Mission Opportunities

God is using the local church as the means to spread the gospel among millions of people who are living without a Savior.

To that end, IMB works with churches to provide pathways to send their church members overseas. Our vision is to create limitless missionary teams that join together career missionaries, professionals, students, retirees, and others to make disciples and multiply churches.

“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

For questions and additional information, please email our Initial Contacts team or call 1-888-442-6461.

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. The primary responsibilities of long-term missionaries are sharing the gospel, making disciples, and planting churches in a cross-cultural context.

  • Called and gifted by God, with a high sense of God’s leading to use their gifts toward missionary service in cross-cultural contexts
  • Ages 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.

  • Step 1: Take the first step toward international missions by reading the information on this site, including the qualifications for apprentice. If you have any questions before applying online, please click Questions at the bottom of the page. If you are ready to begin the application process, click Apply at the bottom of the page.
  • Step 2: After submitting the information form, a personnel consultant and assistant will guide you through the application process, starting with an initial interview. To see your assigned personnel consultant, click on 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 deployment consultant, and learn more about IMB.
  • Step 4: You will work with your personnel consultant as you complete the application paperwork. Upon doing so, your in-depth interview will be scheduled and completed. The next step is securing a job match with your deployment consultant.
  • Step 5: The deployment consultant will present your application to a select committee of IMB trustees for their recommendation for your appointment. Once approved, candidates attend a week-long appointment event to meet with trustees and IMB staff. Additional information related to life overseas and general orientation is shared. The week is concluded by your participation in an appointment service.
  • Step 6: Orientation includes the entire family and is held near Richmond, Virginia. Furnished quarters, meals, care, and schooling for children are provided during the sessions. Overseas deployment usually occurs within two weeks after orientation.

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 commands you to serve him and be faithful in your walk with Christ as a disciple. Some are called to serve as volunteers here and overseas, others feel a call to live residentially overseas as missionaries for a few 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 those who have not heard the gospel? If so, read through our options of missionary service on this website and pray about filling out the information form.

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 twenty-one to twenty-six and have completed an undergraduate degree.

  • A sense of God’s leadership
  • 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.

ISC

International Service Corps (ISC) missionaries serve in vital short-term support roles and work alongside career missionaries to share Christ and plant churches. Possible assignments include teaching in an international school, media personnel, logistical support, information technology, finance, and more. ISC missionaries must be twenty-one or older and will serve two- or three-year terms.

  • A sense of God’s leadership
  • 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.

Kairos

Hispanics often have greater access to certain people groups than missionaries of other ethnicities. Kairos was created to maximize the unique cultural and linguistic skills of Hispanic Southern Baptists to fulfill the Great Commission. Some Kairos missionaries serve alongside established missionary teams while others pioneer work among unengaged peoples. Kairos missionaries must be twenty-one or older and serve two- to three-year terms.

  • A sense of God’s leadership to serve cross-culturally
  • Emotional, physical, and spiritual health
  • At least twenty-one 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
  • 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.

Información en Español

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 twenty-one or older.

  • A sense of God’s leadership to serve cross-culturally long-term
  • Emotional, physical, and spiritual health
  • At least twenty-one 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 four to five years

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 role 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 US and complete the remainder of their academic curriculum within a year to earn 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.

This 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 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 yet 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 who helped 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 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 a seminary campus. Cooperating seminaries are asked to provide Macedonia Project missionaries with a discount for regular tuition for online classes. IMB also provides study funds to help offset tuition costs.

The programs aren’t identical at each participating seminary. Program designers offer a variety of programs a student can choose from to further enrich the type of experience that student receives.

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 fifty years of age or older with no dependent children and must provide a portion of their financial support.

  • 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. They need to be willing to do whatever it takes to reach others with the love of Christ
  • At least fifty years old; no upper age limit (if married, one spouse must be fifty)
  • An active member of a Southern Baptist church
  • No dependent children under age eighteen; 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 financial 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 and use God-given talents and passions for the sake of the Great Commission. Explore opportunities for professionals and our Global Cities Initiative.

For questions and additional information, please email our Initial Contacts team or call 1-888-442-6461.