Online Missionary Training School Curriculum

The Online Missionary Training School (OMTS) consists of 20 core courses called modules. Additionally, there are a growing number of elective modules. Each module focuses on one main topic: the articles, books, Bible studies, and videos reinforce that principle theme throughout. Students can enroll in individual modules for personal development or to meet training requirements of a church or parachurch sending agency through an “a la carte” approach.

Students who complete the entire 20 module OMTS can earn a GFM certificate of training with a transcript or College credit through one of our partner organizations. Click on each module below to read through the descriptions below to determine if certain modules interest you or if you would benefit from the entire missions training program which is highly recommended. We encourage students to proceed in the sequential order that the modules are listed as they often times build upon each other and some refer back to lessons learned from previous modules.

Great Commission Foundations

This introductory module exposes students to GFM’s foundational values, history, and ministry philosophy. Students receive teachings that form the backbone of all our training (Biblical Basis of Missions, State of the World in Missions, Kingdom of God, Unreached People Groups, 10/40 Window), along with a missions’ overview of basic teachings from the “Perspectives in the World Christian Movement” course. Additionally, we explain all aspects of MTS, including the Moodle learning management system, assignments, expectations, and ministry hours.

Missions Motivation

This module explores “death to self,” a major theme in the New Testament. Jesus told His disciples that anyone who wants to gain their life must lose it, and anyone who does not deny self and take up their cross daily could not be His disciple. Paul said that he died daily to “self,” that it was no longer he that lived, but Christ in him. This good news is much different from the self-centered gospel often heard in Christian circles. Students will discuss Cat (man-centered) versus Dog (God-centered) Theology and the importance of being dead to self in order to know God’s will and accomplish Kingdom purposes. All of this is included as we discuss the motivation for missions and our focus on God’s glory.

Intercessory Prayer

This module is about intimacy with God and changing the world through abiding prayer. It has been said that “nothing happens apart from intercessory prayer.”  Prayer is the missionary’s backbone and is a universal element of every revival and church planting movement throughout history. Students will study various types of prayer in Scripture, receive tools for implementing a consistent prayer life, and spend much intentional time in corporate prayer. Spending time with God trains our hearts to beat as His heart does, rejoicing with things that make Him rejoice, and grieving for things that grieve His heart.

Inner Healing and Identity in Christ

This module focuses on inner healing from past hurts, problems, lies, identity issues, and sin struggles. Missionaries must be set free from their past in order to help others receive freedom as well. Students will work through a self-inventory, taking steps to “forget what is behind and run toward what is ahead.” The book for this module, Bondage Breaker, has helped many people find freedom and deliverance.  In this intense week of seeking, praying, and fasting, students draw near to God and get their hearts right with Him before seeking to minister to others.

Personal and Team Dynamics (Part 1)

In this module, students study personality traits, team dynamics, conflict resolution and spiritual pathways. It has been noted that one of the leading reasons missionaries leave the field is because they have difficulty getting along with one another. As missionaries work with their teams and those whom they serve, they must understand and appreciate other people’s unique personalities, temperaments, gifts, love languages, and worship pathways. Students will discover how to understand themselves and others, resolve conflict, and work cohesively on teams. It is helpful to understand the basics of psychology and sociology as they relate to missions, because mission work is fundamentally about relationships.

World Religions

This module provides an overview of the major world religions represented in the THUMB groups (Tribal Religions, Hinduism, Unreligious, Muslim, and Buddhism). Our students work cross-culturally with people from these religious groups during MTS, with plans to serve in the least reached places of the world. We give a whirlwind tour of each religion, discussing where they came from, what their basic beliefs are, and some tips on connecting with them in a culturally-appropriate way. This module prepares students for a cross-cultural workshop later in MTS where they practice sharing their faith with those in each THUMB group.

Language Learning, Culture, and Contextualization Basics

This module explores different language learning approaches and techniques such as LAMP (language acquisition made practical) and the growing participator approach (GRPA method). It examines some basic anthropological principles and differences in cultures to help you become more effective at communicating across them. Cultural worldviews such as guilt/innocence, honor/shame, and fear/power, are examined as well as how each affects the way the Gospel is embraced and new believers are best discipled. We will also consider contextualization versus syncretism and how the Gospel and culture relate.

Evangelism Essentials

This course is focused on evangelism. We will wrestle with questions such as: What exactly is this Gospel (good news) that we are to preach to the nations? Should we focus more on relationship evangelism through friendships or present Christ to strangers at every opportunity? Is fear of judgment and hell a desirable motivation for someone to come to Christ? Will not God’s infinite love and mercy result in a universal salvation across faiths? What is the purpose of the law in bringing people to Christ? We will also study and learn popular Gospel presentations and compare these to the public sermons in the Book of Acts.

Orality and Storytelling

In this module, we consider the most effective way to share the gospel with people of oral or non-literate cultures. Students will learn the power of storytelling and how chronological Bible storying is an effective tool in many mission contexts. By the end of the week, students will know how to craft, tell, and perform stories for individuals or a larger audience. Each student will also lead a small group in which hearers unpack and discover the truths of a Bible story for themselves. Storytelling has proven to be a useful tool for evangelism, discipleship, and church planting all over the world.

Disciple Making and Church Planting Principles

This module’s purpose is to discuss the elements of church planting and disciple making. Students explore New Testament principles currently being used to realize gospel movements to Christ. The class will study various models of church planting, Petrine vs Pauline approach, church planting movements, reproducible discovery Bible studies, obedience based discipleship, and leadership development.

Missionary Resilience and Care

This module considers some of the most significant challenges in cross-cultural ministry and provides tools to thrive in the midst of adversity. Some of the topics are grief and loss, understanding your call to missions, culture shock, burnout, spiritual failure, and “third culture kid” realities. The goal of the course is to move students from a place of “surviving” the coming difficulties to a place of “thriving” despite the difficulties, as they participate in the mission of God.

