CIT Residential


Ministry can be stressful. Cross-cultural ministry will be more stressful. Studies show that the stress associated with cross-cultural entry and transition, ministry ambiguity, and conflict are major contributors to failure in cross-cultural ministry. Thatʼs the bad news. The good news is that the CIT program is designed to prepare you to survive and succeed, whether you are moving to a new country, returning “home” after years overseas, or looking for support with any other cross-cultural transition.

As mature Christians, we think we know the Bible (and ourselves) well enough to become cross cultural workers. But in the relative isolation of the North Carolina mountains, we found out how much we don't know and how God-sized the work is. We lived in a community something like the church in Acts and built and tested relationships like never before. We learned to use the Bible to question and answer what we heard taught... I can't imagine what a mess I'd have made of things if I had gone to the field without CIT."
From a CIT participant

Training Philosophy

CIT values a holistic approach to the learning process. While the principle and skill aspects of cross-cultural preparation can be segmented into bite-sized subject matter, they are lived out in an integrated whole. Therefore, our programming attempts to integrate our values throughout the participants’ learning experience with us. We believe in community, age-appropriate learning, and spiritual formation.


  • Character
  • Vulnerability/Transparency
  • Body Life
  • Family Friendly
  • Forgiveness
  • Trust
  • Cultural Understanding
  • Contextualization
  • Small Groups
  • History Giving
  • On-Campus Living
  • Campus Mayor Responsibilities

Age-Appropriate Learning:

  • Age-Appropriate Learning Principles
  • Sensitive to diverse personalities & learning styles
  • Holistic Philosophy
    • Cognitive
    • Affective
    • Volitional
    • Psychomotor
    • Reflective
    • Social
    • Family Sensitive
  • Facilitator Style vs. Professor Style

Spiritual Formation:

  • Identity
  • Self-Righteousness / Righteousness of God
  • Self-Reliance/Reliance on God
  • Self-Satisfaction/Satisfaction in God
  • Humility/Servanthood
  • Incarnational
  • Counter Ethnocentrism

Residential Courses

Equipping for Cross-Cultural Life & Ministry

Cross-cultural living creates unique challenges for individuals, families, and especially for ministry. In this course you will learn, among many other things, about yourself and the complexity of how to enter a new culture. Although you will gain new tools, the focus is on the skill of the master carpenter. Success in cross-cultural ministry is not what you can do, but what He can do through you.

Cross-cultural living and ministry creates unique stresses on the individual cross-cultural worker and family in a variety of ways. We will address those issues and seek to prepare you to successfully navigate those critical areas. We will address the practical and theoretical tools needed for ministry in a cross-cultural context.  We will:

  • Explore the unique stresses of moving overseas and provide tools to help in the transition.
  • Identify how expectations play a role in cross-cultural adjustment.
  • Identify the special stresses affecting  marriages and ways to maintain and improve a healthy marriage.
  • Discover the unique needs of Third Culture Kids (TCK’s) and learn how to help them develop into normal, healthy, productive adults.
  • Analyze the special needs of single workers and find ways to help singles and married couples relate well together.
  • Identify and discuss the strengths and weaknesses of the various educational options for families and their children.
  • Clarify the unique roles and needs of both men and women on the field with special emphasis on helping women find fulfillment and a sense of purpose.
  • Explore the phenomenon of culture shock, its causes, its effects on relationships, and ways to cope with the effects.
  • Introduce the basic theoretical perspectives and research tools for cross-cultural study.
  • Learn how to apply principles and data of social organization to formulating mission strategy.
Play Video

Language Learning Accelerator

Formerly known as Second Langurage Acquisition (SLA)

Sharing the gospel cross-culturally and in a second language on top of that is no easy task. In this course you will learn a wide variety of practical skills for successful language learning including helping you understand your abilities and developing a practical strategy to be an effective communicator of the most important message.

This course introduces a wide variety of skills for successful language learning. Participants will learn principles of effective language learning, practice language learning activities, and train the ears to hear and the mouth to reproduce sounds in other languages. They will learn to become pro-active in language learning and acquire resources to help master language learning. Participants will practice language learning methods with native speakers and receive planning guidelines on how best to approach language learning when on the field.

Play Video

Debrief Retreat

As a cross-cultural worker, you belong to a small group of people for whom change is an even larger part of their lives than it is for others. The issue, however, is not the change in and of itself, it is how we deal with change. Some of us ignore it and become outdated, others resent and oppose it and become hardened, and others, believe it or not, thrive on it.

A significant area and time of change is the time in which you come back to North America for whatever reason. You may be coming on Home Ministry, or you may be returning to retire, or to transition into a new phase of life and ministry here. Whatever the reason, many things will have changed: the people and places you knew, the customs you remember, the types of cereal you bought, the songs they sang in your church, and even you!

The debrief week is designed to give you time and opportunity to share your life and ministry and to think through the issues and challenges, but also the joys of change and transition.

Play Video

Engage Retreat (A 5-Day Spiritual Retreat)

Through the gospel we are called to a renewal of heart and mind, a life being transformed that we may become more like Christ and imitate His ways of loving, serving and leading. It is an invitation to a life intertwined with the heart of God for the world, an authentically missional life in which ministry flows out of being.

United Word Mission desires this kind of life for all missionaries, staff, and for everyone we serve with around the world. In cooperation with CIT, UWM is offering a spiritual retreat designed to provide a biblically rich, Christ-centered process within an Evangelical framework that prepares servants for growing in Christ-likeness in the context of busy ministry. This retreat draws from some of the best Christian practices and teachings in Christian history.

Retreat Includes:

  • A guided process using “The Exercises: Invitations” by Brian K. Rice
  • “The Seven Deadly Sins Prayer Examine” by Chad Hollowell
  • Short teachings on helpful spiritual disciplines and themes on spirituality
  • Space for guided reflections and spiritual friendships

Field Security Seminar

The Field Security Seminar (FSS) is a field-based training program for faith-based staff living, traveling and working in higher risk environments around the globe.
The standard FSS is three day long. Participants will learn how to:

  • Identify and counter-act basic and advanced surveillance
  • Develop situational and environmental awareness
  • Understand the dynamics of landmines and IEDs
  • Manage and survive violent encounters and active shooters
  • Survive a hostage event
  • Manage interrogations
  • Exercise leadership in field emergencies
  • Counter the pre-attack phase of the terrorism cycle
  • Manage convoys and associated communications
  • Manage checkpoints
  • Survive vehicle ambushes
  • Manage one’s personal and online profile

Discussion groups, case studies and outdoor exercises are used extensively.

Recommended participants include any worker (humanitarian or aid worker or other faith-based, cross-cultural worker) who lives or intends to live or travel to a higher risk environment, particularly one with a the threat of attacks, terrorism, hostage-taking or serious crime.

Please contact Debbie Wagner at with any questions.