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The Ultimate Guide to Missionary College Programs


Written by Evelyn Oliver

We are called as Christians to spread the good news of the gospel to the whole world, but before that, we need to be equipped to effectively share the good news. After looking at many colleges and programs that offer programs for missions, here is a great guide to the best missionary college programs.

What are missionary college programs? Missionary college programs are programs within a college that focus on teaching the students skills needed on the missions field such as cross-cultural skills, linguistics, theology, apologetics, teaching, and more.

Below is a list of Christian schools, and programs within the schools that are specifically focused on cross-cultural studies and missions. These programs will be a great launching point to go all over the world to preach the gospel and help others.

Now let’s look at the top ten colleges with degrees for people looking to become missionaries. To start, the school I currently attend, Bethany Global University.

1. Bethany Global University

Bethany Global University is the only accredited missions school. They are focused solely on missions and offer accredited degrees to help you reach the world with the gospel.

Bethany Global University is located in Bloomington, Minnesota, and is mission-minded.

Bethany Global University offers three majors, all directly related to missions, and three graduate programs.

Bachelor of Arts in Transformational Entrepreneurship in Missions

In this course, you will learn about business, but also a deep understanding of worldview, the Bible, and cross-cultural training. You will be learning the value of business to transform business, lives, and societies.

You also get the chance to go overseas for sixteen months to experience and grow cross-culturally.

Bachelor of Arts in Intercultural Ministry Studies

This Bachelor’s program offers a chance to go overseas for sixteen months during your junior and part of your senior year.

Through this program, you will learn how to share the gospel overseas while taking Bible and theology courses. You will be prepared to go overseas and learn important cross-cultural ministry skills.

You will gain first-hand experience while living overseas during your junior and senior semesters.

Bachelor of Arts in Education in Missions

While taking education in missions you will learn how to educate using the Montessori method. This degree will help prepare you both to be an educator and a missionary.

Through this course, you will gain hands-on teaching experience at a Montessori school before heading overseas.

You will have the opportunity to learn from experienced Montessori teachers while also taking Bible and Theology classes.

Master of Arts in Intercultural Ministry Studies

In this master’s program, you will develop a mission-minded worldview. There are two tracks to take within this program, a course track and a thesis track. Both help you become communicate cross-culturally and properly contextualize the gospel.

Masters of Arts in Intercultural Ministry Leadership

This master’s program will help you grow as a leader in either the course or thesis track. You will be more prepared as a leader in today’s mission movement.

Masters of Arts in Intercultural Ministry Education

Within this master’s program, you can take the course or thesis track but will come out with the skills to train others in missions. You will gain skills to properly train and equip others to learn about missions through creating curriculum and other means.

2. Moody Bible Institute

Moody Bible Institute located in Chicago, Illinois is a Christian Institute that is dedicated to equipping its students with truth to share the gospel and disciple all over the world.

Many of their degrees are combined with opportunities to experience first-hand and work in the areas that you are studying. Practical Christian Ministries will help you gain skills and apply what you learn in the classroom.

Bachelor of Arts in Missional Leadership

You will get to study in areas of leadership as well as other Biblical courses and working cross-culturally. You will gain skills in leading others cross-culturally, and learn principles to help you in many areas of ministry.

Bachelor of Arts Non-Profit Management

In this program, you will learn how to start, develop, and lead in nonprofit businesses. You will learn about the leadership aspect as well as the financial and entrepreneurship.

You will also learn about social issues and how to use these skills locally and globally.

Bachelor of Arts in Intercultural Studies

You will get the chance to learn and effectively serve, and share the gospel cross-culturally. You will also get to learn about worldview and the church around the world.

Bachelor of Arts in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages

You can serve anywhere teaching cross-culturally to those learning English as a second. This course will take you through cross-cultural differences, and learn about linguistics.

Master of Arts in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages

With this master’s degree you will be able to teach English anywhere. You will get to improve your skills to teach and communicate clearly, all while being biblically rooted.

