Benefits of Joining IICS
IICS is essentially a guild–a community of Christian professors sharing a commitment to teach with excellence in secular universities outside North America, communicating truth and biblical values in the context of their academic disciplines. In doing so IICS teaching fellows are salt and light (Matthew 5:13-14) among the future leaders of nations where there is little if any witness to the gospel. IICS fellows are often God’s only ambassadors “seeking the peace of the city” through the classrooms of these distant lands (Jeremiah 29:7), desiring to advance justice and human flourishing (“shalom”).
To fulfill this calling, members of the IICS guild associate voluntarily for at least three reasons:
(1) To form a learning community whereby “iron sharpens iron” (Proverbs 27:17). By being a part of the IICS guild you are joining your labors with the labors of dozens of other academics and professionals who are committed to the same cause, learning from one another and encouraging one another “to love and good deeds,” (Hebrews 10:24) spurring one another on to greater conformity to Christ’s image. According to Dr. Gary Richardson, professor of Economics at Cal-Irvine, this sanctificational element is at the very heart of the guild notion.
(2) To receive the financial benefits of membership. “Fellow,” came from the Anglo-Saxon féolaga, “to lay money.” Thus, the oldest definition of fellowship–a partnership of fellows–was thick with financial implications, and this sense of fellowship remains a synonym for a guild. IICS provides a means to ensure all fellows have the financial resources necessary to teach in a university outside North America.
(3) To provide mutual accountability and ensure high professional standards, under the shared Lordship of Jesus Christ. The IICS community provides direction, encouragement, warnings, counsel, advice and prayer, both while preparing to teach internationally and during your time “teaching in a distant classroom.”
Click on the following links to learn more information about the benefits of membership in the IICS guild:
WHILE TEACHING INTERNATIONALLY: Once you make it to your teaching assignment the IICS staff continue to work on your behalf so that you grow personally, professionally and spiritually. Click on the following links to find ways our fellows receive ongoing benefits from the guild:
- Pastoral Care
- Personal Visits
- Professional & Spiritual Conferences
- Learning Community Portal
- Professional Development
- University Liaison
- Crisis Intervention
To apply, please complete our preliminary application.
IICS Helps You Secure a Position: IICS specializes in doing one thing—helping Christian professors and professionals teach in secular universities outside North America. To help you secure such a position…
- IICS Develops and Maintains Relationships with Universities Worldwide: Our organization’s leaders and a number of our teaching fellows travel the globe to expand our network of university contacts worldwide. Relationships with these university officials often open doors for IICS appointees to teach in these universities.
- IICS Helps You Identify Viable Teaching Positions: Having helped hundreds of Christians teach outside North America for more than two decades, we have years of experience helping Christians read “between the lines” and ask the right questions about positions that are offered. Through this process IICS provides a valuable additional perspective to help you determine if a specific position and country is compatible for you and a place where you (and your family, if married) can flourish.
- IICS Helps You Successfully Apply for International Positions: Though a university’s contract is always with the individual professor and not with IICS, our appointees do not walk alone in the process of applying to the university or negotiating their contracts. We provide resources for each step of the process, especially helpful when the nature, wording and intent of applications and contracts vary significantly in different parts of the world. IICS serves as a trusted advisor to help you interpret the cultural and regional nuances inherent in the application process and contract. Top of page
IICS Helps You Grow Spiritually: Just as you have invested much in your academic development by positioning yourself for a university appointment internationally, you must also invest in your spiritual development. Only then will you thrive as a Christian professor “in a distant classroom.” Our application and training processes represent our commitment to your spiritual formation. We ask you to engage in the process prayerfully, seeking God regularly. As for us…
- IICS Provides Prayer and Direction: We pray regularly for you and provide direction throughout the process to help you prepare spiritually. Our multiplied years of experience in the narrow field of developing Christians to teach in universities worldwide enables us to uniquely serve you in this way as you prepare to enter what is often an arena of significant spiritual battle.
