The college application process can seem intimidating, for anyone. Especially if it is your first time looking into universities, and maybe you don’t have parents or siblings who have already been through the process before. I wrote this post to help you know what to expect with missionary college admissions.
How does missionary college admission work? The first step is apply to the missionary college. You will fill out your basic information, sharing about your spiritual life, share your salvation testimony, and then give your educational history (highschool transcript, and schools you’ve previously been to). Then, you wait to see if you are accepted to the college.
After this, they may require you to provide recommendations and once that has begun and completed, you’ll be ready to start your financial process.
6 Steps To Complete Missionary College Application
Let’s go through the entire process from the beginning to so you know what to expect while filling out a missionary college application.
1. Fill Out Personal Information
Once you have started filling out a missionary college application, they will have you fill a section with your personal information.
Most universities require similar information at the beginning, it seems tedious to fill out, but usually, it doesn’t take terribly long.
- Date of Birth
- Homes you’ve lived in the past 4 years
- Family Information
- Health problems
After this is completed, for missionary schools, you’ll be required to share what church you go to, the denomination, ministries you’ve been involved in, and how long you’ve been going to that church.
They want to see that you are active in your local church.
If you haven’t been going to your current church that long, don’t fret – it’s understandable some people switch churches or if you’re a new Christian, you may have just started going to church.
Next, they’ll want you to go deeper into what your faith means to you.
2. Fill Out Your Educational History
All colleges and most missionary schools require at least a high school diploma. You’ll have to list the schools you’ve been to and provide your high school transcript.
In order to get your high school transcript, you’ll have to request it from your high school.
I would recommend having them send it straight to the school you are applying for (usually electronic copies are easiest & cheapest to send). It will cost a few dollars to get your transcript sent to a college.
If you have gone to a previous university or taken college courses before, you will also need to provide those transcripts.
In order to receive those transcripts, you’ll have to go to the university’s website, login into your previous account, and request they send it to the school you are applying for. A few schools require you to go in person to request the transcript, but most allow you to request it online.
3. Write Out Your Testimony
Sharing your testimony (in the Christian realm) just means sharing what the Lord has done in your life to get you to the place where you are now.
This step may take a little more time to complete. You’ll want to look back on your life and think about what God has done and how he got you to the place where you’re at now.
Personal questions you can ask yourself when figuring out what to include in your testimony:
- When was the first time I thought about God? (Did you grow up in a Christian home, or did you hear about God later on in your life? Or maybe you heard about God all your life, but just now it became personal… when did that shift happen?)
- What led you to take God more seriously? (Did you trust Jesus as Lord at a young age but didn’t take your relationship with God seriously, or have you always had a desire to please him? What did that look like for you?) Think of people in your life who God used to help convict or direct you. Think of passages in the Bible that God used to grab your attention. Include this in your testimony.
- What practical steps did you take to grow your relationship with God? After you did decide to take Jesus more seriously, what actions did you take to strengthen your walk with God? Maybe you just recently decided to take God more seriously, and coming to a missionary school is one of the steps the Lord has asked you to take. Make sure and list that.
Other things you can think back on that you could include in your testimony…
- Things you felt the Lord speaking to you that have stood out to you over time
- How your family life or other close relationships have affected you – how they’ve had an impact on the way you see the world
- Any significant event or challenge that shaped you
- What God may be calling you to, short or long-term
- What passions or areas you think God wants to grow you in
Depending on how long they want your testimony to be, you can expand more or less on these things. These are just ideas to get you started, some schools may not have you write that long of testimony, and others may have you write a whole essay.
The missionary school I’m going to, Bethany Global University had us write an essay and gave us specific questions to answer for each paragraph. You can learn more about how to apply for BGU by clicking here.
The school you’re looking into might tell you how to break up the essay as well.
For example, they may have you share when you got saved with verses explaining your salvation within 500 words for the first paragraph, and for the next, have you write how you’ve been involved in missions so far in 250 words, and then have you explain your future goals in 250 words.
4. Standardized Test Scores
Even though most colleges require applicants to submit SAT or ACT scores, Missionary schools do not usually require it.
Even then, the number of schools requiring standardized test scores dropped dramatically though this year because of the corona virus pandemic.
Many schools upended these exams, with many testing centers closed across the U.S.
You can check the missionary school you are interested in to see if they require SAT or ACT scores upon applying.
5. Choose Your Major or Area of Study
This step you’ll definitely want to think about beforehand. But at the same time, many missionary schools have only a few or even just one area of study, so it might not be too difficult to decide what to study.
And all Missionary Schools will of course have you study the Bible.
The school I’m currently a student at requires that all students major in Bible + Theology and take one of these three majors: Education in Mission, Intercultural Ministry Studies, or Transformation Entrepreneurship.
So every student double majors and takes plenty of Bible classes receiving a solid foundation of Scripture as well as their choice of a more focused study.
If you are going to a Christian school versus a missions school, chances are you’ll have a larger variety of majors to choose from.
What to do when deciding on a major:
- Write a list of the things you could see yourself doing in the future
- Write down your strengths, what you enjoy doing, and your weakness, and what you dislike doing (think about what you have done in the past that you’ve either really enjoyed or really dreaded doing)
- Pray about it (ask God to direct your path and help you chose what you could see yourself enjoying, using the gifts God’s given you to thrive in)
- Talk to a trusted mentor, friend, pastor, or your parents
Remember when picking a major or area of study on a missions schools application, it doesn’t mean it’s set in stone forever.
If you feel later on that you would want to switch things up before starting, usually it’s pretty easy to do so.
6. Letters of Recommendation
Colleges often ask students to submit two to three letters of recommendation. Missionary schools also require this.
Students should seek out recommenders. This could be previous teachers or counselors, your Pastor or Youth Leader, someone who knows you well and has seen your growth in your relationship with God.
Missionary schools are not looking for all your academic abilities, but more on the lines of personal qualities that reflect Christ.
They want to know you have a growth mentality and are actively seeking the Lord.
Students should request letters of recommendation well in advance of the application deadline – because this step might take a little longer than all the others.
You’ll have to wait to hear back from those you request a recommendation from.
After you complete your application, it is time to wait and see if you are accepted.
Do I Have To Pay An Application Fee?
Usually when applying for any school, there may be a small application fee.
However, if you talk to someone from the school’s admission team, and mention how you are interested in applying or have already started the process, they usually will be willing to waive that fee for you.
They might give you a code to put into the application so you don’t have to pay anything extra just to apply.
God bless you as you go about this process & step into all that the Lord has for you!