Candidate Training and Mission Intern Programs
An Explanation by USCWM's General Manager
Dear Missions Committee:
Thanks for your good letter about Jim and Jan Smith.
We agree that it is the role of the local church to attest to theft readiness before commissioning them. At the USCWM, we have been concerned that local churches rarely seek involvement in the preparation of their missionaries. That is why we require candidates to have their churches commend them to us even for the candidate process.
Very early in the history of the USCWM we began an orientation program. But in the fall of 1983 we initiated a more extensive candidate process so we would have a better opportunity to get to know prospective staff members before appointing them. Last fall, we added an even more extensive program that included more training in how to develop a ministry team and how to write effective prayer letters.
Recently, however, we had to admit that the press of work here has sometimes precluded candidates from receiving the kind of orientation they need. So we have decided to totally remodel the program. We are making it more formal; we are scheduling it three times a year; and we are emphasizing training instead of work. We believe this will better prepare prospective staff members not only for service at the IJSCWM, but for service with any agency.
So that you can better understand our philosophy and practical commitment to both training and work I am outlining here the new Candidate Training Program as well as the program that immediately follows it: our Missionary Intent Program.Firs, then:
The Candidate Training Program (CT?)
Duration: 3 1/2 months.
Starts: February 1; June 15; September 10.
Perspectives on the World Christian Movement (if a person has airead taken this course, a missions or Bible course will be substituted); Current Trends in Mission; Understanding Accounting (for personal and missionary financial accountibility)
Work Simplification and Office Organization.
Orientation to the USCWM; — Ministry Team development skills; — Prayer letter writing skills.
24 hour prayer chain (4 hour shift, approximately once every two weeks); Mission mobilization conespondence; All meetings required of staff; Work assignment (to hours per week).
Collateral Reading (Certain books have been read by all staff as we have sought to grow as individuals and as a community. Others will be added in the future): Destined for the Cross, Paul E. Billheimer; — Realities, M. Basilea Schlink The New Aerobics, Kenneth H. Cooper.
The cost of the CI?, including room, board, tuition, and other incidentals, ranges from $1550 to $1750 per person, depending on how much is spent on food and miscellaneous items and activities. Travel expenses are additional.
We would prefer for Jim and Jan to have all of the necessary funds before the program starts. But if the total is pledged, even if it is not all received, we will accept them.
The CII' requires a 60 hour commitment per week. Half of that is individual study time. The other half is comprised of formal class time, meetings, and work. (Because of the baby, Jan's primary assignment will be to home and family responsibilities.) In addition, Jim and Jan will be encouraged to faithfully attend a church of their choosing in the local area. Living on campus, they will have opportunities for getting to know international students and the work of various campus agencies.
Missionary Intern Program
The first term of service for staff members is called the Missionary Intent Program (MI?). It immediately follows the CI?.
The Missionary Intern Program is less structured than the CTP, in keeping with the Center's long standing commitment to continuing education, it requires interns, in addition to their regular work assignments, to take courses according to their needs and backgrounds.
Upon graduation from the Cm. Jim and Jan will be given a two year appointment to serve as Mission Interns with the USCWM. Their fuse assignment will be to develop a ministry team a prayer and financial support team. We expect this project to take two months. Jim and In should have faithfully written prayer letters during their CIP. if so, ad if First Church stands behind them, we believe it is entirely possible for them to raise their full support in two months of concentrated activity.
If the Missions Committee confirms that Jim and Jan are ready ft. missionary service, First Church should hold a commissioning service for them before they retain to the USCWM.When their support is raised and they return, Jim and Jan will be given normal work assignments; they will be expected to fulfill the other normal requirements demanded of all staff, and will be expected by the end of their first term of service to complete studies toward a certificate in 'Bible and Missions.
Jim and huh have not acquired their undergraduate degrees, so it should be noted that these study requirements can be applied toward their BA degrees.
Alter their intern experiences, we expect some Interns will go overseas with a sending agency. Others will remain here at the Center and be appointed to staff to continue the print task of mobilizing the church in America.
If Jim plans to finish his BA., it may be advantageous for them to continue with the Center and study at William Carey International University. The BA. program includes three semesters overseas living among Muslim, Hindu, and/or Chinese peoples.
Throughout the time that Jim and Jan serve with the USCWM, whether as candidates, interns, or staff, we expect First Church to be actively involved in the development of their ministry and of them as individuals. We believe a persons church, school, mission agency, and fnily all need to take an active role in his or her development if useful growth and effective missionary service is to result. We call itfu/l¬context education: it takes into account the full context of a persons authority sitctures.
For example, the L.A. area has the largest concentration of ethnic minorities in the world. There are great opportunities here for people who are preparing for service abroad. They cart get significant cross cultural and/or discipleship experience in the nearby community while working here at the Center. In fact, some of our staff have actually developed contacts here in Los Angeles with Hidden people groups for whom God has burdened them. But if Jim and Jan are to get the exposure you think is appropriate, you will have to work with us in setting up a work, study, and experience' program that meets your requirements. Further, you will need to hold them accountable in their commitments to you. We will gladly help you in this, but your participation is basic.
The Candidate Training and Missionary Intern programs embody ideals that have been basic to the Center for years. We are committed to making them a reality in practice, starting in January.I mist I have answered the questions you had. I believe there is every reason for confidence in the training and preparation Jim and Jan will receive while here in our midst. We pray they will soon be part of a whole army of new missionaries to the Unreached Peoples of the world.