- IICS Facilitates Self-Examination: Walking with you through our formal application process often proves to be a valuable exercise in self-examination from which many reap significant benefits, even after appointment. Top of page
IICS Provides Necessary Training and Resources: IICS offers the best training available in living and teaching internationally as a Christian, as well as essential resources to succeed in such a role. These include:
- IICS Orientation: Our orientation provides invaluable preparation for becoming a Christian professor in a secular university outside North America, as well as adjusting to a new and foreign culture. As IICS is the only organization of its kind, our exclusive training is a unique blend of the academic and cultural issues you must understand, gleaned from decades of real-world experiences.
- IICS Departure & Arrival Checklists: Because of our decades of experience we have developed a comprehensive “checklist” of everything necessary to make sure your affairs are in order before departure and plans are in place for a smooth arrival and start in your new country of service (such as collecting and filing essential documents with IICS before you leave in case of an in-country emergency and relating to your Embassy once you are in-country).
- International Budget Consultation: Often those moving overseas encounter many unexpected expenses and face financial hardships as a result. Our experienced staff will help you develop a realistic and viable budget, so you can have confidence that you know what you need to live and teach in an international context.
- Computer Hardware and Software Discounts: IICS has agreements with a number of hardware and software vendors to provide products that sometimes represent significant discounts. Furthermore, purchases to be used for IICS-related work are tax-exempt.
- IICS Benefits Package: For teaching fellows with U.S. citizenship we have been able to negotiate health, disability, and retirement benefit policies that fellows can opt into and purchase. We research regularly to find the best options available for U.S. citizens teaching internationally:
-Health Insurance: This should be a high priority concern of every person planning to live and teach internationally. We make available to IICS teaching fellows an international health benefits plan that may be purchased from Aetna International that adapts to your specific assignment, host country and lifestyle. Aetna also offers a suite of wellness programs that provide you with tools and resources to accomplish your health goals.
-Disability insurance: Our long term disability policy guarantees you will continue to receive a portion of your salary if you become disabled during your service with IICS.
-Retirement benefits: You may choose to participate in what is arguably the best retirement program available—TIAA-CREF, the same best-in-class retirement services offered to university professors in the United States. Because these are IICS-sponsored programs, they are tax-deferred. Top of page
IICS Helps You Develop Necessary Funding: Often the salaries provided by universities internationally are not adequate even for their own indigenous professors (who, in some countries, end up working multiple jobs to make ends meet!) In addition, expatriate professors may have additional costs national faculty members do not have such as insurance, travel, children’s education (depending on language and other issues), and even everyday expenses such as rent, utilities, and food. When adding these extra costs to an already inadequate salary, it is often expensive and difficult for expats to live and teach in some countries. To make it possible for you to have an influence for the gospel in these lands you will find that many individuals and churches are willing to invest with you financially to supplement your university salary. IICS helps facilitate such financial partnership with in the following ways:
- IICS is a 501(c)3 Organization: As an IICS Appointee you are affiliated with a recognized 501(c)3 non-profit organization, providing a vehicle for these donors to invest in your work and receive tax-deductible receipts for their gifts.
- IICS Has The Highest Level of Financial Integrity: IICS provides a long history of integrity and multiple layers of assurance to donors that the funds are both accounted for and expended in a responsible way. This is assured through our membership in the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability (ECFA), our diverse and independent Board of Directors, our experienced Leadership Team, our annual and publicly-accessible audits and our experienced accounting staff.
- IICS Provides Fund Development Training: In order for individuals and churches to invest in your work you must be able to communicate the vision and opportunity well. We understand this can be a frightening task for many. However, fund development is something we have discovered Christian professors are usually able to do well. We all know that those who work for university foundations have much experience requesting gifts for specific projects and new programs being developed. Yet many professors have some experience drafting grant proposals, which is not unlike requesting funding for your service with IICS. Furthermore, all professors have experience and expertise communicating an important message in a classroom or among colleagues. Communicating your opportunity to teach internationally as a Christian professor is very similar to what professors are expected to do all the time. IICS builds on this, providing excellent training in fund development drawn, once again, from decades of experience. We help you take your natural communication gifts and professional experiences and apply them to developing your funding.
