Ways to go

"Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations …" (Matthew 28:19, HCSB)

Jesus’ last words on earth set the standard for every believer: to glorify Him by making His name known. IMB’s vision is a multitude from every language, people, tribe and nation knowing and worshipping our Lord Jesus Christ — the very essence of Christ’s Great Commission. Accomplishing this command means sending missionaries to every corner of the earth. Will you be one of them?


Service opportunities

Apprentice/Career: Long-term service, age 21+

Journeyman: 2-3 year assignment, age 21-26

ISC: 2-3 year terms, support roles, age 21+

Masters: 2-3 year terms, age 50+

Kairos: 2-3 year terms for Hispanics, age 21+

Macedonia Project: 3-4 year assignment while earning theological degree, age 21+ 

Students and Young Adults: serve for a week, summer, semester or year 

Professionals: Make disciples through your job 


 

Apprentice/Career

Long-term workers are the heart of Southern Baptists’ international missionary force. This lifetime investment begins with an apprentice term and transitions to career service.

Sharing the gospel, making disciples and planting churches in a cross-cultural context is the primary responsibility of every missionary. 

Candidates must be age 21+; see “Qualifications” below for more details. 

Apply now.


Qualifications
  • Called and gifted by God, with a high sense of God’s leading to use their gifts in missionary service in cross-cultural situations
  • Age: 21+
  • Model a godly life and healthy family life
  • People with a past divorce (at least five years in the past) may serve
  • Citizens or permanent U.S. residents
  • Active members of a Southern Baptist church
  • Trained and involved in personal evangelism, discipleship and witnessing. Evangelism training must be within the confines of a formal program that includes classroom work and practical experience witnessing. See examples below, though qualifying evangelism training is not limited to this list:  
  • -Evangelism Explosion
  • -Continuing Witness Training 
  • -Share Jesus Without Fear, including practicum
  • -How to be a Contagious Christian, including practicum
  • -CAMEL training
  • -MasterLife I & II
  • -Campus Crusade
  • -Navigators 
  • -Seminary evangelism courses that include a practicum
  • Candidates should have the education and experience to meet requirements for a specific assignment. Written job descriptions indicate educational requirements for each specific assignment. Apprentices who are appointed before meeting the career requirements must complete them by the end of their first state-side assignment. Apprentice service is a means of gaining the field experience needed for career service. Prior church-related and secular experience will be evaluated as a part of the Apprentice application process.
  • Good emotional, physical and mental health

 

Application process
  • Step 1

    Take the first step toward missions by reading the information on this site, including the qualifications for Apprentice. If you have any questions before applying online, please contact our Initial Contacts Representative at 1-888-422-64611-888-422-6461 FREE. Click 'Apply' at the top of the page and follow the instructions.

  • Step 2

    After submitting the Information Form, a Personnel Consultant and assistant will guide and nurture you through the application process starting with an Initial Interview. To see your assigned Personnel Consultant, click on the button below.

    Meet the Consultants

  • Step 3

    At the Missions EXPO conference you will meet with selected IMB staff, have personal interviews, participate in small groups with other candidates, research job details with a Strategic Deployment Consultant and learn more about IMB.

  • Step 4

    You will work with your Personnel Consultant as you complete the application paperwork, then your in-depth interview will be scheduled. The next step is then securing a job match with your Deployment Consultant.

  • Step 5

    The Strategic Deployment Consultant presents your application to a select committee of IMB trustees for their recommendation for your appointment. Once approved, candidates attend appointment week to meet with trustees and IMB staff. Additional information related to life overseas and general orientation is shared. You will participate in an appointment service.

  • Step 6

    Orientation includes the entire family and is held near Richmond. Furnished quarters, meals, care and schooling are provided for the children during the sessions. Overseas deployment usually occurs within two weeks after orientation.

 

Seminary requirements

IMB has determined that the long-term effectiveness of missionary personnel is closely related to solid academic preparation, especially in biblical, missiological and theological areas.

