Established in 1993, Students International (SI) is a nondenominational, Christian ministry organization. SI is a qualified 501(c)(3) charity and has missionaries serving in five countries throughout the world. The International Service Center, located in Visalia, California, provides leadership, supervision and support service in the areas of funds development, human resources, information technology, finance and administration, ministry and program development, and marketing.
SI does long-term, on-going community development in Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Nicaragua, and Fiji through the full-time staff missionaries serving in those countries. In addition, outreach participants join our missionaries on short-term or semester programs throughout the year.
Our staff missionaries and outreach participants come together cross-culturally to encounter God, share the Good News, disciple and serve the poor. This is all done while working in locations and conducting activity in specific areas of occupational ministry that correlates with a career, academic, or personal interest of the participants. We call these occupational outreach settings Ministry Sites.
Our overall ministry style is relational and is therefore centered around the long term presence of our staff missionaries within the communities where we have a presence. This may be challenging for short term participants who expect to see immediate “results” in evangelism and project completion. Over time, however, not only do we see projects completed, we also see staff, participants and the poor transformed into the likeness of Christ and discover their true calling.
The most common objectives for short-term mission outreaches are to broaden our perspective of the world and our responsibility to it, deepen our relationship with the Lord, and share the Gospel with others in need. We also intentionally strive to accomplish other goals such as:
Depending on the length of the outreach, participants spend from 9 days to a semester working alongside our staff professionals at a ministry site. Each ministry site is within close proximity of our facilities in the country of service. Each ministry site has a different occupational focus, such as agriculture, art & media, appropriate technology, construction, dentistry, education, health care, micro finance, social work, sports, and veterinary. Participants are placed in one of these ministry sites for the entire length of their outreach. Placement at a ministry site is determined through the application process in which participants indicate their level of interest in each site.
Rob Dixon, Division Director, InterVarsity Christian Fellowship