Frequently Asked Questions
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Can I go short-term to figure out if this is for me?
Yes, the Global Ventures program is a great way to begin and is the natural, entry-level opportunity to discover if missions is for you. For more information, visit www.global-ventures.org.
Another option is through our Short-Term Office. For more information, visit the Short-Term Missions Office.
What education do I need?
Professional educational training at an accredited college or university is necessary for individuals to perform successfully in the various ministry positions in The Alliance. Our urgency is expressed most clearly in our commitment to the thorough preparation of the individual.
For those seeking to serve as International Workers:
Individuals preparing for service with The Alliance need a bachelor's degree from a recognized college or university, preferably an Alliance college with classes in Bible and Theology, Missions or Intercultural Studies and the social sciences. In addition to this, in most cases it is advisable to have at least one year of graduate or seminary training in missions and intercultural studies from the Alliance Theological Seminary, Canadian Theological Seminary, or another approved alternative graduate degree program. For more details on educational requirements and other qualifications for service, download the Education Policy.
Individuals desiring to serve in support roles or other international worker roles usually need an undergraduate degree that relates and/or supports the ministry position (i.e. education degree and masters degree if desiring to serve as an international school teacher) for which the person is applying.
Those seeking to serve in the U.S. should have a vocational ministry degree that includes 30 hours of Bible/theology/ministry or completion of the Alliance Ministerial Study Program and an Alliance doctrine or polity course. There are various ways to fulfill these requirements:
- Graduation from Alliance Theological Seminary in the master-level program including 30 hours of Bible/theology/ministry.
- Graduation from an Alliance college or graduate school with a vocational ministry major including 30 hours of Bible/theology/ministry.
- Graduation from a non-Alliance college, seminary, or graduate school with a vocational ministry major including 30 hours of Bible/theology/ministry.
- Completion of the Alliance Ministerial Study Program.
- Completion of an Alliance doctrine and polity course as approved by NCM.
- The License, Ordination, and Consecration Council (LO&CC) has the authority to waive or adjust the academic requirements in cases where the candidate demonstrates an equivalent level of biblical, theological, and practical preparation.
For how long can I serve?
Ministry is always most effective in the context of relationship. In order to build effective relationships in a different culture, The Alliance and the international worker spends considerable amount of time spent preparing for service. Because of the investment in language and culture learning as well as field experience, it is expected that our International workers will serve on a longer-term basis with The Alliance. Many Alliance International Workers spend their whole working lives on the mission field. Associates and CAMA Services workers usually serve for two to four years at a time. However, many of these individuals decide to make their role a life-long one.
Pastors and other U.S. church workers usually serve in these capacities their whole lives, though they may assume positions in other churches during their careers.
Do I need to raise my own support?
- Our International Workers are supported through what we call the Great Commission Fund—a mutual fund to which members of U.S. C&MA churches give regularly based on a yearly faith promise. International Workers can also raise support for special needs they might have while on the mission field, such as a vehicle.
- CAMA Services workers are supported from the CAMA general fund.
- U.S. church workers are supported by their individual Alliance churches.
For more information, visit our Compensation page.
How can I use the skills I have to serve?
Church development International Workers, because they are required to go through a similar training process, usually are assigned one of several roles on their fields of ministry: church planting, evangelism, theological training, and other activities related to the establishment and development of the church. Certainly, if you are gifted in one area or another, you will be given the opportunity to minister in that area of giftedness as it fits into the ministry on a field.
Support personnel (Associates) and CAMA Services workers are assigned roles based on their calling, their educational training, their experience, and their skills.
Individuals seeking roles in U.S. churches do so based on their calling, their educational training, and their gifts/skills.
Do I need ministry experience in the U.S. before going overseas?
Yes. It is best to learn the basics of ministry in one's own culture before going into another culture. Church development International Workers sharpen ministry skills and develop as leaders while serving at an intentional ministry position in the U.S., usually in an Alliance church.
Support personnel and CAMA Services workers should have work experience in the areas for which they are applying.
What kinds of things will I do as an International Worker?
