Frequently Asked Questions

How old do you have to be to serve as a missionary?
College-aged adults, 18-27.

What are the start and end dates?
Mid-August through mid-July. Missionaries commit to a year of service with the opportunity to commit to a second year.

Do I have to fundraise to be a missionary?
Yes. This helps cover the cost of living expenses incurred by Christ in the City. This also is as an opportunity to invite others to join our mission who are unable to serve in such a way. Christ in the City will provide you with the necessary guidelines and tools to be successful.

Do I need a particular education/religious background to be a missionary?
Christ in the City does not require a specific educational background to be a missionary. Christ in the City is a Catholic formation program. If one does not practice the Catholic faith, one would need to understand and be open to this aspect of the program, as well as be open to participate in this overall missionary dynamic.  

How long is the application process?
One can expect a time frame of about two months between initially applying and being formally accepted as a missionary, as long as all paperwork is returned in a timely manner (essays, references, etc.) Please see the Steps to the Application Process for more information.

What’s the ‘Experience Christ in the City Weekend’ like?
Upon applying, applicants have the opportunity to visit Christ in the City and be interviewed as part of the application process in order for CIC to consider one as a candidate for the program. The weekend allows the applicant to enter into missionary life and discern whether the program would be a good fit. Applicants will be able to experience intellectual formation, street ministry, our Second Saturday Lunch in the Park and community life.

Is Christ in the City in other cities?
Christ in the City is currently located in Denver, CO. However, the organization is quickly growing. CIC would like to be in all major cities to serve those most in need as well as to form Catholic adults and the communities in which they serve. 

What does a typical day as a missionary look like?
A typical day at Christ in the City begins with Mass, prayer and breakfast as a community. Missionaries engage in street ministry in the morning and have office hours in the afternoon. Dinner is shared as a community. Evening activities vary, including community night, night ministry, weekly deep house cleaning, and small group sharing. CIC forms missionaries to live a life of intense prayer and action, not understood in opposition to one another but as complementary elements for a faithful response to God and His loving plan.

What is the mission of Christ in the City?
“Love until it hurts” in order to serve those most in need. Christ in the City missionaries strive to know, love and serve the poor.

How many missionaries are there (how many missionaries will I live with)?
Christ in the City will accept up to 25 missionaries for the 2016-2017 year of service.

Will I be paid?
You will not be paid during your missionary year but are responsible for fundraising personal funds with CIC guidance in the fundraising steps.

Will I have time off?
Missionaries receive the following time off:
-Labor Day
-Thanksgiving Break (after Lunch in the Park on Wednesday through the following Monday)
-Feast of the Immaculate Conception
-Christmas Break: 10 days
-MLK Day
-Presidents Day
-Easter break (after Lunch in the Park on Wednesday through the following Monday)
-Memorial Day
-Independence Day

Should I bring a car?
It is not necessary for missionaries to bring a car, but one is certainly welcome. Missionaries will be reimbursed if their personal vehicle is used for CIC purposes.

Can I bring my bike?
Yes, missionaries may bring a bike, but Christ in the City is not ultimately responsible for such items.

Will I be able to communicate with my family and friends?
Missionaries are encouraged to stay in touch with their families and friends through phone conversations, regular mail and/or the Internet. However, to remain free to fully live out the mission of CIC, missionaries are asked to refrain from extensive use of the phone or Internet. Maintaining relationships with family and friends does not excuse you from your obligations (i.e. prayer, meals and/ or formation) to the community to which you are committed. Cell phone policies at your service placement site must be obeyed. While you are on mission, your family may want more information about your work and experiences. We are always happy to answer any questions that may help friends and family better understand the mission of CIC and your role in the mission.

What does intellectual formation consist of?
The CIC Intellectual Formation Program aims to cultivate in its missionaries a Catholic worldview with an emphasis in critical thinking and the ability to apply faith and reason to the human person and the social sphere. The Intellectual Program has six particular learning goals:

  1. Missionaries learn to approach reality informed by the principles of faith and reason
  2. Missionaries learn a Catholic anthropology and understanding of culture
  3. Missionaries learn history of Catholic social thought from the Old Testament until the present
  4. Missionaries learn the principles of Catholic social thought
  5. Missionaries learn how to apply fundamental principles of Catholic social thought to the social sphere
  6. Missionaries learn about the current state of the Church and the New Evangelization 

Missionaries have weekly reading and classes given by a professor at the Christ in the City house.

Is altitude sickness a real thing and what should I do to prevent it?
It is! Be sure to drink plenty of water and avoid exerting yourself as you adjust to the altitude in Denver.

How much money will I need for personal expenses?
Missionaries are asked to live a life of simplicity. Personal expenses will vary between missionaries, depending on bills such as car insurance, phone, student loans, etc. Missionaries are responsible for fundraising to help cover personal expenses, with CIC’s guidance in the fundraising steps.

What kind of clothes should I bring?
Simple and appropriate wardrobe, including items without holes, longer shorts, no low-cut tops, etc.
Dress requirement for the house and the streets is “dressy casual.”
 

Are travel expenses paid for?
Travel to and from Christ in the City, as well as personal trips taken during the service year, are not paid for. Travel expenses related to CIC work or events is covered by CIC.

What exactly is street ministry?
Missionaries travel to their assigned street ministry site to encounter the poor and build relationships with them. Missionaries become well versed in the resources available to our friends on the street so as to help them improve their lives, but the missionary’s first and foremost responsibility lies in helping our friends rediscover their dignity and their relationship with the Lord.

What can I do to prepare for the experience of being a missionary?
The most important part of your preparation is to pray for the program, your time here, your fellow missionaries, your sponsors, CIC staff and most importantly the poor you will be serving. We recommend that you begin having a structured prayer life, attend daily Mass, foster daily personal prayer time and frequent the sacraments so that you can arrive better prepared for missionary life.

How are CIC missionaries trained?
The formal orientation program is an introduction to the missionary year and to the pillars of the program (human, spiritual, charitable and intellectual). The training includes, but is not limited to, spiritual and intellectual formation, team building activities, presentations, discussions, group service projects, site orientations and socializing. The first few months will be a formal training where the candidates are trained on how to be a CIC missionary and to make sure that both the CIC staff and candidate see that this program is a good fit. At the end of the training there will be a commissioning into the program. It is just a reminder that we are missionaries for life and CIC is a way to continue and enhance our baptismal call.

How do the CIC missionaries live? (food, housing, etc.)
Missionaries must be willing to live a simple life-style in material terms. This includes:

  • Bringing only essential clothing and furnishings
  • Living in modest accommodation, sharing a room with others
  • Resourcefulness with the budget and food provided by CIC

CIC is a co-ed program, housed under one roof, with separate floors according to gender.