North America

Center for Intercultural Training   “CIT is a partnership of missional agencies, churches and organizations dedicated to training and equipping cross-cultural workers and their families for cross-cultural ministry.   Participants attend courses at CITʼs 28 acre campus located near the mountains of western North Carolina. The quiet campus provides the ideal environment to build cross-cultural awareness and skills in a community-based learning environment.”    (4 weeks Equipping + 2 weeks Second Language Acquisition)

Training Philosophy   CIT values a holistic approach to the learning process. While the principle and skill aspects of cross-cultural  preparation can be segmented into bite-sized subject matter, they are lived out in an integrated whole. Therefore, our programming attempts to integrate our values throughout the participants’ learning experience with us. We believe in community, age-appropriate learning, and spiritual formation.


NOTE:  the following list is meant only as a partial list of missionary training programs and is not meant as an endorsement.

Beautiful Feet   “Training begins each year on the first Monday of July with a two-month intensive Boot Camp held on the Beautiful Feet campus in Oklahoma City. Classes address the common difficulties missionaries encounter emotionally and spiritually, providing an overview of crucial missionary method and thought alongside hands-on ministry interaction with the poor and marginalized of our own culture.”  (Oklahoma) 5 months

Calvary Church  “We exist to prepare missionaries for effective cross-cultural ministry through personal assessment, spiritual growth, useful ministry experience and individual mentoring.”   “Are you considering cross-cultural service among Muslims or Hindus?  Check into one of Christar’s time-tested intensive training programs.”  (Specific training for working with Muslims or Hindus (3 weeks in Detroit area)

Columbia International University  Columbia International University in Columbia, South Carolina, has a strong emphasis on ministry and missions with programs at undergraduate, graduate and doctoral levels, including some online masters programs.

Cross Training  (Canada) “CrossTraining Global is a 8 month Missionary apprenticeship program. It prepares you to serve overseas in a cross-cultural setting by providing experiential training in an urban, ethnic-specific ministry setting in Calgary or Toronto.” (8 months)

University of the Nations (YWAM) “the College of Humanities and International Studies seeks to cultivate a biblical worldview centered on redemption, restoration, and reconciliation through Christ. Students explore disciplines that encourage cross cultural understanding such as linguistics, intercultural studies, and justice.”  (full 4 year BA)

Discover Program – Prairie Bible College  “This unique first-year program will combine Bible training, discipleship, international travel and cross-cultural immersion to enlarge your worldview and show you first-hand what is happening in global missions today.”  (one-year program – 30 credits)

Emmaus Road International  Emmaus Road International offers a range of missions training courses varying from a team orientation course lasting several hours to a 10 week total immersion in a second culture. Their website also contains information in the form of MP3, DVD, and whitepaper downloads in their ‘ACTS Media Library.’

Equip (North Carolina and British Columbia) “We are an organization dedicated to preparing people for the real-world of ministry. Our courses are specially designed by experienced teachers to make sure you know the ins-and-outs of your field. It doesn’t matter if you are a trained medical professional seeking continuing education credit, or a student preparing to leave the country for the first time.”

Gateway Missionary Training Centre (Langley, BC, Canada) 3 mos of classes, 3 mos internship “Gateway is an international, evangelical, residential community committed to a holistic educational process of formal, nonformal, and informal learning.  Gateway Missionary Training Centre is located in beautiful, rural Langley, British Columbia.”

Global Frontier Missions  (multiple sites around the U.S and internationally)  “We take a proven, holistic approach to missionary training and preparation. We purposely focus on integral ministry training: head (formal, classroom, theory), heart (informal, community, spiritual), and hands (non-formal, on-the-job, practical). By doing so, we equip students with the knowledge, skills, and character necessary to be successful serving in missions.”