- IICS Provides Fund Development Materials: IICS provides professionally-designed and attractive fund-raising materials for our appointees’ use. Our office staff works with you to customize these for your needs. We make time-saving templates and forms available so that you can spend more time building personal relationships with your donors and less time agonizing over styles and wording.
- IICS Offers a Discounted Newsletter Service: Individuals and churches that are committed to funding for your work will also want to pray regularly for you. You will want to update them regularly and often. IICS has negotiated a discount with an industry-leading newsletter service to help you easily stay in touch with your financial and prayer partners. Top of page
WHILE TEACHING INTERNATIONALLY: Once you make it to your teaching assignment the IICS staff continue to work on your behalf so that you grow personally, professionally and spiritually. Below are some ways our fellows receive ongoing benefits from the guild:
- IICS Provides Pastoral Care: Our staff conducts regular communication with fellows via email, phone and Skype. They are not only available to walk with you through the normal challenges such as cultural adjustments and unfamiliar university practices, but they are also prepared to provide help for the spiritual battles inherent in being one of the few Christian professors in an institution. IICS staff members and other fellows will pray for you daily. There is no greater benefit to being part of the guild than that one has others who are praying for her or him. We also provide means to encourage IICS teaching fellows in their own spiritual journeys to care for their souls by taking regular time for prayer, Bible study, and reflection, and by seeking help and direction. We also believe in the tradition of sabbatical as a time to focus on spiritual refreshment and renewal. Our Director of Faculty Care is available to guide and advise in all aspects of your spiritual growth.
- IICS Leaders Makes Personal Visits: IICS Leaders will make regular visits to your site to be “present” with you in the midst of often-challenging circumstances. Top of page
- IICS Provides Conferences: IICS provides opportunities to gather with other professors affiliated with the guild for encouragement, refreshment, equipping, collaboration, and all the wholesome benefits of community.
- IICS Hosts a Learning Community Portal: Fellows enjoy access to a web portal through which they can securely connect with others teaching internationally. In this way you can be a dynamic part of our learning community, in which fellows sharpen one another on issues such as pedagogy in the international context, raising children in the international context, or caring for aging parents while teaching internationally. Top of page
- IICS Promotes Professional Development: IICS is committed to helping you develop professionally. We create space for you to conduct research, publish, present papers at conferences, as well as develop skills in classroom instruction. We also conduct annual professional evaluations consisting of student (where possible) and administrative reviews. Finally, IICS provides guidance in taking sabbaticals at regular intervals for the purpose of professional development.
- IICS Develops Partnerships: IICS is developing, and will continue to develop, healthy relationships with like-minded Christian organizations. These collaborations often translate into benefits for IICS fellows. These may include more informal assets, such as finding other expatriate believers serving in your country, or more formal opportunities resulting from joint ventures with sister organizations in your country. Top of page
- IICS Provides Credibility: In some parts of the world it enhances one’s credibility and effectiveness in the university to be a part of an international academic organization such as IICS.
- IICS Serves as a University Liaison: In some parts of the world university officials avoid confrontation with expatriate professors. Sometimes, a university may simply decide to not renew a professor’s contract without due process over situations that might have been avoided had the professor only known. In such cases IICS can be a reliable channel through which a professor can receive honest feedback about his or her reputation or effectiveness on a campus and help address concerns before a contract is terminated. Top of page
- IICS Provides Crisis Intervention: In the event of a crisis in your country of service, IICS stands ready to intervene on your behalf with resources necessary to care for you and your family. IICS provides evacuation insurance as a benefit to bring you [and your family] home in case of political crisis or environmental disaster. On a smaller scale IICS has a long and successful history of intervening and providing assistance in dealing with personal or professional complications. Past examples including helping fellows find reputable and effective counselors in a specific country for a struggling teen and helping negotiate with university officials when a teaching contract is not being honored.
- IICS Creates a Legacy: IICS professors are engaged in more than building an individual career—they are building a beachhead of the Kingdom of God in the universities in which they work. Through faithful service, IICS professors open the way for more Christian professors to teach at the same university. When IICS professors transfer or retire, IICS successors can continue to build on a foundation that has been laid by their predecessors, multiplying the impact for the Kingdom. Top of page