International Campus Staff (ICS)

Although ICS are subject to the policies outlined in "Choosing a Graduate School" (as well as any policies established by the Area of Affairs in which they serve), they face some unique circumstances that are addressed below.

Theological Education in the Context of Ministry

ICS should not assume that the only way to pursue formal graduate study is by returning to the United States.  A number of U.S. graduate institutions offer degree programs that can be completed from almost anywhere in the world. One example would include the “Virtual” campus of Reformed Theological Seminary www.rtsvirtual.org. Furthermore, an ICS may have access to a seminary or graduate school physically located in their part of the world. 

Who Grants Approval for ICS Graduate Study?

Depending on the nature of the graduate study, approval may be required both from an ICS’s international leadership as well as their U.S. sending/caring region.

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Category I
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Category II
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Category III


Approval Process for Category III Graduate Study

After reviewing graduate study policy . . .

  1. Staff member discusses interest in graduate study with appropriate international leadership both at the country and Area levels (generally LDHR leader).
  2. Staff member also contacts ICS coordinator from their sending/caring region to discuss his or her interest in graduate study.
  3. Staff member gathers references and submits application materials for full-time study both to the appropriate international leader and ICS coordinator.
  4. The HRLD representing the sending region and the appropriate international leader make a decision regarding the staff member’s request.
  5. Staff member is notified of the decision.
  6. ICS signs graduate studies legal agreement.

NOTE: The process described above assumes that an ICS plans to return to their international assignment following their graduate study in the U.S. If an ICS plans to return permanently to the U.S. to pursue graduate study and not return to their international assignment, then they should simply follow the same process as other Campus Ministry staff based in the U.S.

Obligations for ICS Pursuing Full-Time Graduate Study in the U.S

  1. Staff member must sign a legal agreement binding himself or herself to a year-for-year “payback” for each year they pursue full-time graduate study.  This year-for-year commitment represents a moral and legal obligation the staff member makes to Cru.
  2. Staff member reports to the ICS Coordinator in their U.S. sending region during graduate study.
  3. Staff member must be willing to attend the biennial National Staff Conference (Fort Collins) as well as any regional conferences stipulated by the regional team (e.g., Regional Staff Conference, Christmas Conference, etc.).
  4. Staff member agrees to invest the equivalent of one day per week (eight to ten hours) in some form of ministry with the Campus Ministry. The nature of this ministry needs to be determined in consultation with the ICS Coordinator of their sending region.
  5. The Staff member’s spouse is expected to have a full-time campus ministry assignment (unless the spouse has been approved for graduate study or will be caring for the couple’s children).
  6. When research papers are part of the course requirements, the staff member will seek to do research that will benefit the U.S. Campus Ministry or the Campus Ministry in the country or Area where the ICS is serving.
  7. Staff member will represent the Lord (as well as the Campus Ministry) in an honorable way during their studies.

Obligations for ICS Pursuing Full-Time Graduate Study
While Continuing to Live Overseas.

  1. Staff member should include the Regional ICS Coordinator in the decision making process even though the final decision is left to their International Leadership.
  2. Staff member must sign a legal agreement binding himself or herself to a year-for-year “payback” for each year they pursue full-time graduate study.  This year-for-year commitment represents a moral and legal obligation the staff member makes to Cru.  (The assumption is that the “payback” years will also be done overseas.)
  3. Clear lines of reporting and accountability must be established for the ICS during their full-time study.
  4. Any other obligations stipulated by their leadership.