Have a few questions about becoming a Missionary?

Check out our FAQs! If you don't see what you're looking for, please don't hesitate to contact us at recruiting@spo.org.




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1) What professional qualities are you looking for in an SPO Missionary?
We're looking for Missionaries who:

- Enthusiastically support SPO’s mission, charism values : willing and able to live them out and communicate them effectively to others.
- Faithfully live the Catholic faith and the mission of evangelization.
- Develop and maintain relationships.
- Lead others in matters of faith, relationships, and service.
- Work effectively and cooperatively with co-workers to achieve overall staff goals and present a unified vision.
- Perform under supervision and receive performance feedback in teachable ways.
- Prioritize their own work and various tasks, based on urgency and importance.
- Practice flexibility: working on multiple tasks, handling interruptions, and adapting to changing priorities.
- Exercise proper judgement, work independently, and give attention to detail.

2) What spiritual qualities are you looking for in an SPO Missionary?
We are looking for:

- Radical Catholic disciples of Jesus, rooted in daily prayer and the Sacraments.
- Bold witnesses animated by the Spirit, ready to share their faith with friends and strangers alike.
- Joyful servant leaders who carry within them a faith-filled, generous spirit to do whatever it takes to bring Catholic faith alive on campus.
- Community builders: men and women who trust God deeply and love people sincerely, and build up a spiritual family among those they serve.

3) What are the qualifications or educational requirements to be a Missionary?
A two-year degree and experience (paid or volunteer) is required. Preference will be given to candidates with a Bachelor’s degree, experience with SPO (or similar outreach environment), and those between the ages of 21 and 26 (due to the essential peer-to-peer nature of the position).

4) How are SPO and the Brotherhood of Hope collaborating?
SPO and the Brotherhood of Hope (BOH) are delighted to have a close partnership. On campuses where the Brotherhood of Hope serves, running Newman Centers or campus ministries, the Missionaries are employed, trained, and supported through SPO. So, if you are a student on one of those campuses and want to become a Missionary, you will be applying to be an SPO Missionary, and can request assignment to a campus where the Brothers are present.

5) What if I am new to SPO?
While most of our staff members have been a part of SPO (or Brotherhood of Hope) Chapters around the country before they became Missionaries, many have not. New members of the SPO team bring fresh perspectives and exciting ideas to the table. If you’re new to SPO, we do our part to ensure you receive instruction, training, and continued guidance. You’ll quickly learn our programs, processes, and community-oriented way of life.

We ask the same two things of all new Missionaries, regardless of where you come from: teachability and diligence. Growing in these areas allow all Missionaries to better understand life and service within SPO. While there may be a bigger learning curve for people coming from outside of SPO, we have seen many people quickly move through this process and thrive in our environments.

6) Does SPO require me to take a "dating fast"? What is it? Why? Do I have to do this my first year?
Yes, SPO asks that all first-year Missionaries who are not married participate in a one year dating fast. Missionary work with college students has an all-consuming relational nature that requires considerable time and focused energy to enter into well, initially. As such, a Missionary's first year is not a good time to be dating. SPO also wants to help Missionaries to discern state in life well (a call to marriage or celibacy) prior to pursuing the discerned vocation. Again, the first year is not conducive to giving that discernment the priority it deserves; and dating prior to discerning well can short-circuit the process and make it more difficult to be open to hear the Lord's call.

The dating fast for first year Missionaries means one of two things:

- If you are single (not married) and not in a romantic relationship, SPO would ask that you not begin a relationship during your first year as a Missionary (or during the time between your application and acceptance).
- If you are single (not married) and are in a romantic relationship, SPO asks that you take a significant step back in pursuit of that relationship for the sake of your Missionary responsibilities. A significant step back doesn’t necessarily mean "breaking up" (although it might), but means that you would make a priority of your Missionary work and consider carefully how much time is spent relating to this person (on the phone, online, date nights if in same city, etc.).

Finally, to be intentional about putting dating pursuits on hold or to take a step back from an existing relationship can be quite difficult. It requires accountability and honesty. Missionaries who navigate this successfully are the ones who welcome this sort of care from their SPO Supervisors.

7) Do I need to be an extrovert to be an SPO Missionary?
No you don’t need to be an extrovert, but you should be able to be extroverted. A Missionary’s job is first and foremost relational. It requires them to begin conversations (and sustain relationships) with strangers (who, after time, are no longer strangers). It requires them, often, to stand up in front of groups of people and take the lead. It requires them to live in a Household with five to ten other college students and fellow staff and closely share life with each of them 24/7.

