February 28, 2020
Pursuing missions is a noble cause that is faced with many challenges and uncertainty. If you desire to dedicate your life or a season of your life to missions, you want to ensure that you are connected with the right organization. Freelance missions are possible, but much harder, especially for those who are new to missions.
What is a missions school? A missions school is a college or university that focuses primarily and predominantly on mission work. This school will prepare its students specifically for mission work. Students also learn practical life skills to use in all realms of life, however, missions are the main focus. Bethany Global University is the only school focused solely on missions and training missionaries. It is also fully accredited. Graduates leave with functional degrees and practical life skills to bring to the mission field or any other realm of society.
The only accredited school focused solely on missions is Bethany Global University. I will describe what makes Bethany Global University stand out, what programs are available, and why you should consider it.
What is Bethany Global University?
Bethany Global University (BGU) is the only fully accredited missions university. Located in Bloomington, MN, it offers Associates, Bachelor’s, and Master’s degrees. All of these degrees have a basis in Bible and Theology, as well as intercultural ministry. Those who choose the Bachelor’s degree will have a double major and a minor. The first part of this major is Bible and Theology.
Students are prepared and strongly rooted in the Word of God. They will learn tools to study the scripture in a hermeneutical approach. They will also discuss and search scripture to answer the hardest questions of culture and theology.
As a result, they will also grow in their relationship with Christ. This will be beneficial in any ministry they pursue, as well as in their daily life as a Christ-follower. This education involves critical thinking, yet it isn’t restricted to head knowledge.
The university is hands-on. Students will interact in ministry, worship, weekly prayer, intercession for the nations, and Bible studies during their time at the university. They are given opportunity for leadership and to grow in their giftings to glorify God and serve the global body of Christ.
Furthermore, students will work each week as part of their curriculum. This will give them hands-on work experience that is beneficial for their ministry, and for their future career.
Students will live on campus for their first two years. During their Junior and Senior year, they will live overseas for 16 months. This will give first-hand mission experience. They will participate in the Great Commission. They will express and utilize God-given abilities for the sake of the world, and grow as an individual. After the internship, seniors will return for one semester to debrief their experience and see what God has for them next.
What Makes BGU Stand Out
Tuition is paid for already. That’s right. Students pay $0 out of pocket for tuition. Tuition is covered by the work college model, additional grants and funding.
There is a 16-month overseas internship. All students in the Bachelor’s program will live overseas for 16 months. They learn the language and culture and will be able to serve in local ministries. There also may be an opportunity to propose a new ministry to pioneer.
All degrees are fully accredited. The Associates, Bachelor’s, and Master’s degrees are accredited. They are recognized and valued for the careers that students may choose.
Students gain valuable work experience that is allotted into their weekly schedule. Students work about 15 hours a week for the University as a part of the tuition-paid model. These are real jobs that teach and develop new skills. These jobs also allow the University to provide free tuition and keep costs down.
Students may work in a local coffee shop, clean, babysit, become assistants, and work in the Montessori school. Others include marketing, the call center, kitchen, welcome center, or grounds keeping.
The degrees are practical for life in the States and overseas. Students can major in Montessori Education, Transformational Entreprenearalship, Bible and Theology, and Intercultural Studies. They can also minor in Early Childhood Education, Social Justice, Intercultural Studies, and Business.
These can be used in various settings worldwide. Students may work for a ministry, start their own business, non-profit, or school, teach in Montessori schools, or return fulltime as a missionary.
Community is valued and developed. BGU values community and intentionally cultivate it. Each week, students gather in their designated life groups to worship, pray, and study scripture together. They also participate in daily life and plan additional events and activities together.
There are various programs available to suit those with a passion for missions. Currently, the University is filled with a large diversity of ages, backgrounds, and experiences. Some students have previous experience and training in missions.
These individuals have gone to schools like YWAM, the World Race, and other gap year programs. After their return home, they realized that they wanted to pursue missions longer term. While overseas, they realized it would be beneficial to receive further training.
Other students have transitioned from seeking another career. They may already have a college and life experience. There are even families attending the University. In addition, BGU is home to many recent graduates from High School.
Between the various degrees, certificates, and programs, BGU has something to offer any Christian who desires to learn more about God and serve Him through a ministry and mission setting.
Associate’s Degree Program
- Associate of Arts in Intercultural Ministry.
- Follows the same format as the first year of the BA in Intercultural Ministry.
- Focused on Biblical and Theological Studies, personal spiritual development, missions, and ministry.
- There is a 8-12 week intercultural practicum. This counts towards the degree and occurs during the fall of the second year.
