Question about Professional Skills for missionaries:
"Can a counselor or psychologist use those skills in missions?"
Any education you can get that helps you understand people better can only help on the mission field also. Thriving in multicultural settings is much more challenging than many missionaries anticipate, which leads to many missionaries not being able to sustain long-term missions, so a significant percentage of people who anticipated being long-term missionaries end up returning much sooner than they had planned.
I encourage you to get as much education you can in preparing for the mission field and develop skills you could use back home as well. Ultimately, we are responding to a calling God has put in our hearts, so we must listen to and follow his directions. He may have you follow a path that none of us could anticipate. That's part of the excitement of serving an incredibly gracious and creative God!
Many who are interested in psychology and counseling (as well as missions) hope to use those skills to care for and counsel missionaries, and language and cultural barriers may be lower in that kind of ministry. But you should know that missionaries have some specialized needs and, well, prejudices too. They seem to be most responsive to mental-health providers who also have significant cross-cultural experience themselves. So it is unusual for someone to be effective at "missionary care" who has not served overseas themselves. Counseling missionaries, like teaching missionaries or future missionaries, is more often the "second career" of a former missionary rather than a starting place.
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