Become a Missionary
LBT is seeking Lutherans to serve overseas through the ministry of Bible translation and Scripture Engagement. If you feel that God may be leading you towards missions, LBT may have a place for you.
In order to be considered for full-time missionary service with LBT, you must be a United States or Canadian citizen or permanent resident, be a member in good standing of a Lutheran church, be in full agreement with our doctrinal statement, and hold a Bachelor’s degree in any field.
Explore the positions available at LBT
Explore the existing open opportunities and urgent needs. Also take a look at the missionary roles listed in the sidebar on this page (or at the bottom of this page if you are viewing on a smaller screen).
Make sure you are qualified
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:
- Be a member in good standing of a Lutheran Church
- Be in full agreement with our doctrinal position
- Be a United States or Canadian citizen
- Hold a Bachelor’s degree in any field
- Have a desire to serve the Lord in overseas ministry
Consider this list of majors and courses
Here is a list of helpful majors and courses you can take during or after college. Please note this is not intended to be a complete list of helpful courses and majors, but rather a starting point. Majors
- Biblical Studies
- Bible Translation
- Foreign Language
- Intro to Anthropology
- Applied Missiology
- Applied Linguistics
- Cultural Anthropology
- Language Acquisition
- Intro to Linguistics
- French (depending on area of assignment)
- Spanish (depending on area of assignment)
- Pedagogical Theory
- Old Testament Survey
- New Testament Survey
- Lutheran Doctrine
- Cross-cultural internships
Talk with us
We want to help you understand what an LBT missionary goes through on the field. We want to give you a taste of the major parts of missionary life with LBT. We’d love for you have the opportunity to ask questions to and spend time with seasoned missionaries.
Please fill out this form, and a recruiter will be in touch with you shortly. Alternatively, you may call us at 800-532-4253 to talk with Karen Campbell.
Come spend a few days with our staff and some of our missionaries! Attend IDIOM, an InDepth Investigation Of Mission.
IDIOM will begin the afternoon of July 12th and conclude on July 15th. You may arrive on the afternoon of Tuesday, July 11th or at latest by 10 A.M. on Wednesday, July 12th. Just fill out the form below and send it in.
The application process: becoming a missionary with LBT
By this point, you should have a really good idea if your interests and skills fit with LBT. But even more importantly, by now you should feel a strong green light in your heart that this is how God is leading you. If you don’t feel him leading you to LBT, then go where he is leading. Now you are ready to apply! LBT will supply you with the application form and a list of information that they need from you. You’ll go through a screening process, including interviews. Applications from successful candidates will be given to the Board of Advisors, who will vote on whether or not to accept your application.
Begin pre-field partnership development
What is Partnership Development? During this period of six months to a year, a new missionary’s primary responsibility is identifying churches, schools, mission groups, and individuals to partner with him or her in prayer and financial support. LBT missionaries have a significant role in educating the Lutheran community about the importance of the ministry of Bible translation, literacy, and Scripture use. They provide learning opportunities by:
- speaking in church services
- visiting with individuals
- small group presentations (Bible studies, men’s and women’s groups)
- speaking with Sunday and day schools
- writing prayer letters
Through these contacts, relationships are formed and a group of prayer and financial partners is identified for each missionary team. LBT provides assistance in contacting churches and in preparing presentations and displays. LBT pays the travel costs connected with speaking events. LBT operates on a pooled income basis. Each year, missionaries are given a financial goal to support the income pool. Some missionaries routinely exceed this goal, others occasionally fall short. With the pooled income plan, no one missionary or program suffers due to lack of funding.
Complete required training for language program assignments
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 our recruiter, 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. While a Bachelor’s degree is required for assignment, we do not require a specific degree. However, see above for 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.
Complete advanced training
Different assignments have additional specific training requirements. This advanced training usually takes 5-6 months and will vary depending on your chosen missionary track. The descriptions below give some basic details regarding the advanced training required for each position.
All long-term missionaries who serve overseas with LBT will be required to earn their Certificate of Applied Linguistics or its equivalent before going to the field, regardless of their position.
Bible Translation Advisor Some of the required courses for advanced training in Bible Translation can be found on GIAL’s website or on the University of North Dakota’s SIL field service training tracks’ website.
Literacy/Scripture Engagement Specialist Some of the required courses for advanced training in Literacy and Scripture Engagement can be found on GIAL’s website and on the University of North Dakota’s SIL field service training tracks’ website.
Vernacular Media Specialist No online advanced training information is available at this time. If you have any questions please contact Karen with the form below.
Missionary Children’s Tutor Depending on the length of assignment, a Missionary Children’s Tutor may not need to complete the entire Certificate of Applied Linguistics. Only portions of the Certificate may be needed. However, it is necessary for each tutor to be a certified teacher, and it is preferable but not necessary that they have some experience.
For any additional questions regarding advanced training, please contact Karen with the form below.
Move to your place of assignment and begin working!