ACTI’s Beginnings

ACTI was originally started by OMF in 1984 in response to churches in Asia faced with a new wave of Asian missionaries needing cross-cultural training as well as from Western countries who were sending Their missionaries new to Asia. With this need, a rented bungalow at Adam Road became the first venue to host the trainees for a period of one year.

After four years of existence, ACTI became independent in 1988, a partnership realised with different mission agencies and churches in Singapore networked together. Bringing in experienced missionaries working in Asia as trainers, it became a place in Asia for those needing cross-cultural training from different parts of the world.

ACTI’s Trainees

ACTI has trained 452 cross-cultural missionaries (as of Mar 2021) and workers who are now serving in Asia, Africa and other parts of the world. Our graduates are from Singapore, S. Korea, Hong Kong, India, Taiwan, Malaysia, Japan, USA, Australia, Netherlands, Indonesia, Myanmar, the Philippines, and other Asian countries.

We have also began to partner with like-minded organisations to train their nationals or their organisation’s trainees since 2016. This has resulted in new training areas, in their own context in other countries.

Suitability of ACTI Training

At ACTI, prospective cross-cultural Christian workers from across the world meet the real challenges of cross-cultural living, staying in places of training at Chiang Mai and in cosmopolitan Singapore.

Formal interactive lectures give strategic information about various aspects of the world of missions, while hands-on workshops offer skill development. Through the community life, trainees learn first-hand about the intricacies of interpersonal relationships, stress management, raising and keeping a missionary family together, and above all, practising true discipleship.

 ACTI’s Training Model

  • interactive lectures in English, with lively discussions and workshops given by 24 active missionaries on 30 topics
  • informal learning through visits to para-ministries, religious practices and mercy ministries
  • interaction with training directors and counsellors to help trainees in their preparation processes
  • a 5-week training program in Chiang Mai (3 weeks) and Singapore (2 weeks)
  • weekly writings of My Reflections to strengthen learning and application for future ministries
  • presenting a Focus Paper & mapping a strategic Masterplan for field ministries
  • ACTI Certificate of Completion (Full-time) and Certificate of Participation (Part-time) will be given at the Graduation Ceremony


ACTI’s pool of 24 trainers and lecturers come from many different countries as well as from different mission agencies. All the lecturers are practitioners in the mission field with extensive missionary experiences. Each one will be able to utilise their experiences to teach and help the trainees to experience and feel what life will be like on the field.

Rev Louis Lau – Dean of ACTI

Louis was born and bred in Singapore and became a Christian at age 16. He was first involved in world missions in 1981 with OM, serving in London and then onboard the MV Doulos for 2 1/2 years. And from 1992, together with his wife Chris, they joined OMF and have been involved in church planting ministries in Japan.

Presently, he is the Church Planting Facilitator in Japan and in Asia, training and facilitating missionaries and local leaders towards building DMM/CMM networks. He ministers to the poor and to the homeless in Tokyo since 2012. In 2014, he became the dean at ACTI, knowing the importance of missionaries being trained effectively.

While on the field, Louis did his MA in Intercultural Studies with the Cook School of Intercultural Studies with Biola University, graduating in 2016. They have two children – Justin is a ministry staff with King’s Church at Durham, UK while studying in a seminary, while Jeremy is doing his MA at the University of Tokyo.

Jim Won: Training Director

Jim and his family joined OMF International in the year 2000 to serve in Bangkok, Thailand.  He and his wife have three daughters; the older 2 are in university while the youngest is in grade 9.  He was trained in Trinity Theological College Singapore and upon graduation served in an Anglican Church in the area of youths, missions and worship.   

Jim and his wife’s main ministries in Bangkok are Community Development work, University outreach, Sports as well as Missional Business.  While on the field, Jim completed his MA in Intercultural Studies with Biola University (2015).  Both Jim and his wife are alumni of ACTI.

Phil Carter – Trainer

Phil Carter, along with his wife Stella, have been serving in global missions through Cru for over 35 years in 38 countries across 66 cities. He founded and currently directs the XChange cross-cultural training program for Cru Asia Ltd.

Phil was born in South Carolina, USA, where he became a Christian at the age of 12. He attained a BFA in Advertising Design, a degree he has put to use across five continents while serving as a missionary. He married Stella at the age of 38 putting him in the middle of a large Chinese-Singaporean family, which is where the real cross-cultural learning began.

Phil and Stella have lived in the United States, South Korea and Singapore. In 2010 they began teaching and developing cross-cultural training tools for Asians moving to different cultures. He has also served as Sending and Partnership Development Director for seven countries in two different Cru regional offices within Asia.

Chris Lau – Trainer/Counsellor

Chris graduated from the National University of Singapore (1987) and Institute of Education (1988) and taught in a Junior College (High School) for 4 1/2 years before leaving for Japan with her husband as OMF missionaries in 1992.  

Together with her husband, Louis, they have been involved in church planting ministries. Chris graduated with a Masters of Arts in Counselling in 2015 (Singapore Bible College). She is presently a counsellor for OMF missionaries, the wider missionary community and Japanese in Japan.

Besides serving at ACTI as trainer and counsellor, Chris also avails herself as a trainer in evangelism and discipleship in Japan, at the Re-Entry Retreats for returning Singapore missionaries and other training courses.

The Lecturers of ACTI