GLOBAL MISSION FORMATION PROGRAM
The centerpiece of the GEMN Global Mission Formation Program is a sequence of two one-day sessions over a two-year period, held in conjunction with the annual GEMN Global Mission Conference. Alternatively, the program can be offered locally or regionally by leaders from the GEMN Formation Team.
Participants explore mission theology and history, mission discernment and standards, partnership and companionship in mission, congregational and diocesan support groups, mission team and project development, leadership styles and group process.
In addition to program attendance, participants complete reading, carry out field work, and prepare mission reports. Upon completing the program, participants receive certification as Global Mission Agents.
The Global Mission Formation Program is held annually on the day just prior to the start of our Global Mission Conference. Registration can be done as part of the Global Mission Conference main registration. For conference and Formation Program information, sign up for our email list and/or check our Upcoming Conference Page. Registration generally opens in mid-January, and the registration fee for the program typically ranges between $55 to $90 US.
Desired Learning Outcomes:
The GEMN Global Mission Formation Program is designed so that participants will:
- Be familiar with Biblical Foundations for Mission.
- Know the broad outlines of Anglican and Episcopal Mission History.
- Situate themselves among various options in Mission Theology.
- Develop Cross-Cultural Sensitivity.
- Understand Mission Companionship and how to develop it.
- Understand how to form Mission Committees in parishes and dioceses.
- Know the Episcopal Church’s Standards for Sending and Receiving Missionaries.
- Understand how to lead Short-Term Mission Teams, including youth teams.
- Identify their own Leadership Styles and how they interact with others.
- Cultivate Methods of Group Process.
The Mission Formation Program seeks to catalyze the desired learning outcomes through a number of components. Participants will:
- Attend two one-day Formation Program sessions directly before two annual GEMN Global Mission Conferences, or provided locally or regionally.
- Conduct fieldwork over the course of the year between Formation Program sessions.
- Complete required readings and some optional readings from the Formation Program Bibliography and submit an evaluation of each book.
- Attend a diocesan or regional mission event.
- Participate in an international or domestic mission team, or undertake an alternative approved by the Formation Team.
The two daylong sessions for the Formation Program occur in conjunction with the Annual Global Mission Conference, so participants each year arrive a day early for the Formation Program. Ideally each participant attends two successive Formation Program sessions, but if circumstances make it difficult to attend in two successive years, one can extend the program over a longer period of time.
The sessions are designed to balance cognitive learning with growing spiritually. As the learning outcomes suggest, there is material to learn, but the sessions feature an inductive and discussion-based approach. The Formation Program provides a small, comfortable group in which to grow in God’s mission. Graduates have commented that they cherish the friendships that are formed and the inspiration that comes from sharing with one another.
Formation Fieldwork is a project related to global mission awareness or activity, and its focus can be local, diocesan, organizational or international. The project is proposed by the participant and approved by the Formation Program Team at the participant’s first daylong session or shortly thereafter. Each participant is assigned a mentor. The participant submits an update in January and a final report at the second daylong session. Examples of appropriate fieldwork include:
- A diocesan global mission inventory.
- A study of a particular parish, diocesan or organizational global mission initiative.
- A study of Companions in Transformation.
- Formation of a diocesan or parish mission committee, and reflection on it.
- Participation in a global mission team, and reflection on the experience.
- An interview-based study of a global missionary.
From Our Graduates:
“I joined the Mission Formation Program at the 2013 GEMN Conference in Bogota to make connections with people already involved in mission. What I got was a family of like-minded individuals who taught me the important ‘ins and outs’ of mission work. The Mission Formation class gave me ideas that hadn’t occurred to me in the preparation phase of our mission.” Jeff Cornforth, Missionary to Bolivia, Diocese of Iowa
“The Mission Formation Program broadened and enhanced my knowledge of mission theory and experiences of others, and it continues to influence my own thought process as I try to serve the least of these. I strongly recommend that you participate in the program.” Terry Franzen, Diocese of Atlanta
“Global Episcopal Mission Network provides educational opportunities and support for the apostolic missionary work God is calling us to do. If you are ready to say HERE I AM, SEND ME and are looking for an educational opportunity to affirm your skills and empower your ministry, the GEMN Global Mission Formation Program is the opportunity you have been seeking.” The Rev. Canon Lura M. Kaval, Missionary to Honduras
“My GEMN Mission Formation Program fieldwork resulted in re-establishing the United Thank Offering at my parish in Atlanta. The offering had been off the radar there for some years, so it required both education and publicity to get folks excited about daily prayerful thanksgiving and the tangible results that comes from dropping coins into the blue box. Those coins lead to more financial grants for global mission needs.” Mary Brennan, Office of Communication, The Episcopal Church