International Workers serve in a number of capacities. Church developing International Workers (Career International Workers) usually serve in one of the following roles: church planting, evangelism, theological training, leadership development, marriage enrichment counseling, community outreach centers, youth, and children's ministries as well as other activities related to the establishment and development of the church.
International Support Ministries (Associates) serve in support roles: IW children's school teacher, dorm parent, dorm assistant, business manager, guest home manager, ESL teacher, secretary/bookkeeper, or medical ministries. An Associate may, if qualified, be assigned to ministries directly related to the establishment and development of the church (theological educator, evangelist, etc.).
Wholistic Ministries (CAMA Services) workers do a variety of ministries: emergency food relief, low-cost housing construction, well-drilling, health care, education, community development, and skills training.
Do I have to attend an Alliance school to be an Alliance worker?
Our workers are encouraged to attend one of the Alliance schools but there are many workers in The Alliance who have not attended an Alliance school. The question is not so much where to study but why.
If you are interested in becoming an Alliance International Worker, the question is where you can go that will best prepare you for service. The programs at Crown, Nyack, Simpson, and Toccoa as well as ATS for the grad level are designed with Alliance International Workers in mind and track consistently with how we work around the world. We are flexible and want to work with you to get the best training possible.
We really do not have a list of “approved” schools. There are so many good programs. We look at the program that a candidate is interested in and then evaluate how that measures up with the programs that we offer. There is a great deal of variety.
Is there an age limit for being sent out as an Alliance International Worker?
No. While The Alliance affirms the value of appointment to church development service prior to the age of 32, IM generally considers candidates for appointment through age 35. Exceptions are made for older individuals based on special qualifications and strategic consideration. For more information, download Getting2theFieldYoung.doc (Word document).
Should I go overseas with a large family?
Couples with three or more children will be considered only if their other qualifications—including maturity, motivation, language–learning aptitude, compatibility, and ministry experience—are above average.
What about education for my kids overseas?
The Alliance educational policy has changed in recent years. Home schooling is now allowed if it is in the best interest of the child and family. The fundamental principle is a commitment to provide the best educational and developmental settings possible for MKs as The Alliance works to carry out its purpose in a broken and turbulent world. The Alliance is committed to the welfare of its International Worker families. The welfare of each worker’s child is the driving force behind the Alliance policy. Local schooling, schooling cooperatives, international schools and other Christian schools are used when feasible. Some countries still do not have adequate education locally, and therefore, an American-type school in the geographical region of their parents' ministry can be used.
The compelling values that direct the policy are:
- Proximity to parents
- Quality of education
- Appropriate socialization, acculturation and reentry into the home culture
- Sympathetic environment
- Health and safety
- Inclusion in culture and ministry of the parents
- Equality to the extent possible between families
Do I have to send my children to boarding school as an Alliance International Worker?
No. There are many options including home schooling, local schools, international schools, schooling cooperatives, and local MK schools. Some families use MK schools with boarding options with very positive outcomes.
Can I home school my kids if I am an International Worker with The Alliance?
Yes, this is an option for Alliance International Workers if it is in the best interest of the children. Download the paper that discusses this option.
I have no Alliance connections or background. Can I still serve with The Alliance?
Yes, you are welcome, and we want to work to help you feel at home. While an Alliance background and/or an Alliance education is not required for international or pastoral service, it is a plus. Individuals applying for international service without these will be encouraged to participate in basic Alliance basic education courses. Additionally, these individuals will be asked to become members of a local Alliance church.
Applicants for licensing for U.S. church ministry will have more lengthy requirements for ordination.
While the majority of Alliance workers come from Alliance background or have some connection, we welcome those who desire to align with the movement and embrace the values, doctrine and mission of The Alliance.
I am not a preacher type. Is there a place for me in Alliance missions?
Sure is! While the ability to communicate the gospel clearly and concisely is vital for anyone involved in missions, there are many roles overseas that do not focus on preaching. In many limited access countries, for example, much of the work is relational and one on one. Even in direct church planting, the role of coaching and mentoring young leaders is very important as well as working more with smaller groups. The gifts that God gives us are never wasted and can be used where the gospel is being proclaimed.
There are many different “roles” that International Workers fill. Support personnel are members of the Alliance world impact team who carry out vital ministries in direct support of church development personnel. Serving as MK school teachers, dorm parents, dorm assistants, business managers, guest home managers, CAMA Services workers, ESL teaches, secretaries/bookkeepers, or medical ministries, support personnel make vital contributions everyday to the overall Alliance effort to see Christ's church established world-wide.
- Associate Qualifications
- Steps to Follow for Associate Service
- Associate Opportunities
Another role you might consider is in marketplace ministry. Marketplace ministry personnel are tentmakers who live in overseas settings and work as professionals in public and private companies and organizations. As a part of their lifestyle, they seek to actively share the gospel with those who don't know Christ.
Finally, wholistic ministry or “CAMA Services” may be an option for you. Compassion And Mercy Associates seek to show the love of Christ in tangible ways through church-based development work around the world. Generally, wholistic ministry personnel have professional skills in community development, medical, teaching, business management etc.
I like to work with kids and youth. Can I do that overseas?
Many of our International Workers work directly with youth in evangelism, discipleship and teaching. Support ministry personnel work with children and youth. These roles include MK school teachers, dorm parents, dorm assistants and ESL teachers.
What does the process to get there look like with The Alliance?
The Alliance is committed to preparing workers well. We seek to help you grow as a person and as a worker. The process has just a few steps. Visit our service opportunities page to see the big picture.
I don't trust denominations. Isn't The Alliance a denomination?
Yes, technically speaking, we would be classified as a denomination. However, The Alliance is more movement-like. Our historical roots are that of a mission agency, but as the Alliance message caught fire and fellowships turned into churches in the U.S., we eventually acknowledged that we have become more denomination-like. However, we like to think of ourselves more as a missionary movement committed to reaching the neglected. For more on this, visit the about us page.
Why should I go with The Alliance rather than another agency?
This is an important decision. There must be a conviction and confirmation of God's leading in your life. One element to consider is your own relational connections. Who have been the people who have influenced you and helped set your direction? The relational connection is very important. Another important element is the track record of the agency. What have they done and for how long? Is there evidence of sustained impact from their work? Be careful of consumerism when looking for an agency. It is difficult to compare agencies. Ask basic question and seek to get the key answers. A great tool for sorting through the issues is available by downloading our Choose a Mission Organization document.
In addition, we would encourage you to look at what God has done through The Alliance around the world. We believe that there is fruit that indicates His blessing and pleasure. You might also look at the size of The Alliance and appreciate the fact that our network is truly global, giving Alliance workers access to much in the way of ministry and member-care resources. You might also consider our funding structure which takes the weight of personal fund-raising from the shoulders of International Workers, freeing them to focus completely on ministry.
What about language learning in the new context?
Since ministry is most effective in relationship, learning to speak the local language is vital for significant impact. Communicative competence is the expectation for each international worker. We are proud of the fact that Alliance folk are some of the best foreign language speakers in the world. You will go through intense language learning during the first year or two of being on the field. All Alliance International Workers also have the opportunity to attend the Institute of Cross-Cultural Training at Wheaton Grad School before departure where you learn how to learn a language. For more details download our Language Training document.
I want to really get out and live with the people. Can I do that with The Alliance?
Not only is this something you CAN do, it is something we expect of you. Go to the people, live with the people, learn from the people. The incarnational lifestyle is modeled after Jesus and reflects our posture as a learner in a new setting.
What is The Alliance doing to position workers in limited access countries?
We call these Creative Access Countries (CACs). Presently, 71 workers are positioned in 21 creative access countries around the world with plans to profoundly increase that number in the near future. In order to gain credible entry, it is important to have a professional platform to validate your presence in the country. For more information, please email us at email@example.com.
Where does The Alliance have work?
The Alliance has ministry in 81 countries, with U.S. international workers in 56 of these countries. For a complete list of domestic and international work, visit our Locator page.
What does The Alliance do to care for their international workers?