At times the relational load can be overwhelming for more introverted people, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be a great fit. If someone is willing to extend themselves in relationships and not shrink back in reaching out to others (introverts included), then they have hit the target. The question then becomes how each person compensates for/is able to recoup from the intensity of social interaction. In the midst of many social/relational demands each person will have to find ways to recharge in ways that work well for them and their temperament.

8) Can I have another job or go to graduate school while being a Missionary?
Not likely. The demands of the typical Missionary’s schedule would not allow for him/her to pursue a graduate degree or hold another part-time job.

9) What if I’m not able to serve as a full time Missionary? Could I serve part-time?
Maybe, but often not likely. There have been some instances where the needs of a particular Mission Center match up with the constraints of a person’s schedule. This is rare and shouldn’t be planned for.

10) How long are Missionaries expected to serve? When would I have to start?
Most people serve two years as a Missionary, but some have extended for a third, even fourth year. For 2020-2021, the year begins with Missionary Training on May 26, 2020 and ending on July 2, 2020 (date is tentative).

11) How do I know if I should be a Missionary?
This decision takes discernment. In this process, you should listen to your own desires, God, and others. In personal reflection, prayer, and conversations with others it should become clear if this is the right path for you to pursue. In order to take it one step further and gather more information, it’s a good idea to apply and watch the discernment process unfold further in dialogue with SPO. A lot of clarity comes through reflection, prayer, and conversations with others and SPO staff members throughout the application process.

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Application Process

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1) What do I need to in order to complete an official submission for a Missionary position?
A completed application, a video applicaiton a professional resume, and two references are needed for an official submission.

2) When is the application deadline?
Mar 1, 2020

3) What does the hiring process include?
The hiring process involves four steps.

The first step is to fill out and submit the online Application (which includes uploading your Resume), a phone follow-up, and a video application by the deadline March 1, 2019.

The second is to ensure that two References are submitted to SPO Recruiting staff. You'll receive these links once your Application is submitted, or through the Missionary Application page. Note: no hiring decision will be made unless both Reference forms are submitted.

The third step, if you are selected to continue the process, is an official Interview with an SPO Staff member.

Lastly, the SPO Recruiting team will notify you of their decision, no later than April 15, 2020. If accepted, you’ll receive an Offer Letter and begin your HR paperwork.

4) When do I start serving?
Full time employment as Missionary would begin June 1, 2020.

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1) What does a Missionary do?
From the Job Description: “As an SPO Missionary you will be on the “front lines” evangelizing university students on one or more of our campuses.”

2) What would a Missionary’s responsibilities be, day to day?
A Missionary’s responsibilities normally fall into five areas. These are: a) relationship building and relational evangelization with students on campus, b) leading an SPO Household and SPO students in Formation, and possibly leading an SPO Household, c) planning and executing outreach and community events on campus, d) cultivating and maintaining a team of Mission Partners (financial and spiritual supporters), and e) participating in SPO staff life, training, and supervision.

3) I’ve never lived in an SPO Household before; can I still be an SPO Missionary?
Yes. Each year SPO hires a number of Missionaries who have never lived in an SPO Household. What’s important is not that you have lived in an SPO house, but that you are open to the teaching, training, and supervision in order to live in (and possibly lead) well an SPO house for students.

4) What would a typical day look like for me as an SPO Missionary?
A typical day begins with Household breakfast, followed by 30 minutes of Household prayer (Liturgy of the Hours) and 30 minutes of personal prayer.

A typical morning might include exercise, 30 minutes of responding to email, prioritizing tasks to be done for the day, a coffee meeting with a student, and/or preparation for an upcoming event.

A typical afternoon might include a couple of hours on campus (connecting with students and/or preparing to give a talk at a Men’s / Women’s night event, etc.), a weekly planning meeting with Chapter team, a nap (yeah!), and ensuring that plans for Household dinner are all set (meal prep, cleanup, etc.).

A typical evening might include a Household event (Men’s or Women’s Night), outreach event on campus, a free night, a small group bible study (led by a Missionary), or a special activity for all the student Missionaries and SPO staff from that Chapter.

Most days end with a brief Night Prayer with members of the Household.

