Global Ministries 101

Global Ministries 101

What is Global Ministries?

Global Ministries is the common witness of the Disciples’ Division of Overseas Ministries (DOM) and the UCC’s Wider Church Ministries (WCM). Our two denominations have a formal partnership through which the Disciples and UCC share common staff, budget, programs/projects, and governance in our presence and witness with international partners throughout the global community. Global Ministries works with approximately 290 faith-based international partners in close to 90 countries.

How was Global Ministries started?

Discussions about “joint action and a possible administrative merger of the agencies” began in the 1960s. These discussions led to experiments with joint offices and “common ministry” over the next several decades. In 1989, the General Synod of the UCC and the General Assembly of the Disciples each voted on a partnership resolution “to engage in mission together, wherever and whenever possible.” By 1995, most offices were shared between the Disciples and UCC, and the Boards from both denominations along with the UCC General Synod and Disciples General Assembly affirmed the formation of the Common Global Ministries Board. On January 1, 1996, Global Ministries was born.

Why is Global Ministries unique?

No two denominations in the U.S. have entered into a covenantal partnership to do global mission together through a common structure as the Disciples and UCC have done through Global Ministries.

What are Global Ministries’ current mission priorities?

Vision – That all of God’s people and creation share in God’s abundant life

Mission – To receive and share the Good News of Jesus Christ by joining with global and local partners to work for justice, reconciliation, and peace.

Core Values
Presence – Manifesting God’s love by loving in intentional, committed relationships
Key word: prasannam (Tamil)

Mutuality – Walking in hope with others in God’s mission
Key word: acompañamiento (Spanish)

Community – Building interdependence and unity among all God’s children
Key word: ubuntu (Zulu)

Justice – Living out God’s radical love by confronting powers that deny the fullness of life and the integrity of creation
Key word: gong yi (Chinese)

Peace – Embodying reconciling relationships with God, humanity, and creation
Key word: shalom/salaam (Hebrew/Arabic)

When does Global Ministries send mission co-workers?

A mission co-worker is sent when a global partner makes a request for a person to fill a specific need, finances are available for an appointment, and a qualified candidate is found.

What categories of mission co-workers does Global Ministries send?

Fully Supported Mission Co-workers are supported with salary and benefits and serve a term of three to four years. They are sent when a global partner makes a request for a person to fill a specific need, finances are available for an appointment, and a qualified person to fill the role is identified.

Global Mission Interns serve one to three years with a global partner. Interns must have a relationship to the church with preference given to members of the United Church of Christ and the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). This program is open to college graduates under 30 who are willing to receive and share gifts with global partners in intentional service.

Long-term Volunteers serve for one to four years in response to a request from a global partner. The long-term volunteer co-worker is primarily responsible for all funding, with Global Ministries and the global partner contributing to the support package if possible.

Global Service Co-Workers serve from two weeks to one year and are sent on assignments identified by the global partner. Participating in a global partner’s life as a co-worker is a great way to connect and learn about our partner’s work during a summer break or a sabbatical opportunity.

Associates are given recognition as such and are members of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and the United Church of Christ serving outside the United States with a church, ecumenical institution, or a project involving a ministry that is in accordance with the mission principles of Global Ministries.

How is Global Ministries governed?

The Common Global Ministries Board (CGMB) is composed of six international partners, one from each of the six areas of the world in which we are engaged in mission, 15 Division of Overseas Ministries (Disciples) board members, and 15 United Church of Christ Board members (UCCB) representing Wider Church Ministries and Global Ministries.

How is the work with international partners carried out?

God invites us to join hands with international partner churches and walk together in mutual love and respect with our siblings around the world. Within the covenantal bonds with partner churches and ecumenical bodies throughout the world, we commit ourselves to share life, resources, support, and faith. With God’s grace, Global Ministries works with partners through advocacy, dialogue, sharing people in mission, sharing resources, committing to the healing of God’s people and creation, and sharing in the story of God’s love in Jesus Christ.

This work is carried out by Global Ministries’ five area offices staffed by Area Executives. These area offices are Africa, East Asia and the Pacific, Latin America and the Caribbean, Middle East and Europe, and Southern Asia. The area offices work with Global Ministries’ program offices, including Mission Personnel, People-to-People Pilgrimages, Missionary Relationships, Resource/Financial Development, Mission Engagement, Advocacy, Finance, and Child and Elder Sponsorship.

How is Global Ministries funded?

A percentage of the Disciples Mission Fund (DMF) and the Easter offering from Disciples and Our Church’s Wider Mission (OCWM) from the UCC, as well as money through Week of Compassion (WOC) and One Great Hour of Sharing (OGHS) support Global Ministries. Funds are also received from various endowments and special gifts provided by individuals, congregations, and other bodies of the church.

Glossary of Terms

Global Mission Church – A Global Mission church has engaged in evaluating and celebrating their global mission involvement and commits to maintaining and growing their mission involvement by covenanting with Global Ministries. A global mission church understands itself to be inter-related with the whole of God’s creation across all physical and human-made barriers and seeks to timely and appropriately meet God’s people and creation at the point of deepest need.

Global mission – “Mission is the participation of the people of God in God’s action in the world.” – Carlos Cardoza-Orlandi. Global Ministries is responsible for helping the UCC and Disciples engage in God’s mission beyond our national boundaries as we walk with our international partners and discern together God’s action in the world.

Mission Co-worker – Global Ministries formerly referred to these individuals as missionaries. Mission co-workers travel from their home country to a country where they will serve at the invitation of the global partner. Mission co-workers do a wide variety of work with partners, depending on their skills and partner needs.

Global Partner – Global partners are the faith-based communities and organizations with which Global Ministries is partnered.