The Summer International Institute (SII) is an intensive preparation for cross-cultural ministry. Bethel College and World Partners cooperate in offering this discipleship training and spiritual equipping opportunity to students desiring to serve “short-term” in another cultural setting. The Institute is held at Bethel College in May and is directed and staffed by veteran World Partner missionaries.
Mornings are devoted to developing a consistent devotional life, intercessory prayer for the target culture, and seminars/workshops on cross-cultural adaptation and ministry. The seminars are led by experienced cross-cultural evangelists and church planters who cover such topics as: 1) Cross-Cultural Adaptation and Communication; 2) Principles of Spiritual Conflict; 3) Biblical and Historical Basis of Missions; 4) Conflict Management and Resolution; 5) Steps to Freedom in Christ; 6) Life-Style Evangelism; and 7) Health and Travel Tips.
Afternoons are devoted to practical training, team building exercises and preparation for specific ministry. Interactive cultural games help prepare the student for “culture shock”. Building a prayer support base and beginning communication with prayer warriors insures adequate prayer coverage. Learning “teaching English methods” equips students to teach English as a second language. Team building exercises allow specific teams to get to know one another and learn to work together.
Evenings are devoted to culture-specific information and training, helping participants become fully acquainted with the target culture's historical, geographical, political, social, etc. characteristics, as well as practical “do's and don’ts”. Evenings are also used for just having fun together and reflecting on what was learned that day.
Again, the focus of SII is personal preparation in discipleship for ministry in another culture. The disciplines of the devotional time and intercessory prayer are essentials when ministering in a foreign setting. A proper understanding of culture and the difference it can make in communication is necessary. Knowing that one has an enemy and how to deal with that enemy when confronted with his attacks may determine fruitfulness in service. Learning how to function on a team can lead to even greater fruitfulness. An understanding of lifestyle evangelism and the importance of prayer support, increases confidence in God's ability to work in a new setting.
Summer International Institutes have been held at Bethel College since May 2000. Graduates of the SII have served in Bulgaria, China, Columbia, Congo, Cyprus, Ecuador, France, Guinea, India, Indonesia, inner cities of the USA, Ireland, Israel, Jamaica, Kansas City (Muslim Ministry), Keystone, SD (Eastern Block Internationals), Mongolia, South Africa, Thailand, Turkey, Vietnam and Zimbabwe.
Internship credit is granted to those students completing the Summer International Institute and sufficient hours of service on a foreign field. World Partners is seeking to develop internships on most of its foreign fields, as well as within its “Immigrants Ministry” in the United States.