- Ideal for those who are introductory to life and work on the mission field.
Read more about the Associate Program, here.
Bachelor’s Degree Programs
There are three different Bachelor’s Degree Programs. All three of these programs include a double major. The foundational major is in Bible and Theology. All BA students take this major. Then, they can choose from Entrepreneurship, Education, and Intercultural Studies. Additional minors are paired with this degree.
Transformational Entrepreneurship In Missions
- Transform lives, cultures, and societies through the development of business.
- Enter countries in a unique way through business opportunities.
- Use business to reach unreached people groups for the Gospel.
- Minor in Intercultural Ministry to learn how to maneuver in a new culture and language.
- Learn how to use entrepreneurship in Nonprofit work.
Find additional details about this program, here.
Intercultural Ministry Studies
- Deepend your walk with God and learn valuable information on how to minister in any culture or country you travel to.
- Learn the social skills needed in various cultures.
- Choose from four minors to specialize in: Business, Early Childhood Education, Social Justice, and TEFL (teaching English as a second language).
Learn more about the Intercultural Degree and the four impactful minors, here.
Education in Missions
- Learn the Montessori method and receive the opportunity to get certified as a Montesorri lead teacher.
- Utilize the Constructivist Education Philosophy.
- Get hands-on experience and observation during the first two years of the program through the on-site Montesorri school.
- Work in a school during the 16-month internship.
- Be a part of reaching the 250 million children worldwide who lack basic education and cannot get to a school.
- Minister to children and families who do not have access to the gospel.
- Minor in Intercultural Ministry to be equipped for cross-cultural life, ministry, and education.
Master’s Degree Programs
The Master Degree programs are offered to BGU students and graduates. In addition, they are available to those who already have a BA from another school.
Intercultural Ministry Studies
- Prepares students in a holistic way by training them with aspects from Intercultural Studies, Bible and Theology, Education, Leadership, and History programs.
- Choose from a course track or a thesis track.
- Learn to church plant and develop the church in other cultures.
- Grow in the presentation of the Gospel for cross-cultural communities, societies, and individuals.
- Learn about contextualization and the approaches, models, and issues that relate.
- The curriculum is done online and is ranked as the best online programs in this field.
Additional details can be found, here.
Intercultural Ministry Leadership
- Leadership is developed for those who seek to serve on the front lines of the mission field, become strategic senders, and for those who will develop national leaders.
- Students will learn about current issues, trends, and cultural perspectives that arise in global leadership.
- Vision casting and strategic planning will equip students to work collaboratively in intercultural settings.
Learn more about the leadership qualities and strategies that will be gained through this program, here.
Intercultural Ministry Education
- This program is specifically designed to equip graduates to train others for missions.
- Mission concepts and methodology are practically implemented.
- Graduates will be ready to plant churches in another culture and multiple teaching and training contexts.
- New teaching methods will be learned (deductive and inductive).
Find more details about this area of graduate study, here.
Certificates / LEAD Venture
LEAD Venture is a gap year program of BGU. Students earn 30 college credits that can be transferred.
- Earns a certificate in Pre-Field Preparation.
- Another gap year program can earn a certificate in Bible and Missions.
- Can transfer to a Bachelor’s degree at BGU.
- Credits can be transferred to any other college chosen.
Learn more specifically about LEAD Venture, here.
Why Choose BGU?
In conclusion, there are a variety of reasons to choose BGU. These are some of the main deciding factors. Yet, they are not limited to this list.
- It is affordable.
- Moreover, it is focused specifically on missions. No other accredited university can say that.
- The focus is on unreached people groups and those who have been overlooked for years.
- Students learn how to bring the Kingdom of God in a holistic manner.
- Bethany International sends students as missionaries. After graduation, Bethany International can send the missionaries again.
- Jesus commanded that we make disciples and that we love others. Missions is one way to do this.
- In addition, Jesus also voiced His desire that the whole world knows Him. A large percent of the world lacks the means to hear the gospel unless someone specifically comes and tells them.
The Decision Making Process
Deciding to pursue missions isn’t always an easy process. You may have some concerns, and fears, alongside your passion and excitement. For this reason, BGU has created its very own blog and missions resources. These answer some of the biggest questions of missions. Find this blog, here.
Here are some of my favorite resources.
- Download the free PDF on “How to Know if You Are Called to Missions.”
- Likewise, Request a paper Brochure that is sent in the mail. This gives details about the various degrees and programs.
- Read “How to Become a Missionary” from the BGU blog.
- Lastly, “Overcoming Parent Objections to Missions” is an incredible and informative blog article.