Spending a year of your life as a student missionary is a major commitment. The application process takes time—at least three months from the time an application is submitted. It also involves training—interviewing returned SMs, a training retreat, a class about cross-cultural missions, and more. The process takes time, but the process is there to make sure everyone is prepared for their mission experience.
Take a look at the Student Missions Handbook for an overview of the process.
1. Schedule an appointment with the Student Missions Office to get started
2. Start your application
Email firstname.lastname@example.org to start the application process.
Frequently Asked Questions
A call is another name for a student 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 are.
“Taskforce” refers to mission calls within the United States, including Alaska and Hawaii.
This process begins by praying for guidance. Working with the SM of ce staff to break the process into smaller steps also makes the process more manageable. Stop by the chaplain’s office and we can discuss the exciting task of deciding where in the world you can go!
Most calls outside the U.S. are teaching, either elementary, high school, or tutoring various ages. These calls offer structure and usually a living stipend. But these aren’t the only positions available. There are also positions for assistant pastors, orphanage caregivers, English tutors, assistant deans, teacher aides, maintenance workers, librarians, of ce assistants, and hospital assistants. Specific calls can be created personally but only for students who get their application done well in advance.
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 offers some of the most rewarding positions. Other current common locations are Thailand, Poland, Malawi, Cambodia, Ukraine, and Ecuador.
There are three types of calls: taskforce, General Conference calls, and independent calls. Taskforce calls need $500. General Conference calls, where insurance and living stipend are provided, need $3,500. Independent calls need $5,500 to cover living expenses and insurance.
The most successful fundraising method is sending approved SM letters to friends, family, and acquaintances. We recommend sending at least 70 letters. This process usually takes two to five months to raise the full amount. There are many other ways to fundraise as well.
When you complete the SM application and are approved for a call, you are registered for the experiential program as a WWU student; therefore, loans are deferred the same as any other student. Graduates do not qualify for this, but there are other ways they can hold their loans. Students must attend WWU the quarter preceding their service to qualify.
If you are going anywhere except the 50 states, you will need a passport. If you need to apply for a passport, allow 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 U.S. citizens must have a passport that will not expire for at least six months after their return.
First we advise you to check with your health professional or WWU Campus Health and Wellness office. Upon being accepted to a call, it is important to check and make sure you have all the immunizations for your location! The Center for Disease Control and Prevention website is a great place to check for recommended and required immunizations.
Along with sending regular packages, emails, and support, we manage the business details involving flights, finances, and registering for experiential credit so you don’t have to. We’ve even gone as far as flying a parent to a student in crisis for needed support while you’re out.