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What are the steps and timing to become a missionary?

By Alli H.  ·  2 minute read
Learning Center  »  What are the steps and timing to become a missionary?

The time it takes to become a missionary can vary depending on the organization you are affiliated with and the type of missionary work you will be doing. On average, it can take 1.5-2 years to become a missionary with SIM USA from the time you submit the initial inquiry form to arriving at your chosen ministry location.

Completing the steps

Generally, there are steps in your control and steps that depend on multiple factors where timing is not in your control. Tasks within your control include completing the initial application, assessments, training, etc. Other steps to the process may take longer and may not necessarily be in your immediate control, such as raising your prayer and financial support, field-placement decisions, and home/life obligations. Becoming a missionary can seem like a lengthy process, but each step leads to your chosen goal of serving in cross-cultural ministry.

Home/life obligations

Considering your home/life responsibilities, job tasks, etc., is also important in the timeframe to becoming a missionary. This can include selling your home or car, finding a home for a pet, completing schooling or work obligations, and preparing for an extended absence from family and friends.

Step-by-step with SIM USA

There are several steps to take to become a long-term missionary with SIM. You can compare the initial stages of our application process to applying for a job.

  1. Apply with SIM USA:
    • Complete an inquiry form
    • Have an initial call with a Mobilization Coordinator
    • Complete a pre-application (10-15 minutes)
    • Attend one of our Connect Events (3 days) to “come and see SIM” and make sure SIM is a good fit for you
    • Complete an application (a few hours)
  2. Approval with SIM USA:

    Additional steps once your application has been approved to move forward:

    • Interviews
    • Contact of references
    • Complete a doctrinal assessment (3 hours or more)
    • Complete a psychological evaluation (3-5 hours online)
  3. Readiness Review
    • A Readiness Review Committee reviews all of the above information and steps to determine an applicant’s readiness for cross-cultural ministry. They may determine that additional support and resources are required, and they will make those recommendations (this could affect your timeline). Once approved to serve with SIM, you will focus on preparation and training.
  4. Prepare and Go with SIM USA:
    • Determine location placement for ministry.
    • Pre-field training (completion of 2 in-person trainings at SIM, culture and language acquisition training with a partner organization (1 month), online training (the amount depends on your experience/education in several core areas).
    • Raise prayer and financial support.
    • Arrive at your chosen location.

Becoming a missionary takes time

Becoming a missionary as you journey with SIM USA can take a couple of years of preparation, training and experience. The process of becoming a missionary is thorough for a purpose. You want to be as prepared as possible for cross-cultural ministry service. As a missions-sending organization, we are committed to your success.

Connect with a missions coach today Connect Here.

Alli H.
Mobilization Coordinator

Alli has a heart for the nations, and for those who do not know Jesus. She counts it a privilege to journey with those considering long-term missions as she tries to encourage and disciple them. She gets excited thinking about the lives that they might impact for Jesus. She has been in her role since January 2022.

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