What does it take to be an LBT missionary?

There are a few qualifications that every individual must meet in order to be considered for missionary service with LBT:

  1. Be a member in good standing of a Lutheran Church
  2. Be in full agreement with our doctrinal statement
  3. Be a United States or Canadian citizen
  4. Hold a Bachelor's degree in any field
  5. Have a desire to serve the Lord in overseas ministry

The Training Process

Like any other job or career, there is training involved to prepare missionaries for what they will encounter overseas and to enable them to fulfill their duties. Lutheran Bible Translators has chosen the Graduate Institute of Applied Linguistics (GIAL) in Dallas, Texas to provide the bulk of that training. All LBT missionaries involved in language programs are required to complete the Certificate of Applied Linguistics program at GIAL. This twenty week program includes classes on anthropology, linguistics, language and culture acquisition, and relational skills.

Linguistic training is also available through the Summer Institute of Linguistics (SIL). If you are looking to get a head start on your training but are not yet done with your bachelor's degree, this may be a good option for you. Courses are available year round (depending on location) and may be substituted for some of your GIAL training. Be sure to talk with Sharon Vega, LBT's Missionary Personnel Supervisor, before taking any courses to be sure that they fulfill the requirements. For more information on locations and courses offered visit the section on training on SIL's website.

As you can see from the list at the top of this page, a Bachelor’s degree is required for assignment, but we do not require a specific degree. However, here is a list of college majors and courses that would be helpful to take before beginning training at GIAL. By taking any of these courses and/or majors, you will be getting a head start on learning the skills necessary for overseas ministry.

Once you complete the Certificate of Applied Linguistics, you will begin your Advanced Training.

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