With the disruption of the Covid pandemic, our courses have been re-tailored to the present situation (Sep 2020). At present when travels are restricted, we use a 3-Weeks Zoom course. When the world is resumed in normality, we will conduct on-location course in Chiang Mai, Thailand for 3 weeks and in Singapore for 2 weeks. This residential program is conducted in English where the trainees will stay in Chiang Mai and in Singapore to experience hands-on what they had been taught in the classroom.
ACTI provides cross-cultural missions knowledge and training for missionary candidates and cross-cultural workers from around the world who are preparing for ministry in a foreign culture. We also welcome short-termers of 6 months and above who are going for cross-cultural work as well as mission leaders serving in a mission agency or in a church.
Long-term missionary candidates of church/mission agency.
Short-term workers of 6 months and above.
Current cross-cultural workers.
Professionals or Tent-Makers thinking of working abroad.
Mission leaders & staff of church/ mission agency.
ZOOM Course for 3 weeks:
SGD$400 (US$300) per adult (Course fee covers tuition & facilitation). Scholarships are available for applicants in need of financial help.
For Part-timers taking modules, each module will cost S$20 (US$15) for 2 hours 15 minutes session. Part-timers are encouraged to take at least 5 modules and above.
On-site Course in Chiang Mai for 3 weeks and in Singapore for 2 weeks
(Course fees cover tuition, accommodation, food, laundry and local transport only. It does not cover airfares. Trainees are to book their own air tickets to Chiang Mai and to Singapore and air-ticket to own country.)
For children’s costs, please enquire.
Topics (29 Courses)
The topics taught are divided into 3 main categories: (1) Intercultural Studies, (2) Ministry Skills For Cross-Cultural Settings and (3) Spiritual Formation/Life & Relationships. These 3 emphases in this course will cover the many expectations and skills needed to be effective on the field by 23 lecturers.
A. INTERCULTURAL STUDIES
Cultural Intelligence (CQ)
A beginning point of understanding your cross-cultural journey is realizing that you don’t know what you don’t know. Centered around David Livermore’s book, Cultural Intelligence: Improving Your CQ To Engage Our Multicultural World, we will explore how you see your home culture in relation to the one you are about to engage. In this lesson you will test and analyze your own CQ, begin to memorize 12 phrases to help you better adapt as you experience everyday encounters as well as an introduction to some tools to aid in decoding your new environment. The goal of this lesson is to help you fall in love with the people you’re about to call your neighbors and how that attitude will set the stage for your transition into a new paradigm of ministry.
Mission experiences are full of blunders in communication, and some may hinder the success of the mission itself. What are the dimensions of communication which need to be considered for effective cross-cultural communication? This session will not only cover the various dimensions but will also demonstrate how you could place your own culture in relation to the host culture on a scale of 1 to 10 for each cultural paradigm. This mapping will help you to focus on aspects of likely cultural clash and shock so that cross cultural communication is not undermined by a lack of insight and wisdom that can lead to misunderstanding and miscommunication of our true heart and intent. The various paradigms that contrast between cultures bring together universal aspects of value systems, verbal and non-verbal factors which determine our effectiveness on the mission field.
Acculturation and Worldview
As we move from one culture to another, we encounter different ways of thinking and understanding the world. Many of these differences stem from one’s world view and values. As we seek to live and minister in a new culture, we must learn to acculturate or to adapt and take on aspects of the new culture. We will explore how to understand the foundation of a new culture, ways of learning a new culture and appropriately adjusting to the new culture, as well as dealing with the stresses of entering a new culture.
The Gospel message was proclaimed in the cultural environment of the first century Palestine, deeply rooted in the Jewish history and traditions, soon to be communicated to the Greco-Roman world. We are now carrying it to yet another culture. How can we be sure the Gospel we preach is culturally unbiased? How can believers of our ministry field express their faith without appearing “foreign”? Contextualisation deals with these issues in such a way that the unchangeable truths should be planted in the target culture, aiming at relevancy to it, seeking its sanctification and avoiding syncretism. This course provides the students with tools and a few theoretical frames by which they would be able to grapple with these issues for life-long ministry.
Honor and Shame
Honor and Shame is often a blind spot of most missionaries when they are presenting the gospel to a collective culture that notably gravitates towards face and filial piety. Without a clear understanding of H/S culture, misunderstanding and miscommunication can occur, thereby resulting in an unsuccessful gospel presentation. This course is suitable for those wanting to reframe the gospel in a suitable and appropriate medium so that the recipient can clearly understand it without facing cultural barriers.
Healthy, Happy and Fruitful Teams
Most cross cultural Christian work today is done by teams. There are many types of teams and this course will explore:
- what factors determine what a team should look like.
- why different skills and different personality traits are needed on different teams.
- what biblical principles are important for team unity and effectiveness.
- how team members should deal with changes as team members come and go.
The class should help students to consider what sort of team structure might be useful for accomplishing the task they are attempting. It will help them to reflect on what attitudes they need in order to contribute to the health, happiness and effectiveness of the team as a whole.