This is a huge topic for us. You should probably carefully assess member care practices for ANY mission you are checking out. Once you get out there, you will want to know that someone is “holding the rope” for you. For a complete reading of our member care strategy, download our Member care document.
What about retirement funds?
The Alliance provides a 403b plan for retirement savings and contributes in addition to contributions made by the individual international worker. In addition to this, there is a service increment that is added to an allowance based on how long they have served. Many decide to save that increment and put that towards retirement. In addition, we have newly begun to provide an “experience bonus.” This is a monthly increase in allowance for workers over 50 years of age who have already served at least 15 years with us. We feel this is a great way to say how much we value our most experienced workers.
Can I get health insurance if I serve with The Alliance?
Yes, The Alliance provides very good health insurance coverage for their international workers. Also included is a vision and dental plan. More information can be found at the Alliance Benefits website.
In the United States, each individual church is responsible for the benefits, including health insurance, of their workers.
What is the difference between accreditation and being licensed with The Alliance?
Accreditation provides the initial proper endorsement for a candidate to be eligible to search for a ministry opportunity in The Alliance. It assesses character, competence and calling, setting a baseline of qualification of the candidate. It basically answers the question, “Is this person qualified to be in ministry?” or, “Is this the right kind of person?”
Licensing is given to an accredited candidate only after the candidate is placed into a specific ministry assignment within The Alliance. The license issued by a district affirms not only that this is the right kind of person but that the role into which they are heading is a right role for them.
In other words, accreditation affirms the right kind of person and licensing affirms the right kind of assignment for the person.
Campus accreditation for entry-level workers does not include the issuance of a license for ministry. That is done by the district where the person is going to serve. At a district accreditation process, sometimes the accreditation and licensing occurs in close sequence or together because an intended placement is being considered at the time of the interview. Clearly, however, there are two distinct steps even if the interview assesses both elements. More info on our serve page.
Is social drinking of alcohol allowed if I serve with The Alliance?
No. We ask our workers to refrain from the use of alcohol, tobacco and illegal drugs.
Why does The Alliance ask workers to abstain from alcohol?
Abstinence by an official worker is a standard of personal conduct he/she sets as an example to others, in a culture where the abuse of alcohol and tobacco takes a heavy toll on individuals, families, and the larger community. For more information on this stand, please read the Manual of The Christian and Missionary Alliance (page 108).
What is the Great Commission Fund (GCF)?
The Great Commission Fund is a central fund supporting Alliance International Workers, workers, ministries, and U.S. church-planting initiatives. It links people in need to those who can make a difference. Alliance churches and individuals contribute to the fund creating a mutual effort to complete Christ's Great Commission.
Why does the Great Commission Fund work?
Instead of raising individual pledges, each Alliance international worker receives support from a common fund. Leaders in districts and local churches from across our country take responsibility, in close cooperation with our International Workers, in raising money for this fund. It is a sound investment because:
- We do missions on the cutting edge…being intentional about going places where the Church has not yet been established.
- We train national pastors overseas.
- We plant indigenous churches.
- We partner with others of similar heart and vision.
- We practice financial integrity…with strong accountability, honesty, clarity, and openness and underlying values when it comes to money.
- We appoint the most qualified people…then nurture and help them to reach their maximum potential for Christ.
- We use well-defined strategies…employing what has worked well, while encouraging innovation and risk-taking.
- We focus on completing the Great Commission…being careful to invest wisely in this primary, Christ-given goal!
What does the Great Commission Fund provide for?
Because the GCF provides for these services listed below, our International Workers spend more time with people rather than paper.
- Accounting services
- Annual field conferences
- Crisis and safety consultants
- Document services
- Health insurance
- Home and field housing
- Home assignment Ministry Seminar
- In-service training
- Institute of Cross Cultural Training for new appointees
- Intercessory prayer support
- Language school
- Legal services
- Missionary kids' field visits
- MK scholarships
- Pre-field orientation
- Regional counseling resources
- Retirement assistance
- Shipping supplies and equipment
- Tax preparation
- And a multitude of other necessary services to reach out in 56 different countries
If I go with The Alliance, can I choose where I will serve?
