. They have one son, named Ben!