Professional Development for International Candidates

It is crucial that prospective International Workers gain the needed experience of missional ministry within their own context before venturing out into unfamiliar and new cultures. Candidates must successfully engage in a full-time or bi-vocational ministry experience in a U.S. Alliance church or ministry setting for at least two years before being considered for appointment. The suitability of candidates for appointment to overseas service is evaluated in large part on the quality of their Alliance Licensed Ministry Experience.

The licensed ministry experience is intended to be a place where candidates can grow through intentional mentoring and supervision.  Candidates will be developed in the key competencies of cross-cultural ministry. Your candidate developer will work with you and your ministry supervisor to create a Professional Development Plan. Three to four times a year you will have a meeting with your candidate developer to review and update your PDP. Candidates will continue in their coaching relationship for their personal growth.

Alliance Licensed Ministry Experience can be fulfilled by serving in many different roles in the church. The following criteria should be used in evaluating a potential  ministry opportunity:

  • Missionally-Focused. This experience is primarily about the candidate learning to effectively and persuasively share Christ with lost people through word and deed. To achieve the goal of effective witness and discipleship, it is recommended that local ministry leadership work with the candidate to ensure that a central part of the Licensed Ministry Experience involve weekly outreach activities. Involvement in a cross-cultural and/or church planting ministry is preferred for international worker preparation.
  • Accountability and Mentoring. To receive supervision and candid feedback about their character and effectiveness in ministry, candidates are encouraged to establish a mentoring relationship with their district superintendent and senior pastor, or other recognized leader in the church where they are ministering.
  • Full or Bi-vocational. Alliance Licensed Ministry Experience may be completed in either full-time or bi-vocational ministry roles. Candidates in a bi-vocational situation are required to be compensated both by the church and non-church employer. Unpaid (volunteer) church ministry roles do not meet Alliance Licensed Ministry Experience requirements. As a guideline, candidates in bi-vocational Alliance Licensed Ministry Experience situations are required to spend at least twenty-four (24) hours per week in compensated church ministry.
  • Cultural Setting. Candidates are encouraged to pursue Alliance Licensed Ministry Experience in a geographical and cultural setting that is different from where they were raised. Their ability to adjust to cultural differences in their own country helps prepare them for more radical cultural adjustments in overseas situations.
  • Ministry Scope. While retaining evangelism and discipleship as being central to the Licensed Ministry Experience, candidates are also encouraged to gain experience and competence in as wide a range as possible of ministry responsibilities. Although specialized ministry skills can be beneficial, international workers are most effective when they have broad ministry experience.
  • Unless otherwise stated in the ministry opportunity description (MOD), male candidates must be ordained prior to appointment. Female candidates, whether single or married, are encouraged to pursue consecration when possible.

For information on additional qualifications, see the International Ministries Handbook Section C.  If you are being developed for Marketplace Ministries here is MARKETPLACE MINISTRIES INFO 2013.


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