There is always collaboration between your interests, experience, passions and training and the needs identified by The Alliance. We seek to understand the person's preference and work within the parameters of openings and strategic need.
I have debt; can I still serve overseas?
Some candidates have debt to pay off so there may be a time of transition when they have to work at a secular job to pay their debt before serving overseas. The requirement is that you be debt-free before departing.
I am a pastor with another denomination. How can I explore joining The Alliance?
We are delighted to consider those who would like to serve in the C&MA. It is essential for you to embrace the mission, vision and theological distinctive of the C&MA and be willing to align with the movement. Read more about transfering.
In talking with some people, they have said that it would be at least 10 years before I would be sent to the field. Is this true?
That sounds awfully long. There is no way for us to predict how long it will take to get you to the field. We want to see you properly developed as an international worker, which takes time. Once you are accredited as a Candidate there are two crucial elements of your development: ministry experience and a strong educational foundation. The candidate development team will work with you to come up with a plan that will prepare you for ministry overseas.
One area that often slows deployment to the field is outstanding debt. Since it is a requirement to be debt-free, some have to delay in order to pay this off.
Some people do take longer to get to the field, but the average preparation time is probably closer to four years, depending on what you still need to do. The requirements for service are as follows:
- Complete the application process and accreditation interview.
- Complete 1 year of graduate studies.
- Complete a minimum of 2 years of home service in an Alliance church or as an apprentice overseas.
- Walk through the appointment process, which normally takes one year. This can be done simultaneously with grad studies and/or home service.
- Some candidates have to pay off debt, so there may be a time of transition when they are having to work at a secular job to pay their debt before serving overseas. It is a requirement that you be debt-free before departing.
- The normal length of the candidate process runs about 3 to 5 years. It all depends on what requirements you have already met.
Can I gain my ministry experience overseas?
Maybe. Designed for qualified, accredited candidates, the Apprentice Program is the newest and fastest way to join the C&MA harvest team overseas. As an Apprentice, you would work alongside and under the mentoring of seasoned, International Workers for a period of one to two years. During that time the Apprentice will be mentored through the language-learning process and adjustment to a new culture and be involved in hands-on ministry. At the end of the two-year period, qualified Apprentices may have the option of transitioning directly to church development service.
How are field priorities for assignment of new International Workers set for The Alliance?
There are some basic underlying assumptions in field assignments.
- God's leading is essential in making field assignments.
- Stated preferences of candidates are at times rooted in God's leading. At other times, these preferences are based on personal desire, impressions, suggestions from others and perception of possible compatibility. The necessary emptying of ourselves when we enter a new context is essential. We must go as learners. One of the hardest things for the new international worker is the role deprivation we experience as a newcomer. Often, we subconsciously seek to authenticate our significance. Our significance must be in Christ and not in the affirmation that we get from others. Incarnation implies emptying ourselves to serve others.
- IM leaders usually have a better sense of the needs of the fields and emerging opportunities than do candidates.
- For a variety of reasons, IM leaders may decide to recommend an appointment to a field other than what a candidate has stated as his/her preference.
- IM leaders tend to appoint new personnel to fields that are not in a transition process.
- Relationally healthy fields with effective leadership and a clear sense of strategic direction in alignment with IM's mission are usually better places to send new personnel than fields that are seriously lacking in these characteristics.
- In some situations, it may be best to send candidates who grew up on a certain field to another field. Similarly, there is often wisdom in having members of the same extended family serve on separate fields.
What kind of backgrounds do wholistic ministry/CAMA Services personnel have?
Usually, wholistic ministry personnel have backgrounds with training and experience in development, relief work, medical fields, community health, micro-enterprise development, small business loans, teaching English, business administration, etc. CAMA people work among some of the most desperately needy people around the world so having experience working among the poor and powerless in our own society is helpful.
How long is the term of service with CAMA Services?
CAMA staff are usually contracted for at least two years minimum, although we have been leaning toward four-year terms. This is in contrast to a four-year term served by International Workers.
What does CAMA Services stand for?
Compassion And Mercy Associates. For more information, visit the CAMA Services website.
