Question about Missionary Training for missionaries:

"What is the most useful degree to have on the mission field?"

"ESL is the ticket!"

Answer from Don, who has served for ten years with China Outreach Ministries and Leadership Development International International.

One of the most useful degrees for missions work is an English as Second Language (ESL) degree or certificate. Everyone wants to learn English, so you can go to almost any country in the world as an English teacher.

If you aren't called to teach, however, any professional or technical degree is valuable, especially if God is leading you to serve in a restricted access country. You also need Bible or seminary training, though if you plan to serve in a restricted country, a degree from a Bible college or seminary on your resume could be a hindrance.

"The one you have."

Answer from J.M., who has served as a missions mentor and mobilizer for five years, including service in the Philippines, India, and New Zealand.

The most useful degree is the one that you have, whatever it is. Find ways to get a long-term visa, possibly using your current degree to establish a platform. If you are currently thinking of a degree with long-term missions in view, then go for one that equips you with a skill that is currently in demand in that country. Theological degrees are useful, but practical ministry skills in discipleship, cell group multiplication, and healing and deliverance will stand you in good stead.

"Get cultural training."

Answer from Shelia in Louisiana, who has served in Africa for two years.

This is not necessarily a degree, but if you could get a few courses in cultures, it would be an immense help. I had only a little cultural training but it came from a pastor with ten years of missionary experience in the country I am now serving. His teachings come to mind again and again as I try to understand the people of this country.

"One that matches the market need and your passion."

Answer from A. in California, who has served for six years with All Nations Family in China, Indonesia, Taiwan, Jordan, and India.

The market need fluctuates. Often one's passion stays its course long-term. Often degrees lay a foundation, but expertise is developed on the job.

A degree that open doors in nearly every creative-access country is an MA in TESOL (teaching English). The downside is that often, a career in TESOL will not encourage one to learn the local language and engage the community family structure.

A degree that allows one to translate the Bible or help with Community Health Education (CHE) may be more strategic than ESL in that it gives us access to communities and at times favor with the government.

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