CURRENT SEMINARY REQUIREMENTS:

A bachelor’s degree plus appropriate seminary and professional training is preferred for most assignments. Appropriate seminary training is required to better prepare the person for cross-cultural missionary service. Areas addressed might include one’s theological foundation, missiological philosophy, Southern Baptist identity, evangelism preparation, and any other field-generated expectations for a specific assignment. For Career service, the current requirement is as listed below.

**PLEASE NOTE—Apprentice applicants do not need to have these hours in place, but the hours must be completed prior to the beginning of the second term as Career missionaries. If you do not have at least some of these hours completed before going Apprentice it will be impossible to complete the total hours before your Career term. Please talk through this with your Personnel Consultant to fully understand the implications of this requirement.

 

Career service

A bachelor's degree and a minimum of 20 hours seminary is required for all Career assignments. Team Strategy Leaders are required to have completed a minimum 30 hours of graduate level biblical, theological and missiological study. 

Missionary spouses are expected to have at least 60 college credits. For those with only a high school diploma, they will need 15 hours of Bible and theological courses from an approved institution. Please check with your Personnel Consultant to guide you in this.

For 20-hour and 30-hour requirements, IMB recommends certain courses that will provide the foundation the missionary will need as they approach their task. There is flexibility in the classes you can take. However, we do ask that the courses be in the areas of biblical studies, missions, church history, anthropology and theology. Be sure to review course selections with your consultant.

CORE COURSES (16 hours)

  • BIBLICAL STUDIES: NT Studies, OT Studies, Biblical Backgrounds, etc.
  • THEOLOGY: Systematic, Biblical
  • HISTORY: Church History
  • BAPTIST DISTINCTIVES: Baptist History, Baptist Polity
  • MISSIONS: Introduction, Missiology, Missionary Anthropology, Assignment-specific courses, etc.
  • EVANGELISM: Cross-cultural, Personal, Muslim, etc.
  • DISCIPLESHIP: Spiritual Foundations, etc.
  • CHURCH PLANTING: Cross-cultural Church Planting, Leadership Development, Christian Education
  • RELIGIONS: Introduction to World Religions
  • PREACHING: Basic Preaching, Storying
  • ETHICS: Christian Ethics

ELECTIVE COURSES (4 hours) RELATIONAL SKILLS:

  • Interpersonal Relationships, Conflict Management, Stress Management, Introduction to Counseling, Pastoral Care

NOTE: For those needing 30 hours of seminary credit for the position of Strategy Coordinator, at least 24 hours must come from the core course list and 6 hours may be electives.

EDUCATIONAL REQUIREMENTS FOR THOSE APPROVED BY TRUSTEES AFTER JUNE 1, 2014:

All Apprentice head of household applicants (husbands and all singles) will be required to have a minimum of 12 hours of credit from an approved, graduate level theological institution prior to being approved by trustees. Therefore, this requirement must be completed prior to the unit being presented to trustees for approval.

These 12 hours must be for graduate level credit and allocated as follows:

  • 3 hours – New Testament Survey
  • 3 hours – Old Testament Survey
  • 3 hours – Biblical or Systematic Theology
  • 3 hours – Hermeneutics

All Apprentice applicants who are not the head of household (wives) will be required to have a minimum of 12 hour of undergraduate or graduate theological credit prior to being approved by trustees. Therefore, this requirement must be completed prior to the unit being presented to trustees for approval. In some cases, with IMB approval, selected seminary wives study programs offered by specified Southern Baptist seminaries will be acceptable to meet the requirement for spouse theological studies. In most cases, two seminary wives classes will be necessary to equal one 3-hour course for undergraduate or graduate credit.

These 12 hours may be undergraduate or graduate level credit and allocated as follows:

  • 3 hours – New Testament Survey
  • 3 hours – Old Testament Survey
  • 3 hours – Biblical or Systematic Theology
  • 3 hours – Elective Course in General Ministry

In order to make the transition to these new requirements reasonable for those already in the application process, implementation will begin with those presented to the trustees for approval after June 1, 2014.

Head of Household Apprentice applicants are encouraged to complete all 20 hours of these seminary requirements before beginning their Apprentice term; however, the 12 hours are required before serving the Apprentice term for those approved by trustees after June 1, 2014.

