How to promote Lottie Moon

Frequently Asked Questions

The Application Process

Who can I talk with about missionary service?
How long does it usually take to go through the application process?
Do I have to raise my own support?
How do we find out about salary and benefits and when do they begin?
How often are appointment services held?
How can I prepare for future service?


Requirements

If I am from a country besides the U.S., can I apply for missionary service with the IMB?
What are the seminary requirements?
What are the medical requirements?
What are the witnessing and evangelism expectations for new missionaries?
What are the debt limitations?
What if I am divorced?
What are the age limits for Apprentice and Career?  Age limits for children?
Do I have to be Southern Baptist for a certain amount of time?


Decision Making

Can a single man or woman be appointed?
What if my spouse is not sure about his/her call?


Life Style Questions

What is the role of the missionary wife?
I have heard there are some weight limitations, can you explain them?
Can I take my pets?


Children’s Education

What do you do about children’s education?


 

The Application Process

Who can I talk with about missionary service?

There is a toll free number 1-888-422-6461 manned by an Initial Contacts Representative who helps people with questions about applying for service. She is available from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, Monday through Thursday. She focuses primarily on responding to people who have not yet begun the application process. There is no commitment by talking with Initial Contacts or in beginning the application process. Remember that our goal is what God wants for you.



How long does it usually take to go through the application process?

Prospects work with a Personnel Consultant and he/she can give the best estimate depending upon your situation. Usually it takes between a year to a year and a half to work through the application process, including completion of the paper work, personal interviews, Missions EXPO, job assignment, medical clearance, appointment, and orientation. Applicants may decide to slow down the process in order to pray through questions and decisions that may arise.



Do I have to raise my own support?

No, your support comes from Southern Baptists who give to the Cooperative Program and to the Lottie Moon Christmas offering.



How do we find out about salary and benefits and when do they begin?

Salary and benefit information is shared with prospects during the Missions EXPOs held in various places around the US.  Participation in an EXPO is by invitation only.  Salary and benefits for Apprentices start up to one month before Field Personnel Orientation begins at the International Learning Center.

How often are appointment services held?

Appointment services are scheduled four times a year. They are conducted as a part of the regularly scheduled meetings of the trustees. One of those services is held in Richmond. The others are held in various parts of the United States in order to provide Southern Baptists with the opportunity to attend such a service.



How can I prepare for future service?

Be sure to discuss your preparation with a Personnel Consultant who can advise you about each area listed below:

• Education. If needed, begin working on your college and seminary requirements. You may want to begin working on some biblical, missiological and theological training.

• Discipleship training. Look for opportunities to learn more about discipleship. Also, you might choose to order Explore Pathways to Missions, from our IMB Resources. Explore is a set of learning experiences designed for people who are exploring the possibility of missionary service.

• Experience. Go on an overseas volunteer trip. Be involved in mission projects locally.

• Evangelism training. The primary role of a missionary is to share Christ, leading people to make a commitment to Christ. A course with a practicum is required.

• Stewardship. Be a good steward of your financial resources. We do have a debt limit.

• Physical health. Live a healthy life style. There are health and weight expectations.

• Learn about the nations. Do research on people groups. Pray. Become involved in ministry to internationals in the U.S. or abroad. Many have found English as a Second Language training and experience to be very helpful.

Requirements

If I am from a country besides the U.S., can I apply for missionary service with the IMB?

We can only take applications from U.S. citizens (by birth or naturalized citizens) and permanent residents (with a 10-year green card). Applicants must be current, active members of a Southern Baptist church located in the U.S. We encourage Christians of other nations to find ways to serve through their own church or with mission agencies in their own country if available.



What are the seminary requirements?

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

Apprentice service requirements

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 three 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.

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

Missionary Apprentices are encouraged to complete all of these seminary requirements before appointment but the 12 hours are required before serving the Apprentice term.

Career service requirements

All assignments in church planting, evangelism and theological education require a bachelor’s degree and some require a graduate level seminary degree as well.

Assignments in business, medical, agriculture, and education assignments require the same undergraduate education a person filling such a job in the United States would be expected to have plus 20 hours of graduate level biblical, theological and missiological study to be completed before moving to the Career category.

