Frequently Asked Questions
What does the commitment look like?
How long is a LEAD commitment?
In most locations, LEAD is a two-year commitment starting from the time that support-raising is complete. However, due to visa restrictions, the LEAD commitment in Australia and New Zealand is only 15 months.
What do LEAD Staff do day-to-day?
LEAD staff come alongside long-term and local staff to partner with them in ministry. Typical activities include involvement on campus, building relationships, sharing the gospel, and discipling interested believers. Time is also spent in ministry training, personal development, team development, planning and executing ministry events and serving in our partner churches. Some LEAD participants are involved in more specialized roles—serving administratively in finance, marketing, IT, design, etc. for the benefit of the local campus movement.
Do LEAD Teams make an impact?
Absolutely! Our long-term vision in all of our locations is to build sustainable, laborer-producing, indigenous, multiplying movements. LEAD participants are making meaningful contributions towards the fulfillment of this vision in every place they serve.
How does a candidate choose between different LEAD locations?
A good starting point is to consider the international location partnered with by a US Campus Outreach region. Beyond that there are opportunities in other locations for which the Lord may have uniquely gifted and called someone.
What are the departure dates for LEAD?
LEAD staff launch out contingent upon the completion of their financial support raising. Departure days vary by location. For a full listing of our training times and estimated departure dates by location click here.
What does the application process look like?
When can I apply?
LEAD applications are released once a candidate is less than a year away from graduation. Applications for May graduates will be released August 1 and applications for December graduates will be released February 1. Candidates can apply any time after their particular application release date.
How long is the application process?
We have found that once a candidate applies to LEAD it takes 2-6 months to be contingently hired as a staff person depending on the speed the candidate is willing to complete the necessary tasks.
How much financial support is required to go with LEAD?
Each location costs $3550/month which covers salary, taxes, health insurance, ministry expenses, round trip airfare, training and startup costs and administrative costs. Each LEAD Staff is responsible to raise their own financial support. The salary for each field has been set based on local living standards and the recommendation of the international field supervisor.
Does LEAD provide training for support raising?
Yes! All contingently hired staff undergo support training called CO Start that is offered several times a year. They are also are assigned a support coach to guide them through the support raising process.
What if I have student loans?
It is common for LEAD participants to have student debt. If necessary, additional support may be raised above the base salary to help pay down student debt while you participate in LEAD. Our desire is to see LEAD staff prepared for a life of fruitful labor in all areas, including financial wellness.
Is medical insurance provided?
Yes, each LEAD participant will have CO International’s global MetLife medical plan, even if they have coverage on another medical insurance plan.
Retirement contributions are not included in the LEAD salary. Retirement contributions (within specified limits) are allowed and may be funded by additional money raised above the normal support goal.
Is there assistance offered to LEAD Staff transitioning back to America after their overseas experience?
A big focus during the final months of LEAD is on identifying and pursuing the best future role for strategic kingdom contribution. This involves an annual conference, personalized assignments and many coaching conversations with experienced staff. The goal is that 100% of LEAD candidates are able to transition in healthy ways to their field of choice. Thankfully, we have a strong track record of this happening.
Getting a job coming back
We truly believe that participating in an experience with LEAD enhances your career opportunities in the long run, whether that be in ministry or the marketplace. We are committed to helping LEAD Staff critically think through what their next best step and coming alongside them to help them achieve it. Check out the graph to see the different opportunities LEAD Staff have successfully pursued after their time serving with LEAD!
What are the academic requirements for LEAD?
A bachelor’s degree is expected for LEAD participation. Exceptions to this rule will be considered on a case-by-case basis. LEAD applications can be submitted as early as your final year of undergraduate study.
Are there any special conferences or trips for staff?
Yes! A big part of the LEAD experience is making sure you are connecting with others to serve and to grow. Each year, the LEAD participants from various international regions gather together for a conference for this very purpose! Additionally, there are often other trips to various locations that line up with the goals of your local campus team.
Will LEAD Staff return to America at any point during their two-year LEAD commitment?
LEAD staff typically remain at the international location throughout the duration of the LEAD commitment.