5) What does our annual calendar look like?
While plans will change and evolve year-to-year, the annual pattern is generally as follows: Summer is a time for training and Mission Partner Development (MPD); Fall is a time for sowing seeds and reaching new students; and Spring is a time for reaping what’s been sown and preparing for the following year.

Summer: At the beginning of June, Missionaries will be brought on as new employees, placed on campus teams, and equipped to fundraise through building an MPD team. Over the next seven weeks, Missionaries will return home (and also travel elsewhere, if necessary) putting together a team of people who will support their work with SPO prayerfully and financially (on a monthly basis).

Fall: Following Missionary Training and a period of fundraising, Missionaries are sent out to campus to serve the students and begin the day-to-day life of an SPO Missionary. The first month on campus is usually focused intensively on outreach, building relationships, getting oriented to Household, and getting settled into the "rhythms of campus.”

Spring: The spring semester follows the same day-to-day patterns as the fall semester. Missionaries are more settled into a regular routine. Events, retreats, and recruiting efforts are in full swing during the spring semester.

6) Will I work on my own? Do we work in teams?
No. Yes. Missionaries serve as members of a Chapter Team. The staff team consists of 1-2 Chapter Leaders and 3-5 Missionaries. Size and makeup of team depends on the campus and how far along it is in its development. Typically a Missionary might have 2-3 meetings per week: a Chapter Team Meeting, a Men’s or Women’s Leadership team meeting, and team meetings including student leaders.

7) How will SPO support me as a Missionary?
Every Missionary will receive support in three ways:
First, SPO will provide training: a few weeks in the summer, a retreat in January, and ongoing training in Mission Centers.

Second, SPO will provide supervision and feedback for Missionaries on a regular basis (every 1-3 weeks) through a one-on-one relationship with a Chapter Leader.

Third, SPO will ensure you have personal support through a men's/women's small group and regular one-on-one meetings with a Formation leader (an older brother/sister in Christ for Formation mentoring). What this looks like may vary, depending on your Mission Center.

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Support Raising

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1) How will I be paid?
SPO will pay you a salary based on your support raising (MPD - Mission Partner Development) from your friends, family, and other contacts.

2) How much do I get paid?
Under normal circumstances, 13 cents on every dollar you raise goes to support the program in your Mission Center, with the remaining 87 cents going towards your salary. Since Missionary fundraising varies, so do salaries, from approximately $20,000 to $40,000 per year.

3) Doing support raising sounds scary. How will you train me to do it?
We view MPD (Mission Partner Development) as a privilege and a ministry: a precious opportunity to invite your friends and family participate with you and with SPO in the New Evangelization. MPD is a ministry in itself and those who partner with you on mission become more inspired to love and follow Christ through your support raising ministry with them. We will train you to do it and support you along the way. SPO provides ongoing one-on-one coaching for MPD for all Missionaries. To learn more about raising support, visit: supportraisingsolutions.org

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Service Location

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1) Who decides where I will serve?
Each Missionary Applicant is asked during the interview to give his/her strong preference regarding Chapter placement. These preferences are prayerfully taken into consideration by the Placement Team, with whom the final decisions rest.

The Placement decisions are made over the course of six to eight weeks, by a team of men and women who have responsibility for SPO (and BOH) Chapters, as a whole. Particular consideration will be given to applicants from Chapters where the BOH is present who request to be placed at a BOH location.

2) Where could I possibly be placed?
There are eight Mission Centers (15 different Chapters in those 8 centers) across the country for Saint Paul’s Outreach (and Brotherhood of Hope). Any one of these locations (MN, OH, TX, NJ, FL, KS, MA or AZ) could be a possibility for placement.

3) Will I serve on the same campus where I went to school?
Possibly. It really depends on the needs of the local Chapter and what would be best for you.

We simply ask that each person who applies to be a Missionary be open to being placed and serve at any one of our locations nationwide. As such, consideration will be given during placement decisions to the needs of the Chapter and the best fit for the Missionary.

4) Would SPO consider my particular talents in assigning me so that I may be of the greatest use?
SPO hires Missionaries to do much the same thing on each campus. However, certain Missionary may be a better fit in some locations rather than others, and SPO leadership takes into account many different factors, including particular gifts and talents, when making placement decisions. SPO Missionaries have the experience of both playing the role as it is and developing ways in which their unique gifts are able to contribute to the mission.