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 which can include the 12 hours listed above if from an approved school.  For those with high school diplomas only, 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, the 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.

Revised 5/24/2012
 



What are the medical requirements?

There are two primary issues we consider when it comes to medical concerns. First, does the applicant or a family member have lifestyle/emotional issues that would make it difficult to live and function in another country?

Second, is there adequate medical care available for the applicant or a family member in the locations where they will be living?

Our Personnel Consultants and our medical department will work with applicants to help determine the answers to those two questions.  Candidates must receive medical clearance from the medical department before they can serve overseas.



What are the witnessing and evangelism expectations for new missionaries?

The first responsibility of all missionary personnel is to be involved in evangelism.

Apprentices will need formal evangelism training demonstrating an active witnessing lifestyle. They will be asked to share a recent experience where they were instrumental in someone coming to faith in Christ.



What are the debt limitations?

Missionary personnel receive adequate but limited support. Debt places a significant burden on the missionary. New personnel must have less than $1500 of unsecured debt at the time of appointment. No more than $200 a month can come out of your salary for debts back home (example school loan debts). During the application process, seek the counsel of your consultant about this issue.



What if I am divorced?

Persons with a history of divorce might be eligible to serve through the new Masters Program which is a partially self-funded program.  Trustee policy does not allow divorced individuals to serve as Apprentice or Career missionaries.  



What are age limits for Apprentice?  Age limits for children?
Personnel must be at least 21 years of age and not older than 50 at the time of appointment, therefore you need to begin the process before age 49. Dependent children must be under the age of 13 at the time of starting service with us.  As processing can take up to a year and a half, we recommend that you start the application before the oldest child is 11 1/2 years old.



Do I have to be Southern Baptist for a certain amount of time?

We are an agency of the Southern Baptist convention, supported by Southern Baptists and governed by a board of trustees appointed by the Southern Baptist Convention. Those seeking to be Apprentice missionaries must be current, active members of a Southern Baptist Church for a minimum of three years at the time of appointment.


Decision Making

Can single men or women be appointed?

Yes, the IMB appoints a significant number of single men and single women every year.



What if my spouse is not sure about his/her call?

The IMB appoints both husbands and wives as missionaries and assumes that both are able to articulate a definite call to mission service. If your spouse is not comfortable with applying for service, then you would want to wait and simply make it a matter of prayer. We do not recommend that you pressure your spouse in any way. God will lead them if that is genuinely what you are supposed to do.


Lifestyle Questions

What is the role of the missionary wife?

When couples are appointed as Apprentice or Career personnel, both husbands and wives are appointed and are considered fully qualified missionaries. It is assumed that both the husband and wife will express a clear sense of call to missions. Both husbands and wives will complete all of the application materials.

Husbands generally are matched to the primary assignment of a job description. Their education, skills, and experience are considered when choosing this assignment.

The majority of wives are appointed in the role of community and home outreach. In many situations, the wives take on the responsibility of providing for the home and the education of their children. The community and home outreach assumes that the wives will also find a significant and meaningful area of ministry outside the home. At the same time they are able to limit that involvement when there are family responsibilities that need to be handled. This provides for the best of both worlds: the opportunity to dedicate time and energy on family needs while at the same time having a significant involvement in the ministry on the field. Consultants can offer additional information on job roles including situations where the couple does not have children on the field and the wife desires to fill a specific job request.

Back to Top graphic

I have heard there are some weight limitations, can you explain them?

We expect prospects to be in good health and to have a good weight for their height. Many prospects start early to work on this so that this does not delay the process for them. You can talk with your consultant about this if you have concerns.



Can I take my pets?

For Career missionaries, taking a pet overseas can be a huge challenge. Many countries require that a pet be kept in quarantine for a period of time before letting it into the country and difficulties can arise later with other travel demands. The IMB does not pay the cost of transporting pets overseas. Check with your consultant about this.

Back to Top Graphic


Children’s Education

What do you do about children’s education?

The IMB is dedicated to providing adequate education for your children. Each job request will define the educational options for missionary children. In general there are the following options: homeschooling, local national schools, local international schools, and boarding schools. This varies with assignments.

Top of page graphic
 

< return to previous page