We do whatever we believe (with national partners' counsel) is most appropriate and strategic in the context to strengthen the Kingdom witness of the existing Church and multiply new local churches. Usually this means working alongside national Christians on outreach initiatives, forming leaders spiritually and as disciples, training church planters and equipping believers for ministry, and developing partnerships that empower churches to reach out with mercy and justice as well as contextualized evangelism and church planting. So we serve with, train, envision, model, listen, pray, disciple, and create.
We currently have approximately 170 missionaries living and working in 30 countries, with additional non-resident work in 5 other nations. We have another 35-40 missionaries in the process of raising support and 20+ missionaries working in the U.S., mostly at our home office or as part of the staff at the Center for Intercultural Training.
Yes, normally our missionaries work as part of a small UWM team or as part of a UWM Community (for individuals with diverse ministry partners or commitments). We also work in close partnership and “team” with nationals and missionaries from other organizations and nations.What is the process for placing someone on the field?
Our process seeks to be flexible and helpful to your unique situation. Completing the paperwork for the application usually takes 1-2 weeks. Then you are invited to a Candidate Assessment and Orientation week at the UWM office in Charlotte, NC where you will be interviewed and hopefully accepted into UWM. The final stages of preparation are raising support and going through pre-field training. Some people are able to leave as soon as three months after being appointed. For others, this process can take up to a year or even two, depending on jobs, sending church relationship, and family needs.
We don’t require Bible school or Seminary for you to join UWM unless your projected ministry role requires it or you haven’t had sufficient Bible equipping in the past through church, campus ministry, and other means. We do have a high value for ministry skills and experience that you have acquired along the way. As we get to know you and your background, we may make recommendations for additional training before you head overseas.Does UWM provide training?
UWM has comprehensive pre-field training at the Center for Intercultural Training (CIT) in Union Mills, NC. CIT is a training base used by 40+ mission agencies to prepare missionaries for service overseas. To learn more visit www.cit-online.org. Once you reach the field, we seek to provide spiritual formation retreats, occasional training events, and various forms of ongoing training and personal development.How do members of UWM get personal and spiritual care while serving?
We seek to provide proactive care for our missionaries in various ways. We create community and teams that help each other and focus on providing care that moves each member closer to God and healthy ministry. We work to create an ethos of mutual care, which includes friendship, hospitality, mentoring, and accountability. We provide intentional spiritual formation for our members through retreats and available mentoring. We also have a leadership structure that provides intentional care. If issues arise that are beyond our expertise, we have a network of professionals that can provide specialized care.
We have Area Directors in each area of the world that work with team leaders and teams to set annual goals and strategies for each team. Additionally, every missionary sets annual goals for their ministry that align with the team goals. There is an annual evaluation for every member involving a self-evaluation and team leader evaluation. This evaluation is very important to us and we share it with your home church so that they are in the loop of what you are doing and how you are doing.
UWM believes strongly in the biblical principle of stewardship. We do not encourage the creation of consumer debt, but we do understand the reality that people often have debt. We encourage missionaries to work hard to limit and pay off consumer debt before going overseas. We allow folks to be fielded while they are continuing to pay student loans.
Yes! Prayerfully developing a team of financial and prayer partners is the main way we fund and support our ministries. It is a way to provide people the opportunity to be involved in advancing God’s Kingdom through giving to someone they personally know. Raising support is an incredible blessing as we see God work through others to supply for our needs. UWM provides training on how to build a support team and assigns you a coach to help you through this process.
Each UWM missionary has a budget based on the cost of living within the host country. We work with the team leaders and Area Directors to establish a personalized budget for you that provides a moderate standard of living, appropriate health insurance, and ministry expenses.