If you have further questions about the educational requirements, please contact the Personnel Consultant for your region of the country.

 

Explore your call

GOD'S CALL IS TO SALVATION, DISCIPLESHIP AND SERVICE

Having a personal relationship with Jesus Christ is a basic assumption for those who are considering missionary service. But to understand your call to missions, it is important to recognize that your call began when He asked you to commit your life to Him. That call continues as He calls you to be faithful in your walk with Christ as a disciple and to serve Him. Some are called to serve as volunteers here and overseas, others feel a call to live residentially overseas as missionaries for 2-3 years, and many feel a call to serve overseas as Career missionaries. 

GOD'S CALL IS IN HARMONY WITH HIS WORK OF CREATION

God uses our talents and spiritual gifts overseas to fulfill the call to missions in unique ways. If God is calling you to overseas missionary service, you will want to identify how you may be suited for effective missionary service in cross-cultural settings. There are many types of assignments on the field and each requires a certain giftedness and fit. God is calling us to Himself and this is at the core of the call to missions.


GOD'S CALL IS HEARD IN THE PERSONAL LEADERSHIP OF THE HOLY SPIRIT

Those who are called to missions must sense God's leadership in their lives. That may come in a dramatic spiritual experience or in reflecting on how God has led you through a series of circumstances. Many experience this leadership of the Holy Spirit to overseas missions service when they are involved in a short term missions project. God may affirm that they are doing exactly what He has called them to do. Everyone experiences this call in a different way. How has God spoken to your heart?


GOD'S CALL INVOLVES OTHER CHRISTIANS

God works through fellow Christians to help us sense and confirm His call. You may want to ask others about your feelings related to God's call to overseas service. Do these spiritual brothers, sisters, and mentors affirm your sense of call? Do they affirm that you have a passion for the lost of the world? If so, read more about our options of missionary service on this website and pray about filling out the Information Form letting us know of your interest. 

Journeyman

Journeyman missionaries are recent college graduates with a passion to take the gospel to some of the hardest, least-evangelized places on earth.

Serving for two to three years, Journeymen must be between the ages of 21-26 and have completed an undergraduate degree; see “Qualifications” below for more details.

Apply now.

Qualifications
  • A sense of God’s leadership
  • Emotional, physical and spiritual health
  • 21-26 years old
  • An active member of a Southern Baptist church
  • Single or married with no children (must be married one year prior to deployment)
  • Citizen or permanent resident of the United States
  • Completion of an accredited bachelor’s degree prior to orientation
  • Willingness to commit to a two-year assignment
  • Commitment to evangelism
  • A growing Christian faith
  • Ability to clear your calendar for a four-day conference in Richmond

 

Application process

There is an upper age limit for being a Journeyman. You will need to have started the application before you turn 26. You must still be age 26 at the start of the eight-week orientation session.

On the average, those applying for Journeyman assignments take six to 12 months to complete the application and interview process, from the initial Information Form through the start of orientation. You will move through the process at your own pace. Your consultant will also work with you to determine the best timing for attending an Expo.

Once you complete the Information Form online, that starts the application process. Then you will be asked to complete several other pertinent forms, which will help us determine your readiness for overseas service. This includes a Health Questionnaire, Christian Beliefs statements, Personal Testimony, Autobiography, references, etc. You will be working toward a deadline date for having all written materials completed.

After a review of all Journeyman applicants, staff selects those who are ready for overseas service and who could potentially be matched to an assignment. These applicants are then invited to attend a four-day Expo where they will be able to view the current job requests and locations. This is held in Richmond, Virginia, and we will cover the costs for that event. Currently, there are two Expo conferences a year: March and October. Both Expos have application deadlines.

Applicants will be asked to choose their top three job preferences at the Expo. This is because there may be more than one person looking at a specific request, and we have to decide who is best for each job. We hope that you will be open to exploring all the open job requests. Two weeks or so after the Expo, you will be notified if you have been matched with a job. If you accept it, then you will be invited to the next applicable eight-week training session in Richmond, Virginia. This is when you would begin your employment with us. There are four eight-week training sessions each year: one starts in January, another in April, one in July and one in October (exact dates vary each year). After the training session is completed, you would be leaving for your assignment overseas.


