The South Central Jurisdiction Mission Academy is an event of the United Methodist Church, where those who desire to serve others through hands-on mission service can come together to learn, share, and discuss healthy and effective ways to do so. It will be September 11-14th at Mt. Sequoyah in Fayetteville, Arkansas. Please review each course description carefully. It may help for you to make note of the courses you wish to take before you begin registration. Finally, select the red “Register Now” button at the bottom of the page. Click here to download a schedule of events.

UMCOR Foundations
If this is your first Mission Academy experience, please choose this option! Why engage in disaster ministry? What are the phases of disaster? Who are the players? What are the functions and opportunities for volunteers? Where do the resources come from? What are our mission and values? We will address these questions and more! This session is the foundational training that grounds all of our efforts in disaster ministry. If you have not attended this in the past few years, please put this on your schedule!
Missionary Service in the UMC
Are you being Called?  The application process for Missionary Service in the United Methodist Church will be discussed as well as the various avenues for service available:  Young Adult Mission Service; National; International; fulltime with salary, volunteer service short/long term, etc.
Conference Disaster Coordinator Workshop
This advanced inter-active workshop will identify opportunities for strengthening your conference disaster response capabilities. Participants will exchange baseline and best practices for early response coordination and communication strategies, training plans, disaster plans and ways to generate cabinet and conference committee support for disaster ministries. We will also review strategies for designing and resourcing a recovery project.
Long Term Recovery Group Development
Offered Monday & Wednesday-UMCOR Foundations is a pre-requisite for this course. The recovery of many individuals and families is often dependent upon a well-functioning group effort. This workshop will provide participants an opportunity to explore ways they might participate in the group’s development on behalf of the church.
Simple Construction
Offered Monday and all of Tuesday. Learn some basic construction skills while participating in hands-on service to Mt. Sequoyah! Participants will have the opportunity to learn the process of cutting, hanging, taping, and mudding drywall. Please be sure to bring gloves, work boots, and appropriate clothing and eye protection for this work.
Asset-Based Community Development
Learn how to engage a distressed community with dignity and effectiveness through Asset-Based Community Development (ABCD), which leverages the strengths and talents of a community to address its concerns. POLIS has developed a practical tool-kit for implementing ABCD through years of hands on experience, and has been practicing and training ABCD since 2009. Through ABCD we have seen individual lives enriched through better relationships and networks, and by attaining new skills, greater purpose, and more hope. We have seen high crime areas eliminate violent crime in their community without substantial law enforcement investment; substandard and hazardous housing redeveloped into affordable, quality homes; families move out of poverty; churches become a more integral part of the community; partnerships form between business, government and non-profits; educational programs become more effective and focused on families.
ERT Leadership/On-Site Management (Level 200)
Did you know that you could renew your ERT Certification by taking two Level 200 courses? Here is your chance!



Team Leadership, is designed to be for both leaders and assistant leaders. This class will explore more of what those functions involve as well as what all functions should be doing.

On Site Management (OSM) is a class designed to help communities receive ERTs by knowing what should to be in place before the invitation is issued. Discussed is what type of assessments, forms, or other arrangements can be made to speed up the invitation of ERTs to a disaster area.

ERT Wildfire (Level 200)

This course is specialized training for Early Response Teams serving in areas impacted by wildfires. Specific issues related to cleanup and safety during this response will be covered.

Community-Based Primary Health Care

A comprehensive approach involving the local community in assessing their own health needs (including but not limited to access to good food, clean water, doctors and clinics, and sanitation and agricultural practices).  Working with the local community, the health care team prioritizes needs. This is a ministry “with” not “for” and takes more thought and planning, but the outcomes are much more sustainable than regular medical teams going in once a year.

Chainsaw Safety

This course discusses safety of both chainsaw operators and those who serve alongside. General safety measures and first aid tips along with saw maintenance, operation, and safety will be discussed. This is a hands-on course.

Note: Session one will focus on safety AROUND chainsaw work while two and three will focus on hands-on operation and safety. Those wishing to qualify for chainsaw operation should take all three sessions. If at all possible please bring your own saw and safety equipment.

Connecting Neighbors: Ready Congregations & Ready Congregants
Learn how to inspire Ready Congregations for disaster ministry. Ready Congregants is a module of the Connecting Neighbors curriculum which focuses on preparing individuals and families to be disaster-ready. Participants will be inspired to take action in order to prepare themselves, their households and others before and immediately following a disaster.
Connecting Neighbors: Ready Churches & Ready Response
“Ready Churches” is a module of the Connecting Neighbors curriculum which emphasizes the importance of protecting church property and the people within the property, before and immediately following a disaster, and of appropriate use of church property in disaster response.



“Ready Response” is a module of the Connecting Neighbors curriculum which encourages churches to explore their capacity for various disaster response ministries and to consider ways to engage community partners.

Introduction to Disaster Spiritual & Emotional Care
Disaster emotional and spiritual care is a versatile ministry that can be helpful in all phases of disaster and in context of varying roles. From times of peace, through the chaos of disaster response, and the seemingly long road to recovery, this session provides an overview of the ministry of presence with an emphasis on listening as a vehicle for healing, reactions to traumatic stress, the importance of self-care, and a brief introduction to Care Teams.
A Mission Journey, Pts. 1 & 2
These workshops discuss the Global Ministries resource “A Mission Journey”. To learn more and order please visit the Cokesbury website.



Part 1: Offered Tuesday. This workshop shares the theology, culture, and spirituality of mission and discusses social justice as it relates to mission.

Part 2: Offered Wednesday. In this session you will learn about team spiritual, cultural, and other types of work to be done before, during, and after a Mission Journey.


Disaster Case Management: Capacity Building & Construction
Participants in this session will explore ways to build their conference’s capacity for engaging in disaster case management in advance of a disaster. The session will highlight best practices for leaders, and will include a discussion about federal and state funding of disaster case management programs and about other alternative ways to support this vital recovery ministry. Participants will also learn ways to expedite survivor recovery through the implementation of effective coordination strategies between the functions of disaster case management and volunteer construction. Prior experience in one of these recovery functions is helpful, but not required.
Telling the Missionary Story
An important part of missionary service is sharing with the church and others how God has called you, led you, and opened your eyes to His people in our world.  Telling the Missionary Story workshop will guide you through best practices to share your mission story in moving and inspirational ways.
Developing a Conference Care Team
This is an informational session. Offering a calm and caring presence is one of the most helpful things we can do following a disaster. Come and learn about the purpose of Care Teams and how to take initial steps toward launching a Conference Care Team ministry.
Alleviating Human Suffering
As United Methodists, mission-service is in our DNA. In this workshop we will explore our call to serve others and the challenges and opportunities we have to do so through our United Methodist connection.
Eventbrite - SCJ 2016 Mission Academy