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1) Where would I live? Do I need to get my own place?
Typically Missionaries live in an SPO Student Household. In a situation where you may not be living in an SPO Household, you would be notified of this following placement and be given time over the summer to make living arrangements for the school year.

2) Who will I live with? Will I share a room?
Most Missionaries live in Household with the students they are serving. Since there is great interest in SPO Households across the country, however, it would be unlikely that anyone would have his/her own room (students or staff).

3) Why am I asked to pay “Household fees” and not rent?
Household is a comprehensive program in which students and Missionaries participate. As such, Household members are not tenants who pay rent. They are program participants who pay program fees. These fees cover not only rent, but also utilities, food, and the costs of running the program.

4) How much are Household fees for Missionaries?
Typically, Missionaries get a reduced rate for Household Fees ($495 per month for 2019-2020 service year). This fee covers room, food, and associate utilities.

5) Do I need to do my own grocery shopping?
Food in Household is held in common; there is only one "set" of groceries. All of the meals are shopped for and prepared in common. The money for food each month comes out of your Household fee. In some Households, however, the Missionaries is in charge of the grocery shopping for that Household, so you may be responsible for doing the grocery shopping. Additionally, many people elect to purchase their own groceries to supplement what is provided as part of Household.

6) Can my family come visit?
Your family may visit you at your Mission Center, but most Households are not equipped for guests, so we would ask that any visiting family arrange separate lodging rather than the Household. In order to maintain and respect the space of all Household members, frequent and large numbers of overnight guests are not allowed. Although we would prefer family not to stay in Households, exceptions can be made. Ultimately, communicating your needs with your fellow Household members and SPO Supervisor is best.

7) What clothes do I bring?
It depends on where you will be serving. A Missionary serving in Minnesota would need to include clothing for cold weather like winter jackets, scarves, and mittens, whereas a Missionary serving in Florida would want to bring clothing for warmer weather like light shirts and shorts. As a whole, Missionary participate and lead a wide variety of activities from working out at the gym with students to attending semi-formals and fundraisers, so bringing clothes for all occasions is highly recommended.

8) What else do I need to bring? Furniture (desk, chairs, bed, etc.)?
Most Households are equipped with basic furniture items (bed, desk, table, chairs, etc.). Once your Household is determined, you will be able to communicate with your Supervisor regarding what you’ll need to bring (e.g., bedding, towels,etc.) and if you have any unique needs.

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1) Do Missionaries get paid holidays?
It depends on the holiday and the needs of the Mission Center. All Missionaries will have off Thanksgiving and Christmas. Other holidays and time off can vary, depending on the needs of the particular Chapter and school calendar. Labor Day is a good example. Often times Missionaries don’t get Labor Day off because it is a crucial day to be “on” as the cycle of outreach is intensifying at the beginning of September.

2) Can I go visit my family for a special occasion (wedding, anniversary, etc.)?
If you would like to visit your family and they live a plane ride (or long drive) away, arrangements could be made for special occasions. You would need to discuss, well in advance, with your work Supervisor.

3) Will SPO provide a computer/laptop for me?
No, it is expected that an SPO Missionary bring a laptop or tablet computer for word processing, email/communication, and event planning purposes.

4) Do I need to bring/have a car?
It is up to the individual staff member to provide a suitable/timely means of transportation (public transit, vehicle, bicycle, etc.). SPO provides the majority of travel cost (vans/plane) to/from Staff Training events (June, August, and January).

5) Does SPO provide health insurance for Missionary?
Yes. SPO offers all full-time employees the opportunity to enroll in our high deductible health plan with Christian Brothers Services that utilizes the Aetna Signature Administrators network. SPO has traditionally covered the vast majority of the monthly premium. SPO also provides a Health Savings Account into which SPO maybe contribute up to $500 per year for singles and up to $1,000 per year for married couples and families. Further benefits for the coming year are currently under review and may be offered.

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December Graduates

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1) If I graduate in December, should I apply now?
Yes. On occasion we hire Missionaries who serve part-time or not at all for the Fall semester while finishing school. We would expect, however, for these Missionaries to attend Summer 2020 training and fulfill fundraising requirements. Please note when you graduate on your application.

2) If I become a Missionary how does that work? Would I work as a part time Missionary while I'm still in school?
Depending on school/internship demands, some mid-year Missionaries are able to serve part-time in the Fall. If interviewed, feel free to connect with your interviewer about this.

