READY TO JOIN IMB ON MISSION?

Thank you for your interest in serving with the IMB among unreached peoples and places around the world. In partnership with churches, we are sending people to the nations through various pathways, including church planters, professionals, students, retirees, and others to make disciples and multiply churches. We’re thankful that you’re interested in partnering with us.

If you or your church group are ready to go, you can join us on a missionary team or participate in a short-term trip:

TEAMS

Teams are made up of people with different roles and responsibilities beginning with service terms ranging from two months to three years, renewable.

TRIPS

Trips are opportunities for church groups and individuals to join with IMB teams in their work around the world for service times of two months or less.

“The most glorious reason you exist is for the proclamation of the glory of God to the ends of the world.” David Platt

Opportunities to Serve

Below you’ll find further information on some of our pathways, as well as opportunities to apply for specific roles around the world. For questions and additional information, please email our Initial Contacts Team, initiate a  Live Chat, or call us.

Church Planter

Want to plant churches among unreached peoples around the world? Church planters form the core of the IMB missionary presence around the world, and we want to expand that force. Church planters are field based, full-time, and fully-funded by the IMB. Because they are the core of our work, there are both character- and education-based requirements for serving in one of those roles. Here is more information about those qualifications:

  • Called and gifted by God, with a high sense of God’s direction to use those gifts toward missionary service in cross-cultural contexts
  • Age twenty-one or older
  • Model a godly life and healthy family life
  • People with a past divorce (at least five years in the past) may serve
  • Citizen or permanent US resident
  • Active member 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 witnessing experience. See examples below, though qualifying evangelism training is not limited to this list:
  • Evangelism Explosion
  • Continuing Witness Training
  • Share Jesus Without Fear, including practicum
  • Becoming 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 IMB job descriptions indicate educational requirements for each 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

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.

REQUIRED COURSES FOR SEMINARY STUDY

A bachelor’s degree plus appropriate seminary and/or professional training is required to better prepare new personnel 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.

APPRENTICE

FOUNDATIONAL COURSES (12 hours)

Head of Household

The head of household needs 12 hours of graduate-level theological studies in the following areas:

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

Spouse

All apprentice applicants who are not the head of household will be required to have a minimum of 12 hours of undergraduate or graduate theological credit.

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

CAREER

For Career status, the head of household needs a minimum of an additional 8 hours of seminary studies. At least 4 hours must come from the core course list. The spouse needs either 15 hours of theological studies, including the 12 core hours, or 60 hours of college credit.

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 career status (depending on the job assignment), 18 hours must be taken in addition to the foundational courses. At least 12 hours must come from the core course list and 6 hours may be electives.

Journeyman

The Journeyman Program is an IMB funded program designed for recent college graduates between the ages of 21 and 26. Journeymen serve in church planting roles on an IMB missionary team for 2-3 years. Below are a few qualifications for joining the IMB through this pathway. 

  • A sense of God’s leadership to cross-cultural mission
  • Emotional, physical, and spiritual health
  • Twenty-one to twenty-six years old
  • An active member of a Southern Baptist church
  • Single or married with no children (must be married for 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

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

On average, those applying for Journeyman assignments take six to twelve 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 also will work with you to determine the best timing for attending an Expo.

Once you complete the information form online, you have started the application process. Then you will be asked to complete several other pertinent forms that will help IMB 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, IMB staff will select those who are ready for overseas service and who could potentially be matched to an assignment. These applicants are invited to attend a four-day Expo where they will view current job requests and locations. This is held in Richmond, Virginia, and IMB 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. IMB hopes that you will be open to exploring all the open job requests. Two weeks after the Expo, you will be notified if you have been matched with a job. If you accept it, you will be invited to the next eight-week Journeyman training session in Richmond. This marks the beginning of your employment with IMB. There are four eight-week training sessions each year: one starts in January, in April, in July, and in October (exact dates vary each year). After the training session is complete, you will leave for your assignment overseas.

Support Role

Support roles are field based professional roles that support the administration, operations, communications, and technology needs of IMB personnel and teams around the world. These roles are very important to the ability of IMB Teams to carry out their vision and strategy on the field. As such, there are a few qualifications for these roles, as well. 

  • A sense of God’s leadership to cross-cultural missions
  • Emotional, physical, and spiritual health
  • At least twenty-one years of age
  • 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

On average, those applying for ISC assignments take six to twelve 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 also will work with you to determine the best timing for attending an Expo.

Once you complete the information form online, the application process has commenced. You will be asked to complete several other pertinent forms that will help IMB 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, IMB staff will select those who are ready for overseas service and who could potentially be matched to an assignment. These applicants are invited to attend a four-day Expo to view current job requests and locations. This is held in Richmond, Virginia, and IMB 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. IMB hopes that you will be open to exploring all the open job requests. Two weeks after the Expo, you will be notified if you have been matched with a job. If you accept a job, then you will be invited to the next available eight-week training session in Richmond. This is when you commence your employment with IMB. There are four eight-week training sessions each year: one starts in January, in April, in July, and in October (exact dates vary each year). After the training session is completed, you will leave for your assignment overseas.

Professionals, Students, and Retirees

In today’s global marketplace, professionals can reach people and places that traditional missionaries can’t. Students and retirees also have  very distinct opportunities to be among people in places that traditional missionaries may not. This is why Christ calls every believer—entrepreneurs, artists, teachers, doctors, engineers, students, lawyers, technicians, and so many more—to play his or her part in taking the gospel to the nations. IMB offers training and connections to empower professionals, students, and retirees to reach the lost through their work, study, and retirement years and use God-given talents and passions for the sake of his mission. Explore opportunities here and check out our Global Cities Initiative.

For questions and additional information, please email our Initial Contacts Live Chat or call us.