How are CAMA workers paid?
Through a general CAMA Services Fund. They do not need to raise their own support.
Do I learn language if I go with CAMA?
Yes, if at all possible we try to have our CAMA workers in some language study (3–6 months) to gain a basic grasp. This is in comparison to two years of language study if going out as a regular international worker.
Do I need theological training to go with CAMA?
CAMA worker do not have the same extent of theological training as International Workers. However, applicants are encouraged to have some courses in missions and Bible. In addition to this, training that applies to their field of expertise is essential. The wholistic approach of sharing Christ in word and deed is vital to embrace. It is both deed and word. A command of the Scriptures and the Gospel is essential for work with CAMA.
What specific course work can help prepare for work with CAMA?
The Perspectives course is very good. There are also online courses from Covenant College. The Chalmers Center at Covenant College offers training as well. Alliance Theological Seminary also has an excellent online course, “The Church in the Context of Poverty”.
What kind of work do IFAP members do overseas?
IFAPers are trained as educators, engineers, financial specialists, doctors, nurses, businessmen and businesswomen.
What is the benefit of having membership with IFAP?
Membership provides the ability to fundraise in Alliance churches. IFAP workers receive a one-time language grant and can be offered group insurance coverage and some member care from IM leaders.
Does The Alliance work with Muslim people?
Yes, we very much want to present the positive message of salvation in Jesus Christ to all people within the contexts where we work.
Is it important that all International Workers to be actively sharing their faith with others?
Yes, we believe that Jesus called us to share the good news and to make disciples. Therefore, we believe that each person who serves as a international worker, whether as a church planter, wholistic ministry worker or support person, needs to be able to effectively share the gospel with others and have a track record of doing so in his/her life.
How often can I come home if I am serving overseas?
Generally, a term of service is 4 years. While overseas, you are given 4 weeks of vacation each year that can, once per term, be used for a trip to the homeland at personal expense.
How much will I get paid?
The allowances around the world are set based on the standard of living in the country in which you serve. It varies by country but will provide the same buying power for the necessary needs of life. More info at our Compensation page.
I am not an American citizen. Can I still serve overseas with the U.S. C&MA?
Following September 11, 2001, the issue of citizenship has become increasingly sensitive. Our current policy requires that we only appoint as International Workers those who are U.S. citizens and a limited number of those who are permanent residents and moving towards citizenship.
What is home service?
It is our conviction that it is best to have life and ministry experience in the homeland before deploying into another country. Therefore, we ask each of our candidates to have had experience before they deploy overseas. Generally, a candidate serves at least two years in a local church before going to their field assignment. This is a time not only to learn ministry but to confirm their call and to grow as a person. You can read more by downloading the Home Service Guidelines document.
For those who have had significant church experience and are accredited Candidates, home service could be completed overseas in the Apprentice program.
How do we find a candidate to serve at our church?
Typically, your district office will have a list of names as well as profiles. As an alternative, you can contact the International Placement Office at the National Office (719–265–2036 or firstname.lastname@example.org) where we maintain a list of candidates seeking home service.
When is the best time of year for a church to begin seeking a candidate to come for Home Service?
Candidates can be available throughout the year but more often seek to transition in the summer following their studies. It is best for churches to begin their search in the spring months of March–May.
Who provides the direct mentoring for a candidate in Home Service?
It is hoped that church leadership will perform the important role of providing a mentor for the candidate. A mentor would be someone who would meet regularly with the candidate to debrief and help process the life lessons being encountered by the candidate in ministry.
What does a typical Home Service role look like?
While it is difficult to describe anything as “typical”, home service roles tend to fall into some basic categories. Associate/youth pastor roles, pastor/director of outreach, children ministries director, and church planting roles tend to work well for candidates.
Does The Alliance have any preference in terms of where a candidate does Home Service?
The Home Service Guidelines do state that it is preferred that candidates do home service in a region of the country different from where they were raised. That way, the full benefit that transition can be in terms of personal growth and development is available. The candidate who places themselves in a home service position where significant personal growth and stretching will be required will be in a much better position when overseas deployment takes place.
