Formal training is an irreplaceable resource to the church in the training of their missionary candidates. In these days and times formal training can be acquired in many different ways. The means you use or the school you recommend may depend upon the life circumstances, age of the candidate, and location of the church. The usual means for a young adult is Bible school or seminary, or perhaps a Masters level program in any like-minded Christian institution of higher learning. For those who have already begun a secular career and/or a family, night school or Internet-based distance learning may be the most fitting. For some mature persons, who may have had good Bible and theology teaching through many years of church experience, a guided course of independent study under the tutelage of a senior church staff pastor might be sufficient.
We refer you to a previous section entitled: “Can a local church train missionaries?” to recall the analogy made with church-based missionary training to homeschool education.
Quality formal schooling provides a unique service to church ministry trainees in that it accomplishes as large body of academic information and thoughtful application of principles in a relatively short and intense period of time. But the issues of applying that knowledge and the development of character and practical skills is the domain of the local church.
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