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Mercy Ships provides three different programs designed to help acclimate you to life onboard our ships. These trainings include On Boarding, Foundations of Mercy Ships, and Introduction to Mercy Ships.
Foundations of Mercy Ships (FMS)
Foundations of Mercy Ships (FMS) is a 2-3 day course held at the International Support Center in Texas. The course helps individuals interested in Mercy Ships understand its mission and the details about living and working onboard. It is available to anyone wanting more information but only required for volunteers serving longer-term (in addition to our On Boarding program). There is no cost associated with this course, but each participant is responsible for their own travel expenses. For the health and safety of our participants and instructors, this course is currently on hold/postponed. For questions and registration information, please contact our Human Resources department at email@example.com.
Please note: While Mercy Ships welcomes attendees from all over the world, we are unable to provide any sort of visa reference or recommendation for those coming to FMS from outside the US.
On Boarding Training Program
On Boarding is a three-week training program followed by a two-week practicum to prepare new crew and staff for their time of service with Mercy Ships and includes topics such as Faith Foundations, Personal & Interpersonal Development, some departmental training.
The program is currently offered 3-4 times a year (typically January/February, March/April, June/July, and September/October) at the Mercy Ships International Support Center (ISC) in Lindale, Texas and once per year at a location on the African continent (location varies).
Completion of the On Boarding training program is required for all crew joining the community of faith onboard, but is open to all volunteers. You must be accepted for a position onboard the ship before attending this program. There is no cost associated with this course, but each participant is responsible for their own travel expenses.
(For more information, please contact our Human Resources department.)
Introduction to Mercy Ships (IMS)
Introduction to Mercy Ships (IMS) is a weekend-long program held in the Netherlands designed to facilitate the entry of potential staff into Mercy Ships and is open to singles and couples wishing to learn more about Mercy Ships. Our goal is to help potential crew become as informed in their decision-making process as possible. The program includes topics such as the Mercy Ships culture, organization, training requirements, personal fundraising, Mercy Ships vision, core values and mission, and much more. There will also be personal time to meet on a one-to-one basis about Mercy Ships opportunities and to answer personal questions.
IMS will be conducted onboard the passenger ship, the m/v Horizon. Participants will have an exciting glimpse of living onboard a ship with a small living space and a strong sense of “community living” over the course of the weekend. The place of boarding is Rotterdam, Netherlands, which can easily be reached via train.
Maritime Regulatory Training
Since our crew are living and working onboard, naturally some positions require certain licenses or maritime training. All non-medical crew joining for more than six months are encouraged to join us for Basic Training and Crowd Management. The courses are also offered the week before Foundations of Mercy Ships several times per year.