When I was 13, I felt I heard God tell me that I was going to one day live in other countries, doing missions work/helping poorer or less fortunate people in these countries. My question has always been, what type of missions work? What do I specialize in/study? A sensible option for me would have been to go to a Bible school or seminary. Unfortunately, costs of these schools is unbelievable. So, my guidance counselor suggested the Interdisciplinary Studies program for me. It seemed like a perfect fit for someone with many interests and a hard time narrowing them down.
I’ve tried to choose areas of study that will enhance my ability to do missions work one day, as well as improve my ability to handle a professional career (hopefully in writing.) My areas of study are Language and Humanities as well as Journalism. The problem I am looking at is how to do missions work. Language and Humanities could both be used to enhance this journey. A strong understanding of language and the use of a second or third language is definitely a help to missionaries who have to live in countries where the language spoken is not English. Humanities also provides me with an understanding of people and culture, as well as religions. These are definitely things that a missionary would need to know about when going to meet a group of people with a different culture. It’s important to be accepting of other cultures and to have at least a broad understanding of culture and how it changes. Finally, journalism can be used to help missions. There are many organizations who support missions and most need writers to express the needs of the people. I could use my journalism skills to find a problem, address it, and call others to help. That is what being a missionary is about, after all.
While a single discipline may be sufficient for addressing the needs of the missions field, I think it is much more beneficial to be knowledgeable of more than one. For most missionaries, it is important to have an understanding of religion and culture, as well as various languages that may have to be learned. That is where my two areas of study come in. A person looking into being a missionary may study language, but would not understand culture enough to connect with the people, or vice versa. My minor, Journalism, just benefits me even more because it is an area where people may be needed and I will have the experience necessary to write on behalf of the less fortunate.:)