3) Does being a December graduate affect my chances of being hired?
Typically, no.

4) Would I be relocated once I graduate to a different Mission Center or would I stay in my home Mission Center for the remainder of the year?
Placement depends on many factors. There is no guarantee that you’ll stay at your current Mission Center (if you are an internal candidate). You could, however, be asked to stay at your Mission Center. We would ask that you be open to either possibility.

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Administrative Missionaries

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1) What is the difference between an Administrative Missionary and a Missionary?
Administration Missionary serve more in the area of planning, support and operations administration on campus, in the Mission Center or at SPO National Headquarters. See our Administrative Missionary page for more details.

2) What does the application process look like if I'm interested in being an Administrative Missionary?
The application process for an Administrative Missionary is the same as a Missionary. You will need to fill out and submit the Missionary Application, (make sure to make note of your interest in becoming an Administrative Missionary on your Applicaiton), a Video Application, a professional resume and submit two references. We will then notify you whether or not we will be extending an interview to you (the interview will be tailored to the Administrative Missionary position), and final decisions will be communicated by April 15, 2020 or sooner.

3) Do Administrative Missionaries still have involvement with students on campus?
Yes! Most Administrative Missionaries are involved on campus in various ways, including SPO's formation program, leading small groups, and provide support for retreats like Fan Into Flame. The amount of involvement an Administrative Missionary will have with students can vary depending on the individual and the needs of the local Chapter or Mission Center.

4) How are Administrative Missionaries paid? Would I need to raise support?
Administrative Missionaries are paid in the same way that Missionaries are paid.

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1) What is the difference between SPO and FOCUS?
Like FOCUS, SPO is a dynamic and orthodox Catholic organization committed and faithful to the Church. SPO, like FOCUS, trains Missionaries to serve on university campuses. Through a variety of activities and events and personal relationships, SPO Missionaries identify and invite students into a deliberate process and program that brings them from initial conversion to maturity as Catholic young men and women. While SPO offers programs similar to FOCUS’s bible studies, SPO builds upon those initial programs with a “Formation Program” (3-5 years of human and catechetical formation) and “Household Program” (Dormitory and Residential). As such, SPO fosters a formative and strongly supportive "community" on campus. SPO recruits Missionaries primarily from within the local diocese, aiming to build a strong local organization and staff. Most SPO Missionaries and staff remain in the Archdiocese/Diocese where the SPO Chapter is located and serve long term in that locality in professional life and within the Church in various vocations.

2) Is SPO approved by the Church?
Yes. SPO is an approved canonical organization in the Catholic Church with the status of a Private Association of the Faithful. It functions under the ecclesiastical vigilance of the Archbishop of St. Paul and Minneapolis, since that is where it is headquartered, and also operates with the blessing and approval of local bishops around the country where it serves. Click here for a list of Episcopal Supporters.

3) Is SPO a non-profit organization?
Yes. SPO is a non-profit organization with 501(c)(3) status.

4) Why does the Church need Missionaries?
From the very beginning of Christianity, Jesus calls his disciples to be Missionaries. He himself modeled that Missionary activity and then called and sent out the 12 and the 72 to be Missionaries. Missionary activity has had a variety of expressions throughout the Church’s history. Missionaries have traveled great distances and have given the whole of their lives over to making known the love and mercy of God to those who do not know. Today those "who do not know" are right in our own backyards, in our schools and places of work, even in our parishes and most certainly on our college campuses. To reach these people with the Gospel, our recent Popes have called the whole Church to a “New Evangelization.” This new evangelization needs Missionaries.

5) How does SPO fit in with the overall mission of the Catholic Church?
Pope Paul VI in his encyclical letter Evangelii Nuntiandi states that “The Church exists to evangelize. It is her deepest identity and her essential nature.” The Church’s mission is to evangelize. We now find ourselves in such a state of affairs that Saint John Paul II exhorts all the faithful to labor in the vineyard, to be Missionaries: “No one is permitted to remain idle.” Alongside more traditional forms and expressions of Catholic life and mission, the Holy Spirit is raising up “new movements, communities, and associations.” SPO is one of these new works of the Holy Spirit. The mission itself is not new. The Gospel of Jesus Christ remains the same, but today we need new forms and expressions and means of proclaiming the gospel and we need to proclaim the gospel with renewed vigor and zeal. This is the call of SPO, as members of the Catholic Church, as an organization in the Church, to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

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