Immerge trains individuals and groups to take up their professions to new heights in a global market. Training takes place simultaneously in three arenas in the apprentice’s life. Want to learn more of the three areas of training?  (BAM specific training)

Institute for Cross-Cultural Training  “The Institute for Cross-Cultural Training (ICCT) equips individuals called to global mission fields with skills for learning another language and culture and prepares them for Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL).”   (Billy Graham Center and Wheaton College)

Institute for International Christian Communication  “sees a world teeming with intercultural followers of Jesus who are skilled at communicating God’s Truth to the very heart of an unfamiliar language and culture.” (Portland Oregon)

International Training Partners  “International Training Partners is a global network of facilitators and trainers from more than forty nationalities serving together in an informal partnership to provide practical, interactive, biblical training in interpersonal relationships for Christian workers.”  (SYIS workshops)

JAARS  “Training is critical—especially when the ability to thrive in dangerous, remote and complex situations is a daily mandate. We provide essential preparation for men, women and families to have a sustained technical, spiritual and cross-cultural impact. Key programs include, but aren’t limited to: intercultural communications, aviation pre-field and recurrent training, field IT support and Web development workshops, 4WD/motorbike training and more.”

Life Development International  provides ministry training focused on church ministry and missions. The training is designed to provide challenging material for all participant levels. Past participants have included veteran and pre-field missionaries, pastors and church board members. It is also ideal for staff from organizations sending or training Christian workers.  While tailored for Asian ministry, we have alumni from North America, Africa, and Asia.”  (Asia specific)

Literacy & Evangelism International  “Drawing upon 50 years of history, LEI’s training incorporates years of valuable experience from literacy and English language classes around the world. LEI equips the Church through a variety of literacy and English language training events.”

Masters  “Our 11 month training curriculum begins in September.  Classroom time is kept to a minimum.  The majority of each day is spent actually practicing the technical skills studied.  Some, but not all of these skills, include building construction on roads and dams, carpentry, heavy construction/millwork, airstrip construction, auto mechanics, bush living, animal husbandry, gardening, water and electrical systems.”

Mission Catalyst International Inc.  “Mission Catalyst International, Inc. is an inter-denominational missions organization which equips and mobilizes indigenous church-planters and missionaries from the Majority World to more effectively evangelize the least reached peoples of the earth with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.”  (trains national missionaries only)

Mission prep  “a Canadian based organization committed to enhancing the long-term effectiveness of Christians serving in cross-cultural mission.  We offer interactive training programs for the whole family in three areas: cross-cultural life & ministry, language acquisition strategies,  and debriefing the missionary experience.”  (2 weeks cross-cultural + 2 weeks language learning)

Mission Training International  “Mission Training International’s vision is to see cross-cultural messengers of the Gospel of Jesus Christ experience effectiveness, endurance and personal vitality. MTI accomplishes this through two main programs: COMPASS and DAR.    Doing cross-cultural ministry is difficult and requires more than a sense of calling. It requires a broad set of skills and a healthy approach to life and ministry. A large majority of cross-cultural workers aren’t adequately prepared for their calling, which leads to frustration, burn-out, or more destructive patterns.  This is where MTI can help.  For 60 years, MTI has been providing relevant, practical, in-residence training on the make-or-break issues that help make cross-cultural messengers of the Gospel more effective.” (Colorado)

Missionary Training School is a ministry of Global Frontier Missions which is a movement of Christ-centered communities dedicated to mobilizing, training, and multiplying disciples and churches among the unreached people groups of the earth. GFM has been providing missionary training for more than 10 years and has graduates serving in many different countries with several different missions sending organizations like Pioneers, Frontiers, the International Mission Board, etc  (5-9 month training, multiple sites)

Missionary Training Service   “The online MTS training programmes aim to cover all aspects necessary to equip missionaries and tentmakers for church planting work among people of other cultures. The Certificate level programme covers all the essentials and the Diploma level incorporates further reading and assignments.”   (online training)

Missions Training   “This free online missions training prepares Christian missionaries to share the Good News of Jesus Christ. Practical guidance is given to aid in church planting, discipleship, and evangelism. Students are instructed to examine their call to missions; to understand the traditional theology of the church; and to develop skills in preaching, teaching, pastoral ministry, and administration. The study of Messianic prophecy and Christian apologetics shows Jesus to be the Messiah and the Bible to be the true word of God”  (online only, seems to be little actual cross-cultural content)

