We believe it’s the responsibility and privilege of the local church to send cross-cultural mission workers. It is local church leaders who are best placed to identify gifting and encourage people to consider cross-cultural service.


We believe this ministry training scheme offers another way for UFM to serve churches – offering reliable training placements with like-minded missionaries, where church members with cross-cultural gifting can test gifting and gain experience.

We pray that God will use the experience of cross-cultural mission that this scheme provides to open the eyes of many to his global purposes. Our prayer is that in time, some would be called by God to commit themselves to serving cross-culturally long term at home or abroad.

We follow the model of the 9:38 style church apprenticeship schemes in the UK: practical service, ministry experience, training, and cross-cultural living.


Practical Service

Each short-termer will be allocated practical tasks relating to cross-cultural ministry.

Ministry Experience

We will look to provide experience that fits with the ongoing ministry of the receiving missionaries. This will be tailored to the short-term worker’s hopes, gifting and experience and in consultation with the sending church.


There will be a tailored programme of personal study. This will include material on a biblical view of mission, laying the foundation for further training in cross–cultural ministry.

Cross-cultural living

Working alongside an experienced missionary, and national believers, will enable the short termer to experience the joys and challenges of following Jesus in a different culture.

Check out our 2021/22 opportunities here

“I’m delighted to see this programme!
One of our young men had the chance to be part of a pilot scheme for the programme and we saw him deepen in his appreciation of God’s mission to reach the nations, grow in his love and knowledge of Christ and test out future ministry gifts.”

George Hawkins, Senior Minister
Beeston Free Church, Nottingham

Each short termer will have a regular 1-2-1 discipleship meeting with the receiving missionary. This will provide opportunities for ongoing pastoral care as well as Bible study and prayer.

Short term workers on the scheme will also be encouraged to communicate regularly with supporters at home, both to share news of their work for prayer and to receive further support.

We are open to receiving people at different stages of life for this scheme, including Bible College students, gap year students, those working and those retired.

Placement length is flexible, but will normally be for 1-2 academic years. All placements will include a formal review(s) at least every 3 months.These discussions will be fed back to church leaders and UFM. 

Short term workers on this scheme will also be encouraged where appropriate to attend the 9:38 ministry trainee conference that takes place in the UK each January.


“Being in a team of mission workers, meeting local believers, experiencing church life overseas, seeing family life for mission workers and getting to know local people were just some of the highlights. The training has been useful in my personal bible reading but also in my involvement in ministries at university and in my church.”

Aled, i:Witness in Indonesia

How to apply

The first step is for church leaders to have informal conversations with the potential short-term candidate(s), UFM and then the missionaries offering the placement.

If everyone is satisfied that it is right to proceed with a formal application, the candidate should email the UFM office and we will send an application form.

After this, the candidate will be interviewed by one of the UFM staff team, who will already have consulted with a leader from the sending church. The receiving missionaries may also have input.

After candidates are accepted, UFM will arrange:

  • Orientation
  • Help with support raising, establishing an appropriate budget, processing of gift aid etc.
  • Support leaflet to share with prayer and finance partners
  • Web page to help share news and as a support raising portal
  • Ongoing pastoral care for the placement, to complement that from the sending church


See the 2021/22 opportunities

Want to know more?

Catrin, a participant in the i:Witness scheme, shares her experiences: