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A LOCAL MINISTRY WITH GLOBAL IMPACT

Reach the Nations at Your Doorstep!

Mission

We seek to love international students unconditionally, partner with local churches in leading international students to discover Jesus through the Word of God, and prepare them to serve God wherever He leads them.

Vision

Empowering international students to impact the world through Jesus Christ.

Core Values

  1. We embrace all international students unconditionally.
  2. We respect international students from all cultures and religions.
  3. We value teamwork among uniquely gifted individuals in an atmosphere of transparency, trust and accountability.
  4. We value cross-cultural relationships.
  5. We value the Bible & prayer as foundational.
  6. We respond to changing needs of students.
  7. We practice a Christ-centred approach to holistic ministry.
  8. We value partnership with the local church.

International Student Ministries Canada—ISMC—is a ministry in Canada focused solely on ministering to international students, empowering them to become fully devoted followers of Jesus, and to reach out and minister to those God has placed in their lives, whether in Canada or in their home country.

Over 35 years of service

God is on the move in Canada and through our local ministries as we send students across the world as leaders and Christian disciples. Many students go home to places where they are the only “Jesus” the nationals will see, the only “Bible” they will read. International Student Ministries Canada staff, volunteers and supporters continue working to serve and send these students home knowing their Creator. ISMC’s vision is to empower international students to impact the world through Jesus Christ. This is accomplished through friendship partner programs or Bible discussions. Our ultimate goal is to see international students become fully devoted followers of Jesus, ministering to those God places in their lives, whether in Canada or their home country.

1983 to 1990
International Student Ministries Canada grew out of an international student ministry active in the US. International Students Incorporated (ISI) had been reaching international students in the States since 1953. In 1983, when a Canadian couple, Eric and Sharon Mills, were accepted by ISI, they stayed in Alberta to serve. Margaret Bowman was also accepted and served in her home area of Guelph/Waterloo. Ken and Agnes White, ISI headquarters staff, moved to Calgary in 1984 to set up the Canadian office and establish the ministry. Within a year, the mission received its Canada Revenue Agency registration and in September 1985, Rob and Betty Marvin came from Indiana as ISMC’s first field directors.

As ISMC developed, the board of trustees grew and more staff came on board. By 1988, seventeen ISMC field staff worked in six cities. Early in 1989, the board welcomed former Prairie Bible Institute President Paul Maxwell as the first Canadian president. He invited Nick Gawryletz to join the mission as field director when the Marvins returned to the States. Paul brought great leadership experience to ISMC, recruiting and directing the home office and field ministry teams to evangelize and disciple international students.

1998 to 2010
In 1998, the national office was moved to Three Hills, Alberta. When Paul Maxwell retired in 2003, Paul Workentine took on the work. By April 2009, approximately 83 career and associate personnel served with ISMC in eighteen locations across Canada from Victoria, B.C. to Ottawa, Ontario.

2013 to 2020
Sensing a new season for ISMC, Paul and the board recruited Dr. Yaw Perbi to begin his duties as the President of ISMC. The ministry of ISMC had expanded into Quebec and the Maritimes, and Yaw served from Montreal. Yaw’s focus and passion is to see ISMC involved in raising the next generation of effective leaders, in keeping with ISMC’s vision and mission. Since May 2013, 45 new staff have joined ISMC. With new workers in Montreal and the Maritimes, the work of ISMC now stretches from sea to sea.

2021 to now...
In November 2020, Yaw informed ISMC that he would be wrapping up his tenure as president to focus on a new role of Global Ambassador for International Student Work. After much prayer, the board appointed Rev. Jakob Koch to this leadership role during the virtual staff conference in June 2021. Jakob will be serving from Hamilton, ON with a vision to mentor younger leaders within ISMC.

    600+
    Staff and volunteers

    23
    Cities across Canada

    52
    Campuses in Canada


    Big Dream 2023

    That by 2023, every international student in Canada will have had an opportunity to be loved and led (to the way of Christ in salvation, discipleship & leadership) by our ISMC catalyzed network of ISMs.

    Learn more


    Big Dream 2023

    That by 2023, every international student in Canada will have had an opportunity to be loved and led (to the way of Christ in salvation, discipleship & leadership) by our ISMC catalyzed network of ISMs.

    Learn more

    National Team

    ISMC's national leadership team ministers to students by bringing awareness of and mobilizing God's people to reach out to international students.

    Staff

    Staff are Christ followers from many cultures and backgrounds, yet they share a common desire to share the gospel with international students.

    Board of Directors

    ISMC is governed by a Board of Directors consisting of individuals with solid ministry and corporate world experience.