One of the main questions I hear when talking with those exploring long-term missions work is, “Do you have to graduate seminary to go on a mission?” The short answer to that question is no, you do not need to have seminary training for missionary work. While seminary education may be helpful, SIM USA does not require seminary training to become a missionary.
There are a couple of circumstances where it is helpful and may be required.
Do you plan on serving as a pastor or professor?
- If you hope to serve as a pastor or a professor overseas, the church or school where you serve may or may not require you to have seminary training. Your coach can help with gathering information from specific organizations.
While seminary training is not required to become a missionary, there are many other gifts, experiences, and education that can be valuable in serving as a missionary. It’s important to identify and utilize the unique strengths and skills that God has given us in pursuing missionary work.
A more relevant question for you may be:
What gifts, experiences, and education has the Lord already given me that I can use in missionary work?
- Your current vocation is needed in cross-cultural missions work.
There is a great need for missionaries who have education or experience as accountants, farmers, engineers, teachers, physical therapists, construction workers, students, veterinarians, homemakers, computer programmers, and nearly every other vocation.
- Missionary work with kids.
There are also many openings for missionaries who are gifted in caring for children, showing hospitality, teaching English, coaching sports, leading Bible studies, etc.
Explore becoming a missionary and cross-cultural opportunities.
You can explore a variety of opportunities in cross-cultural missions work. Follow this link for more information or contact us if you would like to have a conversation about possibilities in becoming a missionary.
Of course, all missionaries need to have a good understanding of the scriptures and also cross-cultural ministry, security concerns, etc. Our customized training program is designed to help you be well-prepared in these areas and more. If you feel called to become a missionary, it is worth exploring different options for training and preparation. To learn more about SIM USA training and preparation to become a missionary, check out this article for more information.
Chris served as a senior pastor in North Georgia for eight years. He then moved with his family to Bolivia as missionaries to Amazonian least-reached people groups. After returning from the field, he has served in various positions at the home office in Charlotte, including director of personnel, chief recruitment officer, and, most recently as lead trainer. He is deeply passionate about helping the church to send and prepare global workers.