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Blog , Missionary Training

The Top 7 Cross-Cultural Missions Training Programs

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Written by Paige Deane

If you feel called to missions one of the most valuable things you can do is get some training in that field.

Where can you find cross-cultural missions training programs? There are several cross-cultural missions training programs in the United States including

  • Bethany Global University
  • YWAM (Youth With A Mission)
  • The World Race
  • Ethnos 360
  • Global Frontier Missions
  • Center for Intercultural Training
  • Missions Training Center.

Each program is designed to train people for ministry in a different cultural context so that they can be effective long term.

These programs are some of the best programs to gain that kind of education. Each has its own strategy to teach this concept however they all have the same goal, to prepare you to make disciples in all nations.

1 – Bethany Global University

Bethany Global University is unique on this list because it is the only opportunity to get an accredited college education.

They offer several different programs from certificate programs to full bachelor’s and master’s degrees.

There are three bachelor’s degrees available including Transformational Entrepreneurship in Missions, Intercultural Ministry Studies, and Education in Missions.

Within each of these majors, you would spend two years on campus enrolled in classes and then 16 months interning in another country.

There are also three master’s programs here including Intercultural Ministry Studies, Intercultural Ministry Leadership, Intercultural Ministry Education. These are only available online.

They also offer an AA in Intercultural Ministry Studies, a Certificate in Bible and Missions, and a Certificate in Pre-Field Preparation.

And, finally, there are three two semester programs, LEAD Venture, LEAD Media, and LEAD Prayer & Worship.

LEAD Media and LEAD Prayer & Worship spend both semesters on campus developing targeted skills that will be valuable to the mission field.

LEAD Venture spends one semester on campus and another in Guatemala getting experience on the field.

Each of these programs exists to prepare you in the way that God has called you to serve on the mission field. So be committed in prayer, and see if BGU is part of that calling.

Click here to learn more.

2 – YWAM: Youth With A Mission

Another opportunity for cross-cultural missionary training is through YWAM, Youth With A Mission.

This training organization has several opportunities available for training including short term missions trips, volunteering, and a Discipleship Training School, or DTS.

The DTS, the most popular of the training opportunities, takes you overseas for six months to receive practical missions and discipleship training.

This consists of a blend of classroom time, personal reflection, community living, practical service, and activities within smaller groups.

This program is committed to growing you as a disciple and helping you find and develop your gifts.

To do this most effectively they break up their experience into two phases, lecture, and outreach. The lecture phase grows your knowledge of the Word of God and discipleship while the outreach phase gets you connected serving in the community.

After completing your DTS there are several options for you to continuing your education either through further education at YWAM’s University of the Nations, or by joining YWAM staff.

You can also continue by volunteering or joining one of the site locations.

Whichever route you choose to take, YWAM has a lot of opportunities for growth in discipleship and cross-cultural missionary ministry.

Keep praying, and listen to where God wants you to go.

Click here to learn more.

3 – World Race

The World Race is a third amazing opportunity to get trained for missions.

They have four main programs that they use to train missionaries including the World Race, World Race Gap Year, and then also Semesters and Ambassadors.

World Race is an opportunity to experience a variety of cultures overseas while also learning how to reach them with the gospel.

Designed for those ages 21-35, you will spend time in eleven countries over the course of eleven months learning these skills.

Very similar to the World Race, World Race Gap Year follows a similar pattern of training you to be effective missionaries in a variety of different cultures.

There are four different routes available including Outreach, Activation, Development, and Leadership. Each route lasts for nine months across three different countries.

Outreach and Leadership routes are available for ages 17-20 and Development and Activation routes are available for ages 18-20.

The third option is Semesters by World Race which is available to college students ages 18-22 for anywhere from 1-6 months overseas.

This program allows you to be more flexible with your college schedule, giving you the opportunity to serve while still in college.

And finally, Ambassador by World Race is an opportunity for high school students ages 14-18 to get involved in world missions.

There are a variety of locations and each trip lasts anywhere from 2-4 weeks.

World Race is a great opportunity, so take a closer look, and look to see where God may be calling you.

Click here to learn more.

4 – Ethnos 360 Bible Institute

Another great opportunity to be trained for missions is through Ethnos360. Through this program, you will study the Bible chronologically over the course of two years.

Many of the professors have years of field experience to be able to teach the Bible with missions in mind.

Through this program, you can also take missions courses overseas to further your education in a mission context.

Through their Interface program, you can participate in a six week, college level, church planting missions course in Papua New Guinea.

After completing this two-year program you are eligible to attend the Ethnos 360 Missionary Training Center (MTC) to learn more and expand your knowledge for the field.

They are also currently pursuing accreditation, however, as of this time, their courses are not accredited.

Click here to learn more.

5 – Global Frontier Missions

Global Frontier Missions is dedicated to mobilizing, training, and multiplying disciples to expand the church across the face of the earth. To do that, they have developed four pathways to become trained as a missionary, ready for the field.

Their first option, the Missionary Training School, is a five-month program, designed to help you learn from experienced missionaries in Atlanta, Georgia, and Richmond, Virginia.

Their second pathway is a Missionary Residency for those who are working full, or part-time jobs already but want to begin training to make disciples in the community and cross-culturally.

Their third opportunity is through what they call SLICE Training. SLICE stands for Strategy, Language, Identity, Culture, and Exalting Jesus, and is their game plan for developing strong missionaries while being trained in South Asia.

This program can last anywhere from 6 months to two years and is a great way to prepare for long term missions.

Their final opportunity is through online, cross-cultural ministry courses through MissionaryTrainingSchool.com.

This would be a great way to deepen your understanding independently until you are ready to commit to an in-person training experience or until you are ready to go on the field.

Click here to learn more.

6 – Center for Intercultural Training

The Center for Intercultural Training is another opportunity for cross-cultural training. Through their campus, in North Carolina, they teach a series of courses designed to equip people for cross-cultural ministry.

Their goal is to prepare you, and your family for the field.

Through their program, you will become a better disciple and more prepared to disciple others. You will learn how to handle the stress of the field, and grow spiritually.

You will learn to grow in community and develop language skills to help you engage with the people where you are in a way they can understand.

This program is concerned not only with your growth but also that of your family. That is why they have also developed a program to help your kids grow as well.

Through this program, your kids, regardless of their age, can be prepared for their own cross-cultural experience.

This training is a great way to become trained, especially if you are going as a family, and will provide you will a good foundation as you enter the missions field together.

Click here to learn more.

7 – Mission Training International

One final missions training program that may be the right fit for you is Missions Training International.

Through this training, you will become better equipped for sharing the gospel cross-culturally and therefore become better disciple-makers.

There are programs available for adults and also for future missionary kids (MK’s) so that the whole family is prepared for life on the field.

You will learn how to build community, develop language and culture learning skills necessary for effective gospel communication and they will help you learn to manage funds on the field.

Experienced staff will guide you through this process and recommend you get training 2-6 months prior to your departure.

They will prepare you to succeed when it comes to the “make or break” issues as a missionary so that your time is effective and you can have the greatest kingdom impact possible.

Pray about it, and see if Missionary Training School is the place God is calling you to. Click here to learn more.

Each one of these 7 training programs will help prepare you for the mission field. Pray and ask the Lord to guide you. He is with you as you make this decision.

To find more missionary training schools & courses – check this blog out.

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