Leadership in Missions

During this missions course, we will be hearing from some of the greatest leaders in the church today.  Everyone on the mission field is a leader in some capacity whether it is with supporters back home, other people on your team, or the people that you are trying to disciple.  We will be talking about the laws of leadership, the character/heart of a leader, pitfalls of leadership, etc.  This course will be sure to take you to the next level in leading those above, under, and beside you. We will also talk about elders, deacons, and church leadership structure.

Stewardship and Partnership Development

This module focuses on stewardship of finances and gathering a missionary support team. Students compare what this world teaches concerning money versus what Jesus taught his disciples about the Kingdom view of riches. They will consider the biblical basis of raising support for missionary efforts and tips on how to go about vision casting and “friend raising.” This week also includes topics such as budgeting, staying in touch with supporters, giving, pros and cons of supporting indigenous laborers, and other financial considerations.

The Person and Role of the Holy Spirit in Missions

This module is dedicated to studying the person of the Holy Spirit: His filling, fruit, gifts, character, role in salvation and in the Trinity, and to providing an atmosphere in which to experience the Spirit’s reality. Many questions surround the topic of the Holy Spirit, such as the element of faith, divine healing, spiritual gifts, and how to hear and respond to the Spirit’s leading. Jesus told His disciples not to leave Jerusalem without the Holy Spirit, because the Holy Spirit gives us the power, direction, strength, counsel, and words we need to fulfill the Great Commission.

Spiritual Warfare and Authority

This module focuses on the reality of spiritual warfare. Missionaries face various kinds of spiritual battles they have not previously experienced; therefore, they need to be prepared both defensively and offensively to stand against the works of the enemy as they enter places where the gospel is not known. In addition, students will focus on the authority that we have in Christ as well as the importance of submitting to authorities that have been established by God.

Singleness, Marriage, and Missions

This module deals primarily with aspects of singleness, marriage, and sexuality in relation to the unique nature of missionary work. As individuals and team members, the maturity of our interaction will depend on personal views and levels of satisfaction concerning these essential aspects of life. Students will consider topics such as boundaries in relationships, purity, accountability, biblical perspectives on sexuality, and how to model and speak biblical truth into the surprising realities of sexual practices in cross-cultural settings.

Personal and Team Dynamics (Part 2)

In this module, students consider God’s specific call on their lives. This includes critical self-evaluation to determine their S.H.A.P.E. (Spiritual Gifts, Holy Discontent, Abilities, Personality, and Experience) and point them to the unique roles to which God might be calling them to fulfill in the task of making disciples of all nations.

Maturing in Christ Together

This course focuses on what it looks like to be a disciple of Jesus in the context of community. What would it have been like to be one of the original 12 disciples? What does it look like to be a disciple of Jesus in the 21st century?  What did the biblical community look like in the early church? What should it look like today? This course will also introduce simple reproducible tools to help build community and to encourage every believer in the body of Christ to be a disciplemaker.

Community Transformation

This module identifies principles for spiritual transformation of cities and communities. Students will review examples of God’s power unleashed in times of stunning revival and consider how contemporary disciples can believe God for the same kind of spiritual transformation in today’s world. Students will imagine how it would look for God to reign over an entire community, not solely the spiritual elements. The module also explores the current divide between sacred and secular and the place of vocation in the mission of God.

Christian Community Development

This module’s purpose is to discover the importance of holistic ministry in missions. Most organizations and missionaries have adopted a holistic missions’ approach that focuses on both physical and spiritual needs. Class discussion includes issues of poverty, injustice, sex trafficking, immigration, and other pertinent topics, as well as the importance of incarnational living. The students also evaluate practical methods to appropriately assist communities to meet local needs in areas of business, agriculture, and community projects.

Electives

Old Testament Survey

This course is focused on giving students a good overview of the Old Testament. It is important for cross-cultural laborers to appropriately be able to handle God’s word and teach others to do the same. So, having a good grasp of the Old Testament is essential for those wanting to work overseas. Having a strong understanding of key characters, events, geography, as well as cultural, political, historical, and religious context of Old Testament times will be pivotal in grasping the Bible.

New Testament Survey

This course is focused on giving students a good overview of the New Testament. It is important for cross-cultural laborers to appropriately be able to handle God’s word and teach others to do the same. So, having a good grasp of the New Testament is essential for those wanting to work overseas since part of our Great Commission is “teaching them to obey everything that Jesus commanded us”. Having a strong understanding of key characters, events, geography, as well as cultural, political, historical, and religious context of New Testament times will be pivotal in grasping the life of Jesus and the early church.

How to Study the Bible (Hermeneutics)

This course focuses on How to Study the Bible and Hermeneutics (Bible interpretation). It is important for cross-cultural laborers to appropriately be able to handle God’s word and teach others to do the same. In this module, we will be talking about the difference genres and literary styles of the Bible, things to be aware of when reading Scripture, some of the major themes throughout the Word, etc. This course is very practical as well since we will be doing inductive Bible studies, character studies, Discovery Bible Studies (DBS), etc.

Four Fields / Training for Trainers

The purpose of this module is to give practical tools and practices for implementing Church Planting Movements (CPMs). The online MTS program already has a complete module on Church Planting Movements (CPMs) and Disciple Making Movements (DMMs). That course focuses on the New Testament principles behind movement whereas this module gives very practical tools to implement during the entry strategy, evangelism, discipleship, church formation, and leadership development. Almost all of the material for ths course comes from NoPlaceLeft and Four Fields / Training for Trainers (T4T) methodology.

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Pay for individual modules or an entire program.