Does a candidate need to consult the International Placement Office as they finalize a Home Service assignment?
Yes. As a candidate moves along in speaking with various churches, they are responsible to stay in contact with the International Placement Office about the details of the position. Prior to a candidate responding positively to a district call, the candidate will need to secure the agreement of the Director for International Placement.
Can our church speak into the question of where the candidate eventually serves?
Yes. The Alliance is a church-based sending agency. We exist to fulfill the mission agenda of Alliance churches. Many times today, a local church will have a specific concern for a place or a people. We seek to keep that in mind when making an overseas assignment of a person from that church. If we can enhance the connectedness of a candidate and a home church, we want to do that within reason.
Once in a Home Service church/ministry, who does the candidate answer to?
Candidates in home service are entrusted directly to the leadership of the local church and the district for supervision, mentoring, and service. Local church/district leadership should be the first place a candidate consults with ministry questions. If an issue is uniquely related to the candidate process, the candidate is welcome to consult with the Director for International Placement Office.
Can a Home Service role be bi-vocational?
While full-time ministry is preferred, in certain circumstances home service roles can be bi-vocational. Please consult with the Director for Candidates to determine if this is possible in your case.
Can a candidate do a Home Service assignment in a non-Alliance church/ministry?
Usually not. It is always to the candidate's advantage to seek a place of home service in an Alliance ministry. Obviously, if one is anticipating future service with The Alliance it is best to become well acquainted with how The Alliance works. However, on rare occasions, a non-Alliance ministry can be approved for home service. Consult with the Director for International Placement Office.
May a candidate raise funds for a Home Service position/ministry?
The Alliance has a long history of a very successful, centralized funding strategy. Thus, we are understandably cautious about authorizing large numbers of individuals to raise funds through direct connections with churches. At this time, candidates are encouraged to seek home service positions which will involve adequate remuneration so that fund raising will not need to be done.
What role does district leadership play in a Home Service situation?
The role of district leadership for a candidate in home service is no different than for any other licensed worker.
How is a candidate in Home Service evaluated?
Local church leadership and district leadership are sent evaluation forms from the International Placement Office at the end of the first year and then again at the end of the second year. Forms are completed and returned to the International Placement Office for processing. At the end of the first year, it is helpful if local church leadership would conduct an evaluation debriefing meeting with the candidate in order to identify areas of needed growth as well as the development of a plan to achieve that growth. The second year evaluation report will become a key document to determine if the candidate is ready to move toward appointment.
What role does the church have in the evaluation process?
The role of the church is crucial in the evaluation process. A candidate pool numbering about 260, with an average of 85 candidates being in home service at any one time, just does not allow for the Director for International Placement Office to develop the depth of relationship/understanding of a candidate that a local church will achieve through almost daily contact. It is also critical to note that as direct supporters of our work through the Great Commission Fund, local churches should have a high degree of interest in who we send out.
How often should our church expect to hear from the International Placement Office about the candidate in Home Service?
The Director for International Placement Office will seek to be in contact (either by email or phone) with churches at least once a quarter. It may not always be possible to maintain that, but communication with partner churches is deemed vital to the ongoing growth and development of tomorrow's international worker force.
Should female Candidates be a part of the Consecration Process?
All single female candidates are to be licensed and therefore, are enrolled in the consecration program. Married women are encouraged to participate as time allows. To participate, candidates should contact their district offices.
Should male Candidates be a part of the Ordination Process?
Yes. Contact your district office for details.
How long does Home Service typically last?
Home service usually lasts two years. We carefully consult with the candidates and their appropriate ministry colleagues to determine the best time to end home service. It is not uncommon for candidates to stay anywhere from 2–5 years in home service.
Who decides when it is time to consider a candidate for deployment?
That decision is made by the Director for International Placement Office in consultation with the candidate, appropriate ministry colleagues, and the district superintendent.
Should candidates go into Home Service before graduate studies or after?
Either sequence has worked effectively for candidates down through the years. Completing home service first allows for that experience to define one's graduate studies, but, on the other hand, deploying from a ministry role also has its advantages. The candidate should consult with the Director for International Placement Office about this.
