Train in the US, then Go!

Our internship in Richmond is designed to prepare participants for long-term cross-cultural ministry among unreached people groups.

Training participants attend courses led by pastors, missionaries, and professionals for around 40% of their time. The other 60% of time in the office is spent working with our staff members to support field projects in more than 30 countries.

We offer a 5 month long-term training internship that runs from January to June, as well as a  shorter summer internship. Both programs focus on teaching about and preparing for cross-cultural ministry to the least reached. We are looking for interns from a variety of career fields and programs of study including art, business, education, languages, and medicine.

Further down this page, you can get all the information you've ever wanted about our curriculum, internship logistics, and training schedule. Interested in participating? Fill out the application online or email us at to learn more.


Internship Overview

Program Dates

Spring Internship

The 2019 Mission Training Internship begins in January and ends in May.

Move-In Day and Orientation will take place between January 4 and January 7, 2019. Orientation will include signing of policies/honor contracts.

International externship placements begin after successful completion of the 5-month program. Externships begin between 6/1 and 6/12. Externships are generally 3 to 6 months long, but can be voluntarily extended in some special cases, with approval.

Summer Internship

The 2019 Summer Internship begins June 2019 and ends in August 2019. It is designed to accommodate high school and university academic calendars.

Program Costs

The internship and training program costs $475 per month. This cost includes housing, training and some of the basic staple food items.

Interns are asked to come with Kindles or tablets with a Kindle app and are required to purchase all of the required reading for the internship program.

Interns who already live in commuting distance and will not need housing will pay $125 month.

The amount of additional money needed for personal groceries and expenses varies with the needs of each participant. We recommend at least $150 a month for groceries and personal spending.

Training Format

About 40% of the training program time consists of formal instruction and training. The remaining 60% of the training program is spent in projects and practical work experience with our Richmond, Virginia headquarters team. Most classes are taught in 90 minute sessions. Classes are taught by qualified instructors with real-life, successful cross-cultural ministry experience.

Special Projects & Activities

In addition to classes, interns will participate in some activities and special projects designed to provide experience and learning in the education subjects. Some examples of the activities:

  • Visits to a mosque for Friday prayers and conversations with Muslim Neighbors
  • A visit to the Hindu Center of Virginia
  • Conversations about our faith in a Hindu context/with a Hindu person
  • A public transportation scavenger hunt and race
  • Design, write and send a newsletter and fundraising appeal
  • Prepare a meal for the whole group for $8 or less
  • Short-Term Trips to several destinations
  • Social media mission mobilization campaigns


The complete reading list can be found on Amazon at:

Church Planting

Required reading: Excerpts from “Perspectives on the World Christian Movement”. Learn practical skills for raising up groups of disciples (churches) organized around the truth of the gospel. Exploring issues such as:

  • The definition of Church Planting
  • Various church planting models and strategies

Missional Contextualization

Required reading: “Introducing World Missions” by A. Scott Moreau, Gary R. Corwin, Gary B. McGee and “Cross Cultural Connections” by Duane Elmer

  • Culture and Anthropology in Mission
  • Mission Contextualization

Biblical Basis for Mission

Required reading:  “Introducing World Missions” by A. Scott Moreau, Gary R. Corwin, Gary B. McGee and “Cross Cultural Connections” by Duane Elmer

  • Biblical Principles of mission in the New Testament
  • Biblical Principles of mission in the Old Testament

Spiritual and Ministerial Gifts

Required reading: (Instructor’s discretion)

  • Study understandings of spiritual gifts
  • Learn Biblical examples and principles of spiritual gifts
  • Recognizing one’s own gifts


Required reading: “How to Read the Bible for All it’s Worth” by Gordon Fee.

  • Study the methods and principles of Bible interpretation
  • Learn to apply scripture interpretation to mission and ministry


Required reading: (Instructor’s discretion)

  • Study styles and models of leadership
  • Learn about understanding people of different cultures and backgrounds
  • Understand Biblical characteristics and principles of spiritual leadership
  • Learn general ministry management practices
  • Learn about leading others to manage areas of Christian life: devotion, family, finances, ministry etc.


Required reading: “Let the Nations be Glad”, by John Piper  

  • Receive instruction in the Biblical record of prayer and in the diverse traditions and practices of Christian prayer.
  • Understand definitions and the spectrum of Christian practices of spiritual warfare.
  • Study a presentation of scripture related to prayer and spiritual warfare
  • Study practices of and discerning and understanding the voice of God

Language Learning

Required reading: Instructor’s discretion

  • Gain skills and principles of language learning

Long-Term Welfare On The Field

Required reading: “Intro to World Missions” and “Cross Cultural Connections” (also required reading for Church Planting, Mission Contextualization, and Biblical Basis for Mission.