You will also get to discuss current issues within TESOL.

3. Southeastern University

Southeastern University is a University that is centered on Christ and aims to equip the next generation to be influenced in their community. They are located in Lakeland, Florida

Bachelor of Arts in Intercultural Studies

Southeastern University’s Intercultural Studies major has launched missionaries all over the world. The staff teaching within this major also has been on the missions field bringing much knowledge to the table.

They are dedicated to equipping missionaries to reach the lost and hurting all over the world.

4. Johnson University

Johnson University aims to help fulfill the Great Commission by educating students in areas of ministry and other vocations. They accomplish their goal through a Christ-centered campus while also growing in community. They are located in Knoxville, Tennessee.

Global Community Health

In this degree you will get to learn about health and wellness to help spread the gospel cross-culturally. You will be able to take classes from intercultural studies as well as public health classes to effectively reach others for Christ.

Intercultural Studies

Helps prepare you to reach others cross-culturally. They help you through finding mission vocations that will enable you to reach all peoples with the gospel.

Cross-Cultural Media Communication

In this degree, you will be combining the ability to communicate media expertly and work in a cross-cultural environment.

Spreading the gospel through skills such as communication, media technology, and storytelling.

Applied Linguistics

Through this major, you will be able to study language in all of its aspects and go into depth in how people learn languages and use them to communicate.

This study of language is foundational for working cross-culturally in missions and translation.

Middle Eastern Studies

This major focuses specifically on working and witnessing in an Islamic context. You will study many aspects of the Islamic culture, and have a chance to go overseas to study Arabic.

Teaching English as a Second Language

In this major, you will get to learn about teaching English as a second or foreign language specifically in missional opportunities.

You will study what influences language learning such as culturally, socially, and religiously.

Urban Studies

In this major, you will learn how to effectively work and share the gospel in urban locations all over the world.

You will learn how Urban areas are structured and different social, political, and cultural aspects.

Master of Arts in Intercultural Studies

This online degree program helps you prepare for many cross-cultural ministries. You will get to examine and engage ministry through a missional view.

5. Columbia International University

Columbia International University is located in Columbia, South Carolina, and is a nonprofit university. They aim to educate students to meet the demand for many professional jobs today.

Bachelor of Science in Intercultural Studies

In this program, you will be prepared to reach those all over the world and in any cross-cultural situation.

You will learn how to interpret and respond in cross-cultural situations helping you more effectively share the gospel.

Bachelor of Arts in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL)

You will learn how to teach English to both children and adults in a wide variety of cross-cultural settings.

You will learn methods and procedures to more effectively teach English as a second language.

Bachelor of Science in International Community Development

This program helps train you to reach the nations through the Church. This unique program gives you the chance to live in an underprivileged situation and helps prepare you for living in a third-world country, and effectively ministering there.

Bachelor of Science in Middle Eastern Studies

In this program you will learn cross-cultural communication and ministry skills specifically in the Middle East.

This program includes one year overseas in Israel learning firsthand about Christianity, Judaism, and Islam.

Master of Arts in Global Migration Studies

In this program, you will grow in your understanding of those who are on the move, whether asylum seekers, refugees, international students, or other immigrants.

You will learn the history and patterns of immigrants to better understand how to minister to them.

Master of Arts in Intercultural Studies

You will be able to reach past cultural boundaries and connect with others. You will learn how to understand cultural differences and to take your part in God’s global mission.

Master of Arts in Missiological Studies

This master’s program will help prepare you for work cross-culturally. You will gain the skills and knowledge to engage those in other cultures with the gospel.

Master of Arts in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL)

You will learn how to teach others English, both adults and children, as well as be a leader, and going overseas to teach English. You will grow in your understanding of linguistics and develop a curriculum to teach others.

Masters of Divinity in Missiological Studies

In this program, you will gain a deeper biblical knowledge and practical skills to use for ministry leadership cross-culturally. You will develop biblical principles to help you in ministry and develop strategies for global missions today.