Handling Conflict in Cross-Cultural Situations
This module addresses how we can handle conflict better, particularly in multicultural team contexts. We cover the basics of conflict resolution as well as the cultural factors that can lead to misunderstanding and pressure points in the relationship. Healthy team relationships and partnerships are critical to our long-term effectiveness on the field, and the ability to handle disagreements and conflict situations is an important ministry skill.
Folk Buddhism & Spiritual Warfare: Rituals, Magic & Witchcraft
Students will learn about the basic interaction between worldview, cosmology and rituals in the context of Thai Folk Buddhism. Students will not only gain an understanding of how a person from such background perceives the world, but also more importantly, discover tools and explore ways in which the Gospel can engage such a context meaningfully.
Asia has a spiritually charged atmosphere and thus it is important for students to also have a good grasp of the realities of spiritual challenges one faces and how to be prepared, being rooted in God’s word.
This course will be presented through interactive lectures, case studies and field trips (on-site only).
Beneath the world of Islam lies a huge undiscovered package of practices of folk religion that mostly have gone neglected or undetected by missionaries. This is an exploration and discovery of Islamic folk culture currently being practiced in South East Asia and in most places, they have been fused into mainstream Islam seamlessly. Folk Islam can be the bridge to introduce the gospel without the need to address tough questions in orthodox Islam towards Christianity.
Cultural Practices and Worldview in Japan
Keeping peace and maintaining harmony in Japan is a very important tenet amongst the Japanese. Being a collectivistic culture, there are many cultural practices which work hard at keeping to conform to society’s expectations. However, the stresses and the expectations have inadvertently created some social problems. We will look at 8 cultural practices and the worldview of the Japanese in order to understand them and scripturally find common grounds if any, and to prescribe responses to help learners meet the needs of the Japanese.
B. MINISTRY SKILLS FOR CROSS-CULTURAL SETTINGS
Evangelism and Discipleship
This is a module which highlights the importance of evangelism in the spread of the gospel. We look at cross cultural situations and talk about appropriate interaction. We will take the format of discussion in the light of scripture. We cover testimony and the core gospel message. There will be practical opportunity to practice during our session together. We look at family evangelism and discipleship and ask participants to consider their own relational network.
Many people have so many barriers to the good news, that they are unwilling to hear traditional methods of evangelism. Bible stories slide under people’s defences. This session will explore:
* Why storytelling is so effective
* How to learn a story and walk away with one story learned
* The benefits of learning a story set
* How to prepare an introduction for a story and how to gain an opportunity to tell a story
* How to lead a discussion about a Bible story.
Gen Z Ministries
Generation Z (b. 1999-2015) is already shaping the world and the church. They are transracial, transgender, and trans-commercial. They have never known life without the internet, and they are prone to greater depression and loneliness. How do we reach this generation with the gospel and instill biblical truth into their hearts? We will discuss what makes this generation unique and how we can adapt to connect with them.
Phonetics & Linguistics (on-site only)
Often when we think of missions the two aspects which we are concerned about is language and culture, both inter-related but language being the most daunting. However God has given us our 6 senses to learn. This course gives skills sets to engage all our senses and steward them by riding on our strengths and strengthening our weaknesses to make language learning enjoyable, systematic and relevant. How we learn is itself a demonstration of the gospel to the people we seek to serve. Though it is only a two day course, it comes with a handbook and many tools to set you up to succeed no matter how inadequate you feel about language learning. sThis course will help you realise that success is at hand when we trust in God’s’ blessings upon all the senses and abilities HE has given us to steward through HIS wisdom. Wisdom HE has given Wycliffe Bible Translators as a ministry to train you.
Integral Missions & Transformational Development
What is integral mission and transformational development? How is it linked and how should Christians put these in practice in our lives and mission endeavours? What are the key lessons and pitfalls which Christians and missionaries have learnt in putting integral mission and transformational development into practice? Trainees will learn and discuss about these and other related issues. This course is especially relevant for those who are/will be working with the poor and marginalized least reached in different countries and contexts.
What do we need to understand as we engage in our digital world? How do we need to think differently in our approach to missions and discipleship? What are some ways we can leverage digital tools, platforms, and ideas to help fulfill God’s call for us to bring the unchanging gospel to our changing world? Hear stories of and acquire skills from #digitalmissionaries around the world in how they are stewarding their gifts and talents to shape innovative digital solutions that help solve missional challenges or problems.
Business as Mission (BAM)
Business has a God-given power and potential to impact the world and to transform communities for a greater good. In this course, you will understand God’s redemptive work through business and missional entrepreneurs around the world being mobilised for the kingdom, overcoming the sacred-secular divide. There are huge untapped business resources globally that can be used for God’s greater impact. Understand all about business as mission (BAM) and how to get started or support a BAM business with your expertise and skills in the country God has called you to serve. Learn how to equip, empower and disciple others while managing a business in the field. Discover more about BAM – an exciting platform to reach, teach and disciple the nations.
