Short-term mission: four months to two years

Do you have skills and experience to share with our partner churches and organisations? Or are you keen to gain experience for longer mission service? Put your call into action on a short term mission placement with Church Mission Society.

Church Mission Society is recognised by Global Connections as operating under the Code of Best Practice in Short-Term Mission 2019 and 2020

We are looking for people who are committed to mission, have developed skills, experience and gifts and are open to spending from four months to two years living and working alongside Christians in other cultures. Expect to be challenged, to build meaningful relationships and to grow personally and spiritually.

Who is CMS looking for?

People involved in a local church who are passionate about evangelistic mission. You will be flexible, adaptable and sensitive in your interaction with people of other backgrounds, cultures and faiths. You may have a few years of experience in your profession. Maybe you have just finished education or are looking for a career break. Perhaps you are coming up to retirement. Whatever your situation, CMS is keen to explore what God has ahead for you.

Where can I go on a short term mission placement?

Countries within Africa, Asia, Europe, the Middle East, Latin America – we’ll help you identify the location that sparks your interest, fits your sense of calling or opens up a new door for you.

What can I do?

It depends on your skills and interests. You may work in health care, teaching, project management, community development, the arts, church initiatives – or something completely different. Placements are as much about receiving and gaining cross-cultural experience as about what you can give. See our current mission opportunities.

How do I apply?

The process of selection begins with us receiving a completed enquiry form from you. We then take you through one or two interviews looking at how you got to this point, your calling and the type of work you want to do. We take up three references, complete a DBS check and a health check, and then invite you to a two-week training course where you will meet all sorts of other people who are either heading off overseas like you or just returning. We ask for a contribution of £350 towards the cost of the training, health and DBS checks, and debriefing on return.

In 2002, Helen Fraser felt God calling her to serve in the Middle East, but she had no idea how that would happen. “I had never lived overseas…. And I had always worked for corporations who had paid me a salary so I wondered how I’d survive.”

Helen spoke to her mission pastor in Guildford, who put her in touch with Church Mission Society. Through a CMS short term mission placement, Helen served for six months as PA to the Episcopal Bishop of Egypt, North Africa and the Horn of Africa.

The next summer, she returned and joined a task force to establish the Alexandria School of Theology. Helen committed to another two years and then in 2006 she decided to become a long term mission partner. 

Commenting on her gradual, yet nonetheless dramatic move to Egypt, Helen says, “Five years ago I was writing business proposals for the car refinish market, now I am completing grant proposals and scholarship forms to train future Christian leaders of the Middle East and North Africa; our God is truly a God of surprises.”

How much does it cost?

Average costs for a short term mission placement for one person are £5,000–8,000 a year, but vary depending on location.

What next?

Email Susann on or call 01865 787415.

All opportunitiesExplore your callingLong-termGap yearsShort-termMission associates

Short-termers’ stories

Crossing paths
Although CMS’s pioneer mission training was designed with the needs of the UK in mind, the students don’t always stay put.
South Sudan: A blessing in exile
“Short-term mission” might conjure up images of gap years and youthful excitement. For us at Church Mission Society, short-term means…

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