The English Language and Cultural Opportunities (ELCO) programme equips mission minded non-native speakers of English with effective English language communication skills. We provide mission training sessions and opportunities to serve alongside native speakers of English as well as English language classes. Our heart is to engage with those who sense a calling from God into mission while we deepen our faith together, encourage one another and the participants become more effective at sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ as their confidence in English grows.

A group of international participants will live in community and learn English (grammar, speaking, listening, reading & writing) with well qualified and experienced teachers. With our OM colleagues, participants will also learn about mission and ministry. Classes take place for about 20 hours over 5 days a week. Small classes ensure close interaction with teachers. We support students in organising and participating in street evangelism events and contributing to church life in the community here at the OM base in Birmingham while studying English and completing practical and useful language assignments. Participants will have opportunities to talk in English every day with the OM team, in daily life outside, and each time they engage with people from their local churches. As well as improving all aspects of English language, students will actively prepare to further the work in building vibrant communities of Jesus followers.

Activities include

  • Interactive English classes
  • Progress checks
  • One to one tutorials
  • Assignments to develop English and ministry skills
  • Conversation class
  • Mission and ministry lessons and visits
  • Trips to places of interest
  • Sharing your faith
  • Bible studies, prayer and worship
  • Developing personal friendships
  • Talking about and developing your faith
  • Volunteering opportunities


Friday, 20th September - Saturday, 14th December 2024

Apply by

16 August 2024





Suitable for

single people welcomemarried couples welcomesorry, no familiessorry, no groups 

Participant Profile

This is a training programme in a mission context for those (18 and over) interested in joining Christian mission or already planning to join OM or another mission agency. Participants must be prepared for living and working as team members. It is understood that growing in and sharing faith are central to the programme. Before being accepted on ELCO applicants will be tested to check for some understanding of English and ability to hold a simple conversation. If applicants cannot manage this, the programme will be too difficult to follow. The course is not suitable for beginners as classes are held at pre-intermediate and intermediate levels of English.


 Accommodation is in single-sex dormitories. 


We need to know in advance of any special dietary needs (vegetarian, dairy-free, food allergies, gluten free, etc.) 


You need to travel to Birmingham in the UK. 


Participants should be in average good health and able to walk a reasonable distance without difficulty. If you think this requirement rules you out, talk to us and we will see what adjustments we may be able to make for you. 


Applicants must be 18 or over.

As part of our Safeguarding policy, you may require a valid enhanced DBS certificate which may cost an additional £15. 

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