Being a missionary is an important but difficult job. With proper training, a future missionary could know how to share the gospel effectively anywhere in the world, and one of the ways to do this is to attend a missionary college program.
What is a missionary college program? A missionary college program is a program or school that trains future missionaries on how to take the gospel to all nations. This is accomplished through different types of education in ministry, evangelism, theology, business, nursing, and more.
In Matthew 28:18-20, Jesus tells us to go into all the nations and make disciples. As Christians sharing the gospel is one of the most important jobs out there. We know that God calls us to go before we are called to stay, so here’s a list of all the missionary college programs I found to help you on your journey:
- Bethany Global University
- Biola University
- University of the Nations
- Moody Bible Institute
- Appalachian Bible College
- Word of Life Bible Institute
- North Central University
- Liberty University
1. Bethany Global University
Bethany Global University (BGU) is an accredited missions college in Bloomington Minnesota that focuses on training missionaries to take the church to where it is not. Their mission statement is to see the world filled with the glory of the Lord as the waters cover the sea.
To accomplish their mission statement, BGU offers three undergraduate bachelor’s degrees that can be studied online or on campus for two years and then continued through a 16-month internship overseas during the student’s junior and senior year.
The last semester is completed back on campus where students get to debrief and graduate with hands-on experience in different types of ministry.
The three undergraduate programs are Education in Missions, Intercultural Studies, and Transformational Entrepreneurship, and all three are partnered with a second major in Theology & Bible.
Education in Missions
In the Education in Missions degree, students will get to learn from the Montessori method of teaching in class as well as get hands-on experience in the Montessori school on campus.
Here, students will learn how to each kid themselves in interactive, educational environments and take classes like The Red Thread of Redemption. This class teaches students how to teach stories of the Bible to kids.
Other classes within this program include Early Childhood Development, Mathematics and Faith Formation, Life Language and Culture for Montessori Education and other classes on theology and intercultural studies.
In the Intercultural Studies Degree at BGU, students will learn how to contextualize the gospel into other cultures and take classes like Cultural Anthropology, Worldviews and World Religions, Intercultural Ministry Preparation, and more.
Each class is taught by experienced professors who have worked as missionaries overseas before and who deeply care about partnering with each student to bring the message of the gospel to unreached people groups.
Transformational Entrepreneurship (TEM) teaches students about how to use Business as Mission to transform communities and create social and spiritual impact all over the world.
This degree will walk you through how to creatively, practically, and prayerfully create a business plan and Business and Mission to pursue overseas and even after college.
Not only will this help the student learn how to transform the marketplace for Christ, but also how to transform individual lives and societies.
Some classes within this program include Introduction to Business as Mission, Innovation and Creativity, Entrepreneurial Finance and Accounting, and more.
On internship, TEM students will get the opportunity to work with missionaries and Christian business professionals on the field, learning how to put what they’ve already learned into practice in the real world.
Other Information About Bethany Global University
Bethany Global University has a tuition paid program, which means that through grants, scholarships, and donors, students only pay on average $9,500 a year for room, board, and other fees.
Another way that BGU is so affordable, is that it is one in eight work colleges across the US. This means that students get to work on campus throughout the week and acquire real work experience all the while paying for their tuition.
Bethany Global University also has master’s degrees and a one-year program available as well as enrichment courses and free resources on their website.
These help everyone who’s passionate about Jesus learn how to share the gospel and do missions wherever they’re at in the world.
To learn more about Bethany Global University, click here.
2. Biola University
Located in Los Angeles, California, Biola University is a private institution that exists to provide Christian students with a biblically-based higher education.
Among their various degree options, a few that are specific to missions are bachelor’s degrees in Bible Theology and Ministry, Evangelism and Discipleship, Intercultural Studies, Missions, and more.
Each one of these programs offers a wide range of concentrated study and a slew of specific minors to choose from. These opportunities make sure that each student is being prepared exactly for what God is calling them to.
Another great thing about Biola University is that they also offer study abroad programs so that students are able to experience different cultures as they learn to reach them with the gospel through their education.
At Biola, the average tuition for undergraduate programs costs $44,382 a year not including room and board and other fees.
However, Biola offers multiple scholarships and is one of the country’s leading seminaries. It is also situated in a perfect location for opportunities outside internships, outreaches, field research, and more.
To learn more about Biola University, click here.
3. University of the Nations
As part of Youth With A Mission (YWAM), University of the Nations (UotN) has extensive experience in training missionaries throughout all different types of ministry.
UotN encourages its students to work through their courses while on the field with YWAM so that they can learn how to contextualize the gospel in their classes while also living it out with missionaries on the field.
Students are also required to have attended one of YWAM’s Discipleship Training Schools and agree to work with an Academic Advisor.
The core curriculum for these degrees focuses on Applied Christian thinking, the Bible, and Communication, and each course is taken through a college or training center that offers Associates, Bachelors, and Masters degrees.
These degrees specialize in Arts and Sports, Christian Ministries, Communication, Counseling and Healthcare, Education, Humanities, Science and Technology, and International Studies.
University of the Nations is dedicated to making higher education available to missionaries in a flexible, practical way through their programs.
If you’d like to learn more about these programs and degrees at YWAM’s University of the Nations, click here.
4. Moody Bible Institute
Moody Bible Institute is located in Chicago, Illinois, and is passionate about raising up Christians who will showcase God’s glory in their lives through their education and work in ministry.
One amazing pro about Moody is that like Bethany Global University, they have a tuition paid model through federal aid, grants, and donors.
This means that students only have to cover room and board and other fees that average to about $6,500-$8,000 a semester.
This makes education wildly affordable for Christians and future missionaries who don’t want to acquire large amounts of debt.
