The US-2 young adult missionary program was established in 1951 by the Women's Division of Christian Service, one of the precursors of United Methodist Women. US-2 originally stood for "us too," a 2-year term program of mission service in the United States. The program was only open to women when it began. The Mission Intern program began in 1977 and was developed by the former World Division of the General Board of Global Ministries. The program began with 20 US college graduates recruited through campus ministry and seminary networks. The mission interns were trained for 3 months and then assigned to 15 months of "work-study" with United Methodist and ecumenical mission partners overseas in Africa, Asia, the Middle East, and the Caribbean. This was then followed by a year of service in the United States with United Methodist and ecumenical agencies that worked in international affairs. Today, there are over 600 alumni of these programs working around the world in areas of social justice ministries, and integrating the lessons they learned into their daily vocations. We celebrate over 60 years of young adults in mission service around the globe on behalf of the United Methodist Church.
Goals & Objectives
A) To develop young adults as leaders within the church. B) To provide opportunities for young adults to understand systems of oppression and how a person of faith is called to respond. C) To assist young adults in exploring possible vocations, especially those related to ministry, mission, or social change. D) To work in and learn from traditionally marginalized communities in cross-cultural settings. E) To engage in faith based action for justice and disciplined theological reflection in order to better integrate social justice into Christian faith. F) To form a covenant community of young adults committed to Christian discipleship and service. G) To bridge the experiences of different communities so as to better facilitate communications and cooperation between peoples seeking justice in a global context. H) To provide opportunities for young adults to educate the conference and local church levels about mission giving and missionary support through The Advance. I) To celebrate the 60th anniversary of the US-2 program, and 35th of the Mission Intern, by hosting an anniversary celebration event for alumni during the month of August 2012 as a time of reconnecting, remembering, and reaffirming the community's commitment to mission service.
The Young Adult Mission Service programs currently send out a new commissioned class of young adults annually, to serve in ministries committed to social change. There is a training session before the young adult arrives at their placement site, as well as midterm and end term events. These events contain sessions that guide the young adults in unpacking their experience and processing where they are being called. The staff of the General Board of Global Ministries continues to investigate further development of the existing young adult programs so they continue to be relevant within the United Methodist Church, and the changing world. This is an ongoing process being done through research of current trends which may result in a restructuring of the programs. Staff is also considering ways to reach out to more diverse communities including young people from varied ethnic, cultural, economic, and racial backgrounds.