Paraclete  (primarily member care although some team building and testing offered)  “Paraclete Mission Group comes alongside mission agencies, churches and church planting movements involved in expanding the Kingdom of God around the world. Paraclete associates are experienced missionaries and professionals who use their histories, skills and gifts to partner with individuals and organizations to help them be effective in life and ministry.” (Los Angeles)

Perspectives  “Perspectives is a fifteen week course designed around four vantage points or “perspectives” — Biblical, Historical, Cultural and Strategic. Each one highlights different aspects of God’s global purpose.  The Biblical and Historical sections reveal why our confidence is based on the historic fact of God’s relentless work from the dawn of history until this day.  The Cultural and Strategic sections underscore that we are in the midst of a costly, but very “do-able” task, confirming the Biblical and Historical hope.”  “SIL offers training in a variety of disciplines relevant to sustainable language development.  SIL offers training in fields of study that support language development such as linguistics, literacy and multilingual education, anthropology, translation, and learner-directed language and culture learning.”

TRAIN International equips individuals and teams preparing to live and work cross-culturally and provides debriefing when they return from the field. TRAIN International also offers coaching to churches who are sending and supporting cross-cultural workers. Our goal is that workers go prepared, stay effective, and return healthy and prepared for their next phase of ministry.

University of the Nations (YWAM) “the College of Humanities and International Studies seeks to cultivate a biblical worldview centered on redemption, restoration, and reconciliation through Christ. Students explore disciplines that encourage cross cultural understanding such as linguistics, intercultural studies, and justice.”  (full 4 year BA)

UWM Avance  “Serve in Mexico City with Avance for a week, summer or a whole year. Immerse yourself through language and culture while living with a host family, taking Spanish classes, serving under national leadership and participating in a local church.  Help Mexican Christians reach out with compassion and love in one of the largest cities of the world, and grow and learn about God’s will for your life at the same time.”  (on-field training in Mexico)

Worldview Resource Group “The mission of the Worldview Resource Group is to provide cross-cultural church planting methodologies that emphasize a worldview approach to ministry.”

YWAM  “The Discipleship Training School (DTS)  is divided into two parts: a twelve-week lecture phase, followed by a nine-week outreach phase. In order to graduate from the DTS, both phases must be successfully completed.”  (much broader than pre-field training only)


The Evangelical Training Directory  “A searchable multi-lingual database of evangelical Bible colleges – and pastoral, theological and missionary training programs, courses and resources world-wide – to help you find the training you need to serve the Lord.”    (Global search engine, includes degree programs)


Agency Specific (many larger agencies do their own in house training, generally only for those going with that agency)  a few examples are:

ABWE   Missionary candidates entering prefield ministry have committed themselves, hopefully, to a lifetime of missionary service. Likewise, as a missionary agency, ABWE has committed itself to certain values; among them is the value of Excellence. ABWE’s Center for Excellence in International Ministries (CEIM) has been assigned the responsibilities of assisting and supervising prefield missionaries in their developmental processes toward excellence in missionary service.”  (agency specific)

Florida Free   “exists to train missionaries to meet the tremendous need to tell others about Christ around the world. Training is provided at no cost.”  (part of Teen Missions)

Global Advance

New Tribes Mission  “The Missionary Training Center prepares you for career ministry with New Tribes Mission. Think about it: If you were given the opportunity today to plant a church in an unreached tribe, would you know where to start? Missionary training teaches you about the complex concepts involved in tribal church planting, such as understanding culture and learning language, so you can effectively communicate cross-culturally. We’re also vitally concerned about your walk with God, so that in an isolated, high-pressure environment, your relationship with God can survive and even thrive.”  (Agency specific)



ACMC’S Mobilizer magazine ~ Fall 2001 Contains:

Issues and Trends in Missionary Preparation, by Woody Phillips
What We’re Seeing, an interview with several mission agencies’s personnel administrators
So That We May Work Together For the Truth, by Tom Steller
Partnering in Training, by Mike Pollard
It’s How You Know, by World Team staffers

This page was last checked for dead links on May 21, 2016.