These are some of the typical questions we are asked about serving with SIM.

SIM works with colleges, universities, and graduate schools to provide internship opportunities that meet the strategic goals for SIM ministry sites. We’re willing to check and see if there’s a fit for you!
We have a ministries networking department that assists local churches and schools (colleges, universities, and graduate) with team needs. There are many possibilities available. Click here to get started.
Since 1893, SIM has focused on responding to need, proclaiming the gospel, and equipping the Church. Whatever we do and wherever we do it, we do it with the long-range vision of seeing followers of Jesus praising His name from every people group around the world.

We provide short-term ministry opportunities, but always with the intent that they meet strategic needs in a given location, and that they never take away from work that could be done by people in the local economy. Except for extenuating circumstances, our shortest short-term assignments for individuals/families are for two months.

The answer varies depending on which track someone is on: Short Term, Midterm, and Long Term. Though each process has the same basic steps, the longer the anticipated length of service, the more in-depth the application and screening process.

On average, it takes about three months to go from completed application to placement (Short Term) or to invitation to our evaluation weekend, called SIMStart (Midterm and Long Term).

This question applies primarily to people on the Long Term track. We take into account the missionary’s and the team’s needs when planning for term lengths and home assignments. Some missionaries prefer a rotation of two years on and three months off the field – this works well, especially for teachers in international schools and for continuity for kids’ schooling needs. Others prefer three years on and eight months off the field, giving their kids an entire school year in the U.S. Some people still like the four years on one year off rotation.

Yes, people are allowed to return to the U.S. for personal reasons during a term, but it has to be planned with team leadership and with the understanding that the trip is at personal expense.

SIM personnel rely on God’s provision for their living and ministry needs. Support requirements are based on length and location of service, family size, and ages of children.
SIM is looking for seasoned professionals as well as young people to follow Jesus’ leading to go and serve. Age may close the doors to some ministry sites, but it will open them to many others.
SIM values families and we generally don’t want husbands and wives going different directions. Of course there are circumstances and seasons when it has to happen, but we rarely place one spouse without the other. The rare exceptions are for medical or relief personnel going for an intensive, short assignment.

But there’s a bigger issue to this question. We believe that God leads a couple into ministry together. That’s not to say that both spouses are doing the same thing all the time, but both spouses need to be united – on the same page – when it comes to serving overseas.

SIM has a large number of second and third generation missionaries serving with the organization. We believe kids are important and that they play a huge part in the family’s ministry!

Home schooling, public schooling, and boarding school are all good educational options, so we do not mandate which option must be followed; we want families to make choices that work best for them! As part of the prefield screening process, all SIM personnel undergo background checks and training in child safety issues. As part of the prefield orientation process, we provide age-appropriate training for the kids to prepare them for the transitions they will face.

First and foremost, SIM looks for people with a personal, vibrant, growing relationship with Jesus Christ. They need adequate training in whatever specialty they want to use, as well as some cross-cultural and biblical training, but we’re looking for competence not credits! The specific requirements are unique to individual placements and will be identified and discussed with you as you go through the process.
It has been said that any organization that is easy to get into is also easy to fall out of. At SIM we want people who are confident in God’s leading and are well-prepared to serve Him in cross-cultural settings. In order to identify those people, we have put in place a relational process that enables us to get to know inquirers well enough to be able to confidently say God has led us together.

We begin with an informal conversation, not a job interview, but an opportunity for us to listen to your story and to share some of ours, and through the conversation to dream together where God might be leading. If you and we both sense God leading to the next step, we’ll ask you to complete a preapplication to gather some basic, static information (address, birth dates, etc.). This information becomes the core of the formal application, so you won’t have to input it again. The preapplication also asks you to confirm agreement with SIM’s Statement of Faith and to share briefly why you sense that God is leading you to serve. After you’ve completed it we’ll provide another opportunity for conversation to further assess whether or not to move forward. If all seems right, the next step is the formal application.

Once you’ve submitted the application, your Recruitment Coordinator will hand you off to a Selection Coordinator who will walk the next leg of the journey with you. At this time we’ll check out your references and ask you to complete various forms, depending on which ministry track you’re on. It’s at this point that the placement dialogue becomes more specific.

For a more-detailed explanation, please see the Long Term, Midterm, and Short Term pages.

To help people arrive at their places of service ready to serve, we provide various kinds of prefield orientation and training according to the anticipated length of service. Some of the requirements may include specific books to read, online classes, and/or onsite training at one of our partner training facilities. We also have training events here at the U.S. Office campus several times a year.
While you may travel alone, you won’t be alone when you get to where you’re going! We don’t usually place people in pioneering assignments for their first terms. Later on it’s possible to move into a pioneering situation, but we want people to adjust well to the host culture, and that’s hard to do alone.