Does the spouse of a missionary also have to get formal Bible training?

“Just thirty minutes a day, three times a week can get you through a correspondence course in one to two years.”

You will need some courses in preparation, but they are very do-able. Moody Bible Institute has two levels of correspondence courses. One level is college credit with the appropriate price and level of work. The others are designed for lay people and are very inexpensive, and while good, are not as in depth. We would accept a number of these to meet a candidate’s Bible requirement.

Why are there any requirements at all? History has shown that a spouse will have many ministry opportunities overseas, whether or not he or she seeks them. Your home will be a place of friendship and hospitality. People will come to you. History has also shown that spouses who do not feel adequately prepared become discouraged and begin wanting to come home, which eventually most do. 

The Moody correspondence courses have helped many of spouses feel well prepared. Yes, it will take time and discipline, but thirty minutes three times a week can enable you to complete the number of courses we would require within one to two years.

Answer from David Smith, director of mobilization with WEC International. David has been a missionary twenty-five years as a field worker in West Africa and at WEC USA headquarters.

“No formal Bible training is required.”

Our agency does not require a formal Bible degree for the missionary spouse. My wife and I served in Mexico for seventeen years. She has no formal training yet ministered to our family and to the Mexican women. She related to them as a mother and wife, not as a formally educated minister.

I honestly believe that she had more success with them coming as a mother and wife. We team taught marriage courses and worked in churches together. She was and still is priceless to our work.

Answer from Dale Pugh of World Indigenous Missions, who served long-term in Mexico.

“Probably not.”

Use that question to begin looking at agencies. My husband and I are college graduates and he has taken some courses from a Bible college, but I have not. We have been on the field for five years and God has blessed our time here with fruit among the nationals.

Answer from Lori in Asia.

“Yes. I am taking correspondence courses.”

I have found a correspondence program that is reputable and I am taking courses through them at my leisure. Our sending agency did require me to have a certain number of hours before I could go to the field, but not a degree. 

So I say check out Bible colleges that offer distance education.

Answer from Jan in Houston, on her way to Ghana with her husband and two children.

“Not with our agency, InFaith.”

InFaith does not require spouses of our missionaries to have formal Bible training. We serve locally in the United States. Sometimes spouses of our missionaries may have a “regular” job. They need training in their jobs, of course! By being an integral part of the communities where they serve, our missionaries (and their spouses) are able to bear witness to the Gospel through their daily lives right where they are.

Some of our missionaries serve together as a couple, and such cases there is no “missionary spouse.” Both are equally “the missionary.” They work together as a team to bear witness to the ministry God has called them.

Answer from David in Pennsylvania who serves with InFaith.

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