Why does The Alliance deploy people in summer?
This allows International Ministries to synchronize the final processing steps of the candidate with Council, pre-field orientation, and second language acquisition training, all of which happen each year in May and June.
Can people deploy at times of the year other than summer?
Yes, but all new International Workers are required to attend a prefield orientation and second language acquisition training.
May churches where candidates do Home Service expect that a life-long relationship with that candidate will develop?
We would love to see this happen and do encourage this in communications with candidates.
I am divorced. Can I serve?
Yes, if the circumstances of the divorce are considered legitimate. If remarried, our policy requires applicants to make an appeal through a local district of The Christian and Missionary Alliance. An interview with the District Superintendent and Licensing and Ordination Committee is then set up.
I am a new Christian and want to be an International Worker. What should I do?
Our best counsel to you at this point is to get actively involved in the life of your church and begin to live out your faith in that context first, before seeking to reposition yourself in another setting. Allow the Scriptures to really shape your life. Seek those in that context who can disciple and coach you in your walk with God.
We invite you to find an Alliance church near you.
How can I discern the will of God for my life?
The question really is what freedom we have as believers. This question has been central to much Christian thought and conflict over the years. Read about The Call of God.
Let me give you some ideas and maybe some resources that might be help.
- All of us need those in our lives that can help encourage and coach us. Serving God is much more a journey than a destination. Let me encourage you to go to your pastor or other trustworthy leader in your local church and interact with them about these issues. They will know you best and can provide a great deal of help. That is a big part of the life of the church. There may be other believers who have walked ahead and have some insight from their life and, more importantly, from God's Word.
- Most importantly, let me challenge you to look to the Bible and the promises of guidance there. What a great resource. Let me insert below a PowerPoint with some key Scripture. You see choice and responsibility in the Bible when it comes to decision but also the sovereign hand of God at work in moving us forward. Obedience in the small things leads to guidance in the big things. One thing that is always clear is that we do not have God's guidance separate from God's presence. When we live in His presence, we also have His guidance.
- There are many helpful resources on calling and service. A little book that you might find in a Christian bookstore where you live is by Paul Little called Affirming the Will of God. It is an IV Press Pocket Book. We can also send a copy to you if you feel free to share your address. There are so many good resources out there. A relatively new book that many are finding helpful is by Os Guinness called The Call.
Does The Alliance cooperate with other churches outside The Alliance?
Yes. We are a part of the Alliance World Fellowship. In addition to this, we network and cooperate with many groups within the U.S. and throughout the world. More info at Alliance World Fellowship.
Are there other ways to get good training for ministry and missions besides going to a residence program?
Yes. The Church Leadership Academy offered by The Alliance can provide, through a theological education by extension method, solid training which prepares you to serve God. See more at our Church Leadership Academy page.
What is a coach?
A coach is someone who you identify, or that we help you find, who can help you in your walk towards serving God. The person will pray for you, meet with you occasionally and help you move forward. This can be a pastor or some other respected leader in the local church. It can be someone on campus that you respect and that can come alongside you. This person becomes like a “Barnabas” (Acts 9:26–27, 11:22–26) to help you get connected and stay on track. Read more about coaching.
What does The Alliance mean by “sanctification”?
At the point when we are born again, we become members of God’s family. We believe He paid the price for our sin, and we are positionally sanctified, or set apart from those are not born again, and are seen as holy because of what Christ has done. Read more on our sanctification page.
Does The Alliance believe that all people without Christ are lost?
Yes. Read more about it on our Lostness of man page.
Can I take my pet?
International Workers are encouraged NOT to consider taking pets with them to their overseas assignments. However, if they choose to do so, it will be at their own expense. The best option would be to obtain a pet once they've arrived on the field.
How does The Alliance feel about tattoos and piercing?
The issue is not what is on the outside but what is inside. We have to move with the trends as long as they don't violate principle. Times change and so do cultures. The other element that must be considered is how another culture would accept these expressions of personal identity. We don't want there to be anything that stands in the way of relationships.