ISC

International Service Corps (ISC) missionaries serve in vital short-term support roles, working alongside career missionaries to share Christ and plant churches. 

Possible assignments include teaching in an international school, media, logistical support, information technology, finance and more. 

Serving for two- to three-year terms, ISC missionaries must be 21 or older; see “Qualifications” below for more details.


Qualifications
  • A sense of God’s leadership
  • Emotional, physical and spiritual health
  • At least 21
  • An active member of a Southern Baptist church
  • If married, must be married for at least one year prior to Field Personnel Orientation
  • People with a past divorce (at least five years in the past) may serve
  • Citizen or permanent resident of the United States
  • Education/experience that meets the field requirements
  • Willingness to commit to a two-year assignment
  • Commitment to evangelism
  • A growing Christian faith
  • Ability to clear your calendar for a four-day conference in Richmond
Application process

 

On average, those applying for ISC assignments take six to 12 months to complete the application and interview process, from the initial Information Form through the start of orientation. You will move through the process at your own pace. Your consultant will also work with you to determine the best timing for attending an Expo.

Once you complete the Information Form online, that starts the application process. Then you will be asked to complete several other pertinent forms, which will help us determine your readiness for overseas service. This includes a Health Questionnaire, Christian Beliefs statements, Personal Testimony, Autobiography, references, etc. You will be working toward a deadline date for having all written materials completed.

After a review of all ISC applicants, staff selects those who are ready for overseas service and who could potentially be matched to an assignment. These applicants are then invited to attend a Four-day Expo where they will be able to view the current job requests and locations. This is held in Richmond, Virginia, and we will cover the costs for that event. Currently, there are two Expo conferences a year: March and October. Both Expos have application deadlines.

Applicants will be asked to choose their top three job preferences at the Expo. This is because there may be more than one person looking at a specific request, and we have to decide who is best for each job. We hope that you will be open to exploring all the open job requests. Two weeks or so after the Expo, you will be notified if you have been matched with a job. If you accept it, then you will be invited to the next available eight-week training session in Richmond, Virginia. This is when you would begin your employment with us. There are four eight-week training sessions each year: one starts in January, another in April, one in July and one in October (exact dates vary each year). After the training session is completed, you would be leaving for your assignment overseas.


Kairos

Hispanics often have greater access to certain people groups than missionaries from other ethnicities. Kairos was created to maximize the unique cultural and linguistic skills of Hispanic Southern Baptists in fulfilling the Great Commission.

Some Kairos missionaries serve alongside established missionary teams while others pioneer work among unengaged peoples.

Serving for two- to three-year terms, Kairos missionaries must be 21 or older; see “Qualifications” below for more details.

Apply now.

Información en Español


Qualifications
  • A sense of God’s leadership to serve cross-culturally
  • Emotional, physical and spiritual health
  • At least 21
  • An active member of a Southern Baptist church
  • Citizen or permanent resident of the United States
  • If married, must be married for at least one year prior to Field Personnel Orientation
  • The equivalent of a high school diploma
  • Experience in sharing your faith and discipling believers
  • The capacity to learn another language
  • The ability to speak English
  • IMB does not send missionaries to their country of origin.

 

Macedonia Project

The Macedonia Project allows missionaries to serve overseas while pursuing theological education through participating Southern Baptist seminaries.

After completing a three- to four-year assignment, Macedonia missionaries return to the United States to finish the remainder of their degree, supported by a stipend. Missionaries are then eligible to apply for service as career missionaries.

Macedonia Project applicants must be 21 or older; see “Qualifications” below for more details.


Qualifications
  • A sense of God’s leadership to serve cross-culturally long term
  • Emotional, physical and spiritual health
  • At least 21 years of age
  • An active member of a Southern Baptist church
  • Citizen or permanent resident of the United States
  • If married, must be married for at least one year prior to Field Personnel Orientation
  • Education/experience that meets the field requirements
  • The ability to complete one seminary level course per semester or two courses per year
  • Potential for career appointment in 4-5 years

 

Details

Macedonia Project to help speed new missionaries to field

 

By Erich Bridges

 

RICHMOND, Va.—You’ve recently finished college — or maybe you’re a mid-career professional — and you sense an urgent call to follow Christ into long-term mission service.

