A mapper is a man or woman who serves on a foreign field for a limited period of time alongside of and under the direction of an experienced missionary for the purpose of gaining practical experience, thus the name MAPPER (Missionary Apprenticeship Program).


• To allow an interested missionary prospect to visit an actual mission field and, in a limited and temporaryway, enter into the missionary experience.

• To introduce the mapper to the challenges presented in living and working in a different land and culture.

• To provide an outreach for the local church as they send one of their own to the mission field.

• To teach a mapper how to work as part of a team, laboring together to fulfill the Great Commission.

• To encourage the missionary on the field by providing extra assistance, along with fresh zeal and new ideas.

• To assist a prospective missionary in determining whether or not he or she is truly called of God to missionary service.


A mapper must be a saved person, evidencing a dedicated life, and a member in good standing of a fundamental, separatist Baptist church.

Normally, mappers are college students who desire to explore the possibility of missionary service by visiting a mission field for a few weeks. However, the mapper program is not always limited to college students and may include other interested adults.

Only those college students who have completed their sophomore year will be considered.

There must be agreement with the doctrinal position of the Mission and a willingness to abide by our Principles & Policies while working with the missionary.


Prospective mappers must submit an application along with letters of recommendation from their pastor and an official of their college.

Prospects will be screened by Baptist World Mission after they have been approved by their local church. All mappers must be approved by the Mission’s deputation director, and only approved mappers will be authorized to serve with our missionaries. (This does not include work teams sent out by local churches and/or relatives of our missionaries.)

If the prospect does not have a specific country of interest, the deputation director will attempt to direct the would-be mapper to a field of great opportunity. Baptist World Mission cannot guarantee that each mapper will be able to serve on any certain field, but we will always take preferences into consideration.


Participate in a two-day mapper orientation. This program will be scheduled at the conclusion of the spring college semester; the location varies. Housing and meals will be provided by the host church, but transportation costs to and from the orientation will be borne by each mapper.


Contact the missionary to whom they are assigned and project a budget that will adequately cover expenses.The duration of service will be designated by the missionary as he makes arrangements with the mapper.

Raise transportation costs, along with the budget, for his or her support while on the field. Missionaries are hard-pressed financially to maintain their own ministries. They are financially unable to support a guest for a lengthy period of time. Food and housing costs will be covered by the mapper.


Obtain insurance to cover medical costs while on the field of service.

Secure legal documents. For example, most countries require a visa in order to enter the country. This must be obatined well in advance, usually from the consulate of that country. (The missionary can advise the mapper of the necessary procedures to obtain the needed visa.) The mapper must also have a US passport, which can take several weeks to obtain.

It is understood that when the conduct of a mapper is detrimental to the work of the missionary, the mapper's ministry will be terminated immediately, and the mapper will be required to leave the field.


The mapper should work closely with the missionary mentor in making preparations to go to the field. He can advise as to the particulars of the country. BWM will also be glad to do whatever it can to facilitate travel plans and to make it a spiritually-satisfying experience.

At the conclusion of the mapper’s term of service, the missionary will submit an evaluation of the mapper’s work. The mapper will also file a report of his or her experience during the period of service.

If you want to obtain additional information concerning the MAPPER PROGRAM, along with an application for service, contact us today with your request by clicking HERE.