Now that students can go to school with little to no debt, they can focus on studying in any of Moody’s programs that include Associate, Bachelor, and Master degrees.
These areas of study include:
- Pastoral Studies
- Biblical Languages
- Missionary Aviation
- Elementary Education
- Integrated Ministry Studies
- Intercultural Studies
- Missional Leadership
- Cultural Engagement
- Youth Ministry
Among other opportunities for study like online classes, other campus locations, online resources, and athletics, Moody Bible Institute is an incredible place to study with like-minded Christians who are passionate about advancing God’s Kingdom everywhere they go.
To find out more about Moody Bible Institute, click here.
5. Appalachian Bible College
Appalachian Bible College (ABC) believes that life is for service and that every student can live surrendered to God’s great will and plan for their lives.
At Appalachian, students are encouraged to grow in their faith as well as their education.
Along with an automatic major in Theology, students get to choose between many other degrees and majors. These degrees include:
- Biblical Counseling
- Camping Ministry
- Elementary Education
- Pastoral Ministry
Students can also earn a Bible Certificate or pursue a Master’s degree.
For tuition at Appalachian, the average total that in-state students pay for each semester is $3,507, and $6,421 a semester for out of state students. This includes room and board as well as the average amount of scholarships and grants that are applied to a student’s total.
Once finances are squared away, students get to look forward to pursuing what they’re passionate about and interacting with the different opportunities on and around campus.
These opportunities allow students to get involved with ministries off campus and attend student life groups where they’ll experience a biblical community that helps hold students accountable and encourages them.
Other opportunities with ABC include intramural sports, pursuing a leadership program, or working for the college in campus jobs for extra spending money.
Ministry opportunities are also available with the chance to participate in leading a Bible study or be part of the youth ministry, nursing home care, local evangelism, children’s ministry, and more.
Overall, ABC provides a rich community and education for each student to grow in their relationship with Jesus and others, as well as learn how to serve God through sharing the gospel with those who don’t know Jesus.
To learn more about Appalachian Bible College, click here.
6. Word of Life Bible Institute
Word of Life Bible Institute is a two-year program for students to dive deep into biblical studies and missions application.
Students not only get opportunities for outreach within their two years of study but also get the chance to go on one of two 22 month internships overseas, which allows them to get hands-on experience on the field.
Students can choose to either go on the Cross-Cultural Internship or the Youth Ministry Internship in one of 67 countries, and both internships immerse the participants in a field of opportunities for evangelism, discipleship, and many other types of ministry.
For the two years on campus, students will take classes that include a survey of the New and Old Testament, Biblical Counseling courses, Theology, Public Speaking, Hermeneutics, and more.
Among these resources, Word of Life Bible Institute also provides other mission trips, athletics, and an Israel study tour for anyone interested in growing their faith.
These opportunities and others can be experienced in one of five different countries, ranging from New York and Florida to Hungary and South Korea.
To learn more about Word of Life Bible Institute, click here.
7. North Central University
North Central University located in Minneapolis, Minnesota helps Christians earn their undergraduate or graduate degree in their interest of study.
All North Central students will also graduate with an automatic minor in Christian Studies, which allows students to choose two of these four Worldview Theology core classes: God and Religion, God and Humanity, God and Culture, and God and Vocation.
Degrees that can complement mission work include Biblical and Theological Studies, Global Studies, Pastoral Studies, and Youth Children and Family Ministries among many others.
Students also have the opportunity to study abroad and live interculturally during their junior and senior years at North Central. These study abroad sites span the whole world, from Thailand to Egypt and England.
For tuition, after financial aid, housing, and other fees are fit into the equation, students pay on average $10,730 a semester and $21,460 a year.
With chances to get involved in various clubs, athletic teams, and outreaches across the city, Student Life at North Central is vibrant and filled with likeminded Christians who desire to see Jesus known not only in their campus, but throughout the whole world.
To learn more about North Central University, click here.
8. Liberty University
Located in Lynchburg, Virginia, Liberty University is a college that is raising up Christians to enter the workforce with a foundation built on faith in Jesus Christ.
Through graduate, undergraduate, or associate programs, Liberty hosts a healthy amount of degrees and majors to choose from that will help train a future missionary in work they can use on the field as well as grow in what they’re passionate about.
Some degrees to choose from Liberty University include Aviation, Business, Biblical Studies, Church Ministry, Early Childhood Education, Teaching English as a Foreign Language, Global Studies, and International Relations.
For finances, the average tuition for students at Liberty is $24,910, not including room and board and other fees and costs. To help with these costs, Liberty offers a range of scholarships to help to pay for tuition and specifically has a scholarship for kids of missionaries.
The amount for these scholarships varies depending on financial need and academic achievement.
For students living on campus, campus life at Liberty University is interactive and and has many opportunities to get involved in.
From student government to numerous recreation areas, Liberty hosts a diverse population of students and clubs so that anyone can find an activity that suits their interests.
Studying abroad is also an option at Liberty, and students who take advantage of this opportunity not only get a chance to experience another culture but also learn how to minister to people there.
I know personally of a friend who was able to spend time in Asia with Liberty, she taught English and spread the gospel, all the while incorporating her studies with her ministry.
If you’d like to learn about Liberty University, click here.
Missionary College Programs Matter
No matter what route, program, university, or school you choose, you can know that God is guiding you on the right path towards his will.
Becoming a missionary isn’t always easy, but it’s one of the most important jobs a Christian can do. Through the power of the Holy Spirit, Jesus will empower you to get the training you need to go into all the nations, making disciples and baptizing them in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
This is why missionary college programs matter because they train us to take the church and the gospel to where it’s not, so that every tribe, tongue, and nation will get the chance to love and worship Jesus like we do, and experience his glory for the rest of eternity.