This cohort is designed to provide the competencies and spiritual formation necessary to serve faithfully as witnesses to the gospel in a cross-cultural setting among the least reached peoples and places.
Student Learning Objectives
After completing this course, students should be able to:
- Explain the IMB and its sending process for Southern Baptist churches.
- Examine and integrate the core missionary task into a philosophy of mission and disciple-making.
- Develop a plan to cultivate a vibrant spiritual life through disciplines of spiritual formation.
- Comprehend and evaluate means of entry for cross-cultural evangelism and missions.
- Assess and implement different culturally appropriate methods of evangelism in a cross-cultural setting.
- Engage in cross-culturally disciple-making on a personal level.
- Develop a strategy for cross-cultural missions practices from entry through disciple-making in the Core Missionary Task.
Required Reading and Resources
- Foundations. International Mission Board, 2018. (PDF Download)
- Knowing the IMB. International Mission Board, 2021. (Online Course)
- Deepen Discipleship. International Mission Board, 2019. (PDF Download or Online Course)
Cohort participants are expected to come to all meetings having completed assignments and participated in the necessary activities outside of gathered meetings. Participants are encouraged to remember that the cohort process has two aspects. While students are learning for their own formation, they are also being assessed by their church leaders and those facilitating the cohort to provide counsel and recommendations for their potential missionary service. For these leaders to make these kinds of decisions about recommendation with integrity, it takes spending time with the candidates in preparation.
Practical Ministry Requirements
Everyone must participate in some form of practical cross-cultural disciple-making experience that will inform and enhance our group discussion. The purpose of this cohort is more than transmitting information about missions, and it is expected that all cohort participants will engage in real cross-cultural disciple-making practices during the cohort. Cohort time will be dedicated to discussing these experiences, and coming able to share will be expected.
Personal Growth Plan
Each participant will be given a personal growth plan based on the results of pre-assessment and individual consultation before the beginning of the cohort. These personal growth plans will include materials required by the IMB for missionary preparedness, such as Deepen Discipleship. In addition, students may also have additional modules in their personal growth plan. These modules will be completed concurrently with the cohort meetings but will be done outside of them. Participants will work directly with cohort facilitators concerning the personal growth plan.
For cohort participants who desire to be sent as a missionary, developing an advocacy team is an additional requirement. One of the most important safeguards for long-term missionary care is the ongoing support of those who sent the missionary. Advocacy teams are an important part of providing this care. Too often, sent ones delay the development of a support team until it is too late to create the kind of close connection necessary for superior care, or worse, they do not develop a support team at all. This cohort makes the development of such a team a requirement for the good of those being sent. To find out more about building an advocacy team and the expectations for team members, visit this page: Advocacy Team Overview.
IMB Application Paperwork
For those participants who are actively applying for the IMB, all application paperwork will also be required. For semester one, IMB application paperwork includes the following:
- Both IMB questionnaires
- Financial statement
- Background Check
- Evangelism logs
- Health Assessment