6. Biola University

Biola University is located in LaMirada, California. It’s a Christian university that offers biblically-centered studies and helps its students grow spiritually and be prepared for their future vocation.

All of these below programs are within the Cook School of Intercultural Studies where they help students live and work in diverse cultures while impacting the world for the Lord Jesus Christ.

Intercultural Studies

In this major, you will learn to understand and navigate different cultures. While studying Intercultural studies you will be able to concentrate on certain areas such as church planting and pioneer missions, cross-cultural healthcare, cultural anthropology, missiology, TESOL, and more.

Master of Divinity (Missions and Intercultural Studies)

In this Master’s program, you will be prepared to participate in God’s global mission.

You will be more culturally aware and grow in areas such as anthropology, applied linguistics, church planting, missiology, cross-cultural education, and more.

Masters of Arts in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL)

In this program, Biola focuses on both the practical aspect and academic aspects of teaching English to speakers of Other Languages.

7. Spurgeon College

Spurgeon College is located in Kansas City, Missouri. Their goal is to help train men and women for their future vocations in a Christ-centered way.

They equip their students for both life and ministry all while focusing on God’s word.


FUSION is a one-year program helps those called to missions to grow in their spiritual walk and become prepared to serve on the missions field.

This program happens in three phases, the first phase is training for two semesters at Spurgeon College, the second is working with missionaries with International Missions Board for three months, and the final phases is what happens after Fusion, going out and making disciples.

Bachelor of Arts in Intercultural Studies

You will get to study and grow in biblical knowledge as well as teach cross-culturally. Spurgeon College wants to train leaders and equip them to engage those cross-culturally.

8. University of the Nations

University of the Nations is a University that helps equip those who want to spread the gospel throughout the world by training them in God’s word.

They focus on helping meet certain needs such as physical and spiritual through practical measures.

UofN aims to train their students in a way to effectively share the gospel in any situation and especially to those who have never heard.

Their degree program can be taken with or without pursuing an actual degree, they are not currently accredited. Through University of the Nations, you can be properly equipped to take the gospel throughout the world.

9. Toccoa Falls College

Toccoa Falls College located in Toccoa, Georgia is a nonprofit, private Christian school that helps prepare students for the future.

They have both biblical truths with academic excellence all while helping their students grow spiritually.

Sustainable Community Development

In this major you will learn holistic and sustainable community development, helping them take a holistic approach to the body, soul, and mind.

You will be able to identify a community’s needs and help create ways in which to meet those needs leading to opportunities all over the world.

Cross-Cultural Adult Education

This program specializes in helping you to develop skills for teaching adults cross-culturally. You will gain skills to teach adults specifically and to lead and develop adult-focused programs.

You will be able to enter cross-cultural situations with skills to help you and others thrive.

Cross-cultural Business Administration

You will be able to grow in both areas of the Bible and business through this program.

With cross-cultural knowledge, you will be able to reach others cross-culturally and work with business and nonprofit organizations all over the world.

Cross-Cultural Studies

In this degree program, you will be able to grow your skills in many areas to more efficiently work in other cultures to plant Churches, and spread the gospel.

You will learn about cultural anthropology, missiology, cross-cultural communications, and more.

10. Northwest University

Northwest University located in Kirkland, Washington helps train their students to lead in their future careers. They have in-person and online classes and offer internships as well. They want their students to be equipped for any future job.

Bachelor of Arts in Intercultural Studies

In this major, you can grow in your faith as you learn about cultural differences. This program has eight different emphases depending on where you want to work in the future.

They draw from many different aspects to help you fully learn and communicate and create relationships cross-culturally.

These college programs are designed to help train their students to reach the nations with the gospel. All of the above colleges are dedicated to seeing the good news be heard by every tongue, tribe, and nation.

If you are looking for a college program to help start you off on a path to missions consider one of the above colleges and programs.

They all have different strengths and weaknesses, look for the college that fits your needs the most. Make sure to pray through your decision as well, let God into the process of choosing where to go in the future.

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