Sending, Serving, Reaching: TCM International Institute
By Jennifer Taylor
TCM International Institute
P.O. Box 24560, Indianapolis, IN 46224
Tony Twist, President
It takes a one-time Master of Arts scholarship investment of $16,000 to equip an international leader for a lifetime of service and ministry in his home country. Compare this to the $60,000 or more needed annually to send a U.S. missionary overseas (where service is usually less than four years), and it’s obvious: equipping national leaders to reach their own countries for Christ is both effective and cost-effective.
TCM exists to develop bivocational “international disciple makers” throughout Europe, Russia, the Middle East, and central Asia. Students attend one- and two-week intensive courses at Haus Edelweiss, TCM’s main campus in Austria, as well as 10 other locations.
The TCM International Institute
(TCMII) is the only institution working entirely outside the U.S. that is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Universities. It’s also one of the few accredited graduate schools in Europe with a primary focus on practical ministry.
TCM estimates at least 50,000 people have been served by the hundreds of students who have attended classes. More than 50 percent of graduates are preachers or church planters; other graduates teach in colleges and universities, work with youth, and pursue other national and international ministries.
As TCMII consistently develops leaders “focused on fulfilling the Great Commission,” interest continues to grow in TCM’s programs. They project an enrollment of 1,200 students by 2014 and a growing number of students from central Asia and the Middle East. Despite the strong atheistic and Muslim influences in these regions, “TCM students and graduates have been faithfully and strategically used by God to share Christ with their own people,” the ministry shares. TCM anticipates opportunities to develop more international influence, build a presence at European universities, and discover more opportunities for partnerships.
TCM also makes it possible for Amer-
ican Christians to support the work with time and financial resources. Each year, teams of people from across the U.S. travel to Austria as short-term workers on the main campus. These teams maintain the grounds, do landscaping, clean the buildings, cook and serve meals, and perform many other behind-the-scenes tasks so students can focus on their coursework.
Through TCM’s Great Commission Initiative, many individuals, families, and small groups also provide tuition scholarship assistance for the students ranging from the cost of one class ($1,000) to a complete Master of Divinity degree ($32,000).
“The typical TCM International Institute student is 37 years old, well-educated, involved in local ministry in his or her community—and earning a monthly income of $400 or less,” the ministry writes. “Scholarship assistance allows these national missionaries to respond to God’s call on their lives to more effectively reach their countries, cultures, and churches for Christ.”
Jennifer Taylor, one of CHRISTIAN STANDARD’s contributing editors, lives in Nashville, Tennessee. Read her blog at www.seejenwrite.com.