Missions FAQ

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What is the first step to apply to be a WWU student missionary?

We would like you to first stop by the Student Missions office (corner of 3rd and College Ave.) and talk with us about why you want to be a student missionary. Conversations with our staff - all of whom have been student missionaries in the past - can really help guide you as you're filling out your application and choosing a call.

To begin the application process, visit the Student Missions page on the Walla Walla website. You can begin the process by clicking here.

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How do I choose a call?

We want to help you find a call, and the best way to do it is one-on-one with our staff. Stop by our office to talk about locations where you can serve. There are lots of resources available to you. About 170 student missionaries from all over the world are on campus and would love to talk about their experience; come to the Chaplain's office for a up-do-date list of returned student missionaries.

Choosing a call seems like a monumental task, but if you're praying for guidance God will lead by opening and closing doors. By breaking the process into smaller steps, it becomes more manageable. Please stop by the Chaplain's Office and we can discuss the exciting task of deciding where in the world you can go!

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Call? What is a call?

A call is another name for a missionary appointment. A call is a commitment to a job and a location of service. It may be teaching, orphanage caretaking, ministering, being a dean, youth pastoring, or filling a need wherever you're at.

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Are there websites where I can search for possible calls?

There are also several websites that show which calls are available. The first is the website of Adventist Volunteer Ministries of the North American Division. Later in the process their application is needed before reserving a call. Explore www.hesaidgo.net There is a lot of information here. Come in to our office and we help explain. It can be complicated.

Many calls on hesaidgo.net have stipends and are supported by the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists. Browse available calls and be sure to check often; they are always adding new calls.

There are other volunteer organizations that are independent of the General Conference, as well. We have worked with many in the past. It is worth looking at our Mission Links page for more information, and contacting them if you are interested in volunteering.

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I notice that most calls that I find are teaching calls. What other positions are available?

By far most of the calls are teaching, either elementary, high school, or teaching English as a second language. One main reason why there are more teaching calls is because most teaching calls have the resource of tuition to pay you a small stipend.

There are also positions for assistant pastor, orphanage caregiver or tutor, assistant dean, preschool teacher, daycare teacher, maintenance worker, librarian, office assistant, medical assistant. You must raise the funds for your room and board for most of the calls that are not teaching. It is always important to finish your application process, but especially it is important if you are searching for a non-teaching position. Specific calls can be created personally for you if we have your completed application.

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Where are common locations for student missionaries?

Probably one of the greatest needs is the Central Pacific islands (Palau, Pohnpei, Majuro, and more). There are 120 openings here alone so this is one of the greatest needs and some of the most rewarding positions.

Other current common locations are Thailand, Poland, Malawi, Cambodia, Egypt, Kenya, Ukraine, Spain, Costa Rica, and Ecuador. Many locations where we used to send student missionaries are not safe locations at this time.

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What does it cost to be a WWU Student Missionary?

All students aim to raise $3400 unless they need more for an independent call. Taskforce calls need only $400.

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Do many students fundraise to cover this amount?

We strongly recommend that all SM's fundraise to cover this amount. Most students do not and cannot afford to do this without fundraising. When a student steps out in faith to reach this goal, it is rare that they do not reach the goal, but often it is a long process.

If you follow all our steps to fundraise, you will go. When all steps are followed and the student is still short, some travel scholarships are available. But the student must follow all fundraising steps before they qualify. We help you every step of the way. We give you many ideas and opportunities to fundraise. Stop by the office and talk with one of our staff.

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What happens to my school loans?

When you complete the SM application and are approved for a call, you are registered for the Experiential Program as a Walla Walla University student; therefore, loans are deferred the same as any other student.

Again, you must complete the SM application to register for the Experiential Program. Graduates do not qualify, but there are other ways they can hold their loans. Students must attend WWU the quarter preceding their service to qualify.

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What about a passport?

If you are going anywhere except the 50 states, you will need a passport. If you need to apply for a passport, leave several months for processing.

Many students already have current passports. However we ask for a scanned copy of your passport so we can check to be certain is valid for your trip. Please note that US citizens must have a passport that will not expire for at least six months after their return from service.

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What about immunizations?

First we advise you to check with your health professional or WWU Campus Health and Wellness office. CHS is extremely helpful by giving you advice on your location. Our advice is to begin your immunizations early as most are valid for up to 10 years.

Upon being accepted to a call, it is important to check and make sure you have all the immunizations for your location! The CDC website is a great place to check for recommended and required immunizations.

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Does WWU support me while I'm gone?

Absolutely. We send you regular packages, emails and support. We help you through rough times and will make sure you get thes support you need. Sometimes we go as far as pay to send a parent to be with you at a time of illness or crisis.

We have learned that sending a parent to support you through difficult times helps you to stay and finish your term of service rather than breaking your service and returning home. Returning home before service is complete is difficult to work through. We help to avoid this if there is any way to help.

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I have heard there is a re-entry culture shock when students return. What do I do to walk through this difficult time?

When you are almost ready to return, we send you the book, "Re-Entry." This book is very helpful to point out to you some of the difficult times you might encounter. When you return to campus we have a Re-Entry Retreat for all newly-returned student missionaries. We believe so strongly in this retreat that we give you the Student Missions scholarship following this retreat.

Some students feel the culture shock more than others. We strive to set up small groups to help you feel support of others who are experiencing or have experienced re-entry culture shock.

Page maintained by Logan Villarreal
Last update on September 17, 2013