  • Spiritual well being -  Study principles and practices of spiritual growth and nourishment.
  • Physical well being -  Study principles and practice of a balanced diet and physical health.
  • Emotional well being - Study them importance of community and tools for dealing with stress, loneliness and isolation
  • Learn about culture shock and its effects
  • Learn to identify areas of personal weakness


Required reading: Instructor’s discretion.

  • Learn to share Christ effectively
  • Learn to help new believers enjoy the abundant life that Jesus promises and the implications of being a true disciple of Christ.
  • Learn to equip believers to engage in the remaining task of mission 

Living in a Multicultural Team

Required reading: “Cross Cultural Conflict: Building Relationships for Effective Ministry” by Duane Elmer. Receive instruction and guidance for successful living, working and ministering as members of a multicultural team:

  • Cross-cultural communication
  • Cross-cultural conflict resolution
  • Time management perspectives
  • Understanding diversity as an asset

World Religions

Required reading: “The Pocket Idiot’s Guide to Islam” Nancy D. Lewis and Jamal J. Elias, The Koran, and additional materials from instructors. Learn basic information about the following religions and/or traditions:

  • Islam
  • Hinduism
  • Buddhism
  • Sikhism
  • Animism
  • Mormonism

Social Media 101

Learn how to use social media as a missionary.

How to Travel

Learn how to travel smart! We’ll talk about things like packing, passports, visas, checking bags, and much more! You will be ready to travel anywhere!

Art as Mission

We pursue art and art gallery as mission. Art as mission creates a space to invite unreached peoples to follow Jesus through and around the production and exhibition of art. Through the management of our professional art gallery, Gallery Edit, in the arts district of Richmond, Virginia and the establishment of new galleries in international locations, interns learn how to accomplish art as mission.

Frequently Asked Questions

What do Internship graduates go on to do after the program?
That's totally up to you! Graduates of the program are eligible for candidacy as team members in more than 30 countries. Most graduates join a ministry team in one of those places.

Some graduates continue further schooling before going to the field, and others become engaged in mission mobilization ministries in their home countries.

When is it?
The program runs for 5 months. After the 5 month program there is an optional 3 to 6 month international externship working with one of our long term projects. The program follows a traditional university semester calendar for vacations and days off.

The optional externship generally begins immediately following the 5 month program.

We do offer an abbreviated internship program during the summer which lasts for three months.

Where will I sleep and eat?
Internship participants share apartments near our offices or are hosted in homes nearby.

Participants who already live within driving distance of our offices at 8 East Broad Street, Richmond, VA can opt to be a commuting intern in our program.

Interns in the 2019 program will live in apartments directly above our office at 8 E. Broad St. in Richmond, VA. The guys share one apartment on the third floor and the girls share an apartment on the second floor. It is dorm-style living. Residents of each apartment will work together to create a budget, shopping and cooking plan for meals.

Where can I go on my externship placement after I successfully complete the training?
We have placement opportunities in about 10 countries in South America, The Middle East, Central Asia, South Asia, Southeast Asia and Africa. You will choose where you want to go. During the first part of your training, we will begin to discuss, pray, and decide together about the best place for you to go.

What does the program cost?
The residential internship program is $425 per month and this includes: housing, some basic staple groceries, curriculum materials and supplies.

The commuting internship program is $100 per month and includes: curriculum materials and supplies.

Interns raise support to fund their short-term trips and externships. Additional, personal spending money is necessary. We recommend at least $100/month for spending money. This includes money for groceries and other spending.

How do I pay?
Hillside Missions Organization directly administers the training internship. Internship participants can pay monthly. Monthly payments for the internship should be made by the 1st day of every month. You can pay in cash at 8 E. Broad St., by check or online via credit card.

Checks should be made to:
Hillside Missions Organization
8 E. Broad St.
Richmond, VA 23219

How much spending money should I bring?
You’ll want to have additional money for groceries, personal supplies, and miscellaneous expenses. We recommend at least $125/month.

Can I visit the office to check it out first?
Yes! We encourage all internship applicants and accepted participants to visit before a commitment is made to the program. This also helps to ease some of the normal anxiety that accompanies involvement in new activities and communities. It is best to call or email ahead to arrange a visit.

If I've been accepted, what should I bring with me?
You'll need:

  • a laptop
  • a Kindle or tablet with a Kindle app. (The reading list for the internship is listed in this document).
  • the books from the reading list (Kindle editions are required, when available)
  • twin-size sheets
  • blankets
  • pillow
  • towels
  • toiletries

Casual dress for the office is fine, but there will be times when more formal / business attire is necessary.

Can I work another job while I'm in the internship?
Yes. As long as the work schedule doesn't conflict with the internship schedule. The internship schedule is generally Monday through Friday from 9AM to 5PM. Keep in mind that there will be required reading and other homework to be done in the evenings and weekends.

Do I need a car?
No. But it's nice to have one if you can. If you are not coming with a car, you'll probably want a bicycle. Richmond is a biking city!

Can I ride my unicycle to the office?
No. That's ridiculous.