You have the practical skills to make an impact. You have the motivation. You’re ready to respond to the Lord’s call in obedience — right now, as the Apostle Paul responded when he dreamed of the man pleading, “Come over to Macedonia and help us” (Acts 16:9). But you need the theological training required for career missionary appointment.

The Macedonia Project might be the express lane to missions you’re looking for. This category of missionary service was developed by IMB in conjunction with Southern Baptist seminaries.

The three- to four-year mission assignment, offered under the International Service Corps (ISC) umbrella, allows apprentice missionaries to live and serve overseas while pursuing theological education online with one of the participating seminaries. At the end of the field term, Macedonia Project missionaries will return to the U.S. and complete the remainder of their academic curriculum within a year, earning a master of arts degree while continuing to receive a financial stipend. After successfully completing the program, they will be eligible to apply for appointment as full-fledged career missionaries.

The approach enables new missionaries to gain real-world experience while simultaneously building the biblical foundation needed to undergird them for the long term. They learn theology and missiology “in the laboratory of the field experience — essentially without delaying theological education in order to gain field experience, nor delaying field experience in order to get theological education,” according the program’s introductory statement.

The IMB is seeking two types of candidates for the program:

People just out of college with a long-term mission calling who want to jumpstart their training and get to the field as soon as possible.
Well-equipped people already in the professional arena who have valuable skills to offer in mission service, but who need seminary training.
The first group comprises “millennials who are moving from college into the professional world and really aren’t of the mindset to separate their theological education from their practical experience,” said an IMB personnel strategist helping design the program. “The other group is professionals who feel called to long-term missions. They maybe have professional expertise in teaching or dentistry or medicine or nursing and they want to come with IMB. They’ve got experience. They’ve got a professional degree. The only thing they lack is theological education. They can come via Macedonia and get the education while at the same time getting oriented to missions.”

Participants work to complete one seminary course per semester, or two per year, while they’re on the field. The most academically challenging courses likely come at the end of the program, when they return to complete degree work on seminary campuses. Cooperating seminaries are asked to provide Macedonia Project missionaries a discount in regular tuition for online classes. IMB also  provides study funds to help offset tuition costs.

And the programs aren't identical at each school. Program designers are looking to have a variety of programs a student can choose from to further enrich the type of experience that student receives.

Potential candidates can seek more information by calling IMB Initial Contacts at (888) 422-6461 or emailing initial.contacts@imb.org

Masters

Masters missionaries bring a lifetime of experience, skills and wisdom as they work with career and other short-term missionaries to evangelize the lost.

Serving for two- to three-year terms, Masters missionaries must be 50 or older with no dependent children and must provide a portion of their financial support; see “Qualifications” below for more details.

Apply now.

Qualifications
  • A sense of God’s leadership
  • Emotional, physical and spiritual health
  • People who are flexible and can work well with others as part of a team, willing to do whatever it may take to reach others with the love of Christ
  • At least 50 years old; no upper age limit (if married, one spouse must be 50)
  • An active member of a Southern Baptist church
  • No dependent children under age 18; no children can accompany parents to the field
  • People with a past divorce (at least five years in the past) may serve
  • Citizen or permanent resident of the United States
  • Education/experience that meets the field requirements
  • Commitment to evangelism
  • A growing Christian faith
  • Ability to provide partial support
  • Ability to clear your calendar for a four-day conference in Richmond

 

Professionals

In today’s global marketplace, professionals can reach people and places that traditional missionaries can’t. This is why Christ calls every believer — entrepreneurs, artists, teachers, doctors, engineers, students, lawyers, technicians, and so many more — to play their part in taking the gospel to the nations.

IMB offers training and connections to empower professionals to reach the lost through their work, using God-given talents and passions for the sake of the Great Commission.

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