General Information

Except for the volunteer’s family grouping, all of the information on the left half of the window does not affect scheduling. This information is only for your reference and for inclusion in rosters and mailing labels. Most of these fields are self-explanatory, although some bear mentioning.


The “Family” field and related checkboxes are fully explained in Family Groupings.

Phone, Cell, Email

By clicking on the arrows to the right of volunteers’ phone numbers or email addresses, you can select “Unlisted” to hide this information from appearing on schedules or rosters on the Web Terminal. Also, by clicking on the arrow to the right of the cell, you can turn on or off SMS reminders, and next to the email address, you can turn automatic reminder emails on or off for a particular volunteer as well as see how many days in advance they are set to receive these reminders. More information on the Web Terminal and automatic email reminders can be found in Web Terminal. From this menu you can also choose to send an email to the volunteer, which will open your default email client on your machine with the volunteer’s email address in place, or choose to send an email using MSP, which will pre-configure the Announcements pane “To” line to send to just that volunteer.

This volunteer has internet access

This checkbox can be used to help save on postage costs. If you plan to use the Web Terminal or Announcements pane, then you may only want to send a hard copy of the full schedule volunteers who do not have internet access. When you are printing schedules and mailing labels, you have the option to exclude volunteers who have this box checked.


This field can be used for whatever purpose you like – for instance, to hold additional phone numbers or special scheduling considerations. It is possible to target these volunteers by using Filters in MSP wherever available.

Custom Fields

The “Edit Custom Fields…” button will bring up a new window where you can store information not included in the standard fields described above. Just like the standard fields, custom fields can be used to filter volunteers or can be included in a roster. Once a custom field is set up, it will appear for all volunteers and can be edited for each individual.

Scheduling Parameters

The information on the right side of the Edit Volunteer window is used during the scheduling process. What follows is a description of each setting and the effect it has on scheduling.

Ministry Qualifications

Volunteers are only scheduled for ministries (or ministry subdivisions) in which they are qualified to serve. Clear the “Only show qualified ministries” box to show the list of all ministries. To indicate that a volunteer is qualified to serve in a ministry or subdivision, click that ministry or subdivision in this list. The words “Not Qualified” will be replaced with “Qualified,” indicating that the volunteer can now be scheduled for that ministry. If you hold down the Control key and click the ministry or subdivision, you will qualify that volunteer as a substitute in the ministry. If a volunteer is a substitute in a given ministry then he or she will never be scheduled in that ministry by the automated scheduler. The volunteer will only be scheduled in the ministry when you manually assign the volunteer to fill a position. (Substitutes may also be listed separately in rosters.)

If you have defined titles for a particular ministry, when you click on that ministry you will be able to cycle through the titles in that ministry to qualify the volunteer for the ministry under the title of your choosing, instead of just being able to indicate that the volunteer is “Qualified” in the ministry.

Service Preferences

In this area you may specify service time preferences at which the volunteer would like to serve. If no preferences are listed, a volunteer can be placed at any and all services. If specified, MSP will attempt to schedule the volunteer for their service preferences in the order they appear in this list. (You may optionally choose to disregard preference order in Scheduler Settings.) Click the Add button to select a service time to add to the list. By checking the “Schedule only at these times” checkbox, you can make sure that this volunteer is never scheduled for any services other than the ones you add to this list. If you don’t check this box, the volunteer may be scheduled for services that are not in his preference list in order to equalize load distribution.

You may specify weekly, monthly, and yearly services as preferences. You may also use the special “[Any special service]” preference to indicate a preference for any yearly service or any one-time-only service that is created in the Schedule as part of the scheduling process. Add “[Any special service]” as a preference to the volunteers who you’d like scheduled for yearly and one-time-only services.

By highlighting a service time from the preference list and then clicking on the “Options…” button, you may specify a ministry which will always be the ministry in which this volunteer will be scheduled at the selected service time. Using this feature you may indicate that a volunteer should only be scheduled as, for example, a reader when he is scheduled for the Sunday 7:30 AM service and as an Usher when he is scheduled for the Saturday 5:00 PM service. If the “Schedule only at these times” option is checked and a ministry is specified for a certain service time, then the volunteer will be scheduled in that ministry only at that particular time.

Preferred serving frequency

You can use this feature to explicitly tell MSP how often to schedule a volunteer (either over all his ministries or on a per-ministry basis). You may specify the volunteer’s preferred frequency as a multiple of the normal number of services given to a volunteer or as a set number of services per week, month, or year. If you specify the frequency in terms of a multiple of “normal” then a setting of, for instance, “2 x normal” would result in the volunteer being scheduled twice as often as he would otherwise be, or “.5 x normal” would result in him being scheduled only half as often. Note that this setting is only a preferred serving frequency, so in any given time period a volunteer may be scheduled slightly more or less often than the frequency you designate. However, MSP will work to correct any such imbalances, even across different schedules. For instance, if you designate a preferred serving frequency of 3 times a month for a certain volunteer, and that volunteer is only scheduled twice in January, then they will probably pick up an extra service in February. Note that you should not change everybody’s preferred serving frequency to the approximate frequency at which they are usually scheduled. This setting should only be used when particular volunteers would like to serve more or less often than everybody else.

Can’t serve times

Use this feature to indicate any times at which a volunteer should not be scheduled. You can specify a particular weekly or monthly service time that the volunteer can’t serve, a single date range can’t serve time (e.g., for vacation – “Jan 3, 2012 – Jan 20, 2012”), or a repeating can’t serve time which occurs on a certain day or weekend every month (e.g., “The second weekend of every month”). MSP will never schedule this volunteer for a service which falls during one of his can’t serve times. Note that by clicking the “Show advanced options” checkbox in the can’t serve time dialog you may access options that allow you to apply a can’t serve time to just a particular ministry or to repeat a can’t serve time every year during the specified date range – especially useful for summer or winter vacations.


Preassigned and manual scheduling only

This checkbox allows you to turn off automated scheduling for a volunteer. If this box is checked, the only time a volunteer will be scheduled is when you manually add him to a service before or after the automated scheduling takes place, or if you have used the preassignments feature to setup a fixed, repeating scheduling pattern that includes this volunteer. The effect of this setting on the automated scheduler is equivalent to making a volunteer a “substitute” in all of their ministries, but on reports, the volunteer will not be categorized as a “substitute.”

Make this volunteer inactive for now

When a volunteer is inactive, the automated scheduler will never schedule him and he will also not be scheduled for any of his preassigned services. Note that a volunteer who is already on the schedule will not be removed from their already scheduled positions when marked inactive.