Church Planting Strategies
Both church planters and tentmakers should know their role in church planting in a cross-cultural setting. There are many types of church planting strategies and an understanding of what the Lord is presently doing around the world will help missionaries to use the appropriate strategies to start churches. This course will help you to enter a field with all the knowledge and preparations readied to upon stepping into the field. It is geared towards seeing movements being started in this course.
Strategic Development & Masterplan
This course will take you to formulate a strategic plan for the work you are called into. It can be church planting, administration, tent-making such as Business as Missions or Social Enterprise. It will guide you in formulating the vision and mission statements and developing the KRAs (Key Result Areas), goals, strategies and action plans in order to accomplish the vision you are set to do. We will use a Mind-map exercise to put all these into a coherent strategy which you can share with your church leaders and members and also to the field leaders and colleagues. You will be expected to present this strategic mind-map along with the focus of your country to everyone taking this course.
C. SPIRITUAL FORMATION AND LIFE & RELATIONSHIPS
Self-Awareness & Soul Care
This course is about holistic soul care. It will look at why and how missionaries should engage in healthy life rhythms that lead to living and ministering well for the long haul. Self-awareness is pertinent in soul care. Having an understanding and knowing how to practice self-awareness in thoughts, emotions and actions will certainly help in managing daily challenges in relationships with others. This course will also look at compassion fatigue and burnout, so that steps can be taken to prevent these from shortening ministry and life on the field.
Boundaries & Transitions
This course examines the importance of practicing healthy boundaries in missions for the benefit of oneself and the people one works with. This is especially crucial when the needs, expectations and demands of cross-cultural missions work are high and one can easily become overloaded and overwhelmed with stresses. The course will include discussions on the practice of good boundaries as well as checks and reflections on how each is faring in setting boundaries.
Transitions are inevitable and challenging. This course will explore different types of transitions and how missionaries can navigate these transitions in the midst of ministry and life on the field. Understanding transitions and having a good perspective of transitions will help one be better prepared to face the many challenges and changes in cross-cultural work and life. There will be opportunities to share personal experiences and lessons learnt.
Rediscover the Gospel of Grace
As cross-cultural workers we carry the Good News to others in our weakness. We have a strong Christ but we ourselves are weak servants. Our ministries and new circumstances have a way of revealing our stubborn hearts and sprouting our weaknesses. This can happen in our marriages, families, teams and with the very people we come to serve. As much as we prepare for life in another culture, we will face an ever- deepening understanding of our own need for the grace of God.
In this course we will consider aspects of our daily need for the Gospel of Grace and how we as mature co-laborers with God can interact with our Father with a rising faith. A key question for consideration will be: How does the grace of Christ come to us in the midst of our calling and in our need as we labor to bless the nations? Key dynamics to be discussed: The renewing work of Christ in us, the meaning and fruit of adoption, our faith union with Christ and his relentless love for us when we seem to fail.
Family & Married Life on the Field
There is no one standard formula or textbook on how to be a successful missionary family in the field. Sharing from life experiences, the course lecturer gives you insights to how they live their family lives between home church, field and agency. You can glean from their experiences or ask questions during this very practical course.
Single Life – Happily Serving as a Single Woman on the Field
Nearly one-third of the missionary population consists of singles, mostly women. Single women have many advantages and opportunities in mission fields. However, they face unique challenges as well. This course will help to prepare you to serve happily on the field as a single woman.
This course will be divided into two sessions, learning from the experiences and the scripture. You will learn to identify issues, seek practical solutions from case studies, and learn from each other’s experiences. You will also learn tips on how we can be resilient and thrive from the scriptures. You are expected to be involved with sharing and discussions actively.
Tripartite Partnership: You, Your Church and Agency
Wonder why there is tension with your pastor and missions committee or have a nagging sense that you’re caught between your church agency? Understand how the sending relationship between you, your church, and missions agency works, and how it changes over time from candidature to the mission field. Learn the key ingredients for a successful partnership and how you can make a significant difference in this long-term relationship.
Personal Security & Risk Management
This course provides instruction on multiple safety and security challenges, as well as foundational practices for faith-based travelers going abroad. It is a 2 hours session and will explore:
– Private information in an exploitative environment
– Basic border crossing and security checkpoints
– Travel preparations and safety procedures
– Basic guidance for detentions, arrests, and captures
– Personal security and communications
– Preparation for evacuation
Understanding TCKs (Third Culture Kids) & TCK Education
This session will help you gain a greater appreciation of the experience and the impact of growing up overseas upon missionary children. It aims to prepare missionary parents and teammates for the challenges of raising and caring for children in a cross-cultural environment. The session will also discuss the various educational pathways for missionary children on the mission field.
Stewardship & Support
Before one steps out to the field, there are so many preparations to be made before. This course will guide you practically what to do before going to the field, what are expected on the field and also returning from the field for Home Assignment or for good. You will be guided in financial issues, like raising support, budgeting, future planning, children’s needs and many other aspects. This is a very interactive topic as each one of us comes from a different country and culturally different ways of doing it.