MK Transition Seminars

Who's It For?

The Barnabas International TCK/MK Transition Seminars are designed for third-culture kids (TCKs) and missionary kids (MKs) who have just completed their high school experience overseas. The seminar provides helpful tools that prepare students for the transition back into life and college in North America. This is an opportunity to build relationships with other TCKs and at the same time learn and discuss various issues related to the transition experience.

What's the Seminar About?

"Understanding your story, sharing your story, and living your story"

mk transition2

God has been writing and shaping your TCK story from the day you were born. As a TCK, your story is exciting, diverse, and filled with mobility and multiple cross-cultural transitions. Each chapter paints a picture of "who you are" and how God has designed you.

At this seminar you'll find a safe place to understand, share, and live out your story as you embrace your past, understand the present, and build toward your future. You will have the opportunity to talk about what’s on your heart and celebrate your heritage with like-minded friends. You will come away affirmed and encouraged as a unique, valuable person and empowered to make choices that will enable you to have a profound impact on your world.

Seminar Objectives

Orientation: We'll talk about North American culture—the good and the bad, college life, friendships and dating, finances, and social customs. There will be opportunities to share in small group, around meals or in informal chats around topics such as:

  • Transitioning effectively to North America
  • Understanding yourself and others
  • MK/TCK identity issues
  • Dealing with separation, loss, and grief
  • Handling your own finances in college
  • Managing emotions in the midst of transition
  • Initiating healthy friendships
  • Choosing a church

Assessment: Personality tests will help you to understand your unique design, assess your personal adjustment, and identify areas for growth.

Adjustment: Christian educators and counselors with a heart for global ministry and a love for teenagers will encourage and guide you in addressing areas for personal, social, and spiritual growth.

Challenge: Daily chapels, evening dorm meetings led by our MK staff, and informal chats with staff and your fellow TCKs will challenge you to trust God more fully and help you in your spiritual formation.

Recreation: It's not just about the sessions! There will be many social and recreational activities and outings plus time to enjoy soccer, swimming, volleyball, group activities, table games, or just sitting around talking together. We guarantee you'll have a lot of fun!



“I loved getting to know new people who are going through the same thing.”


“I enjoyed meeting other TCKs, getting to know the staff and getting some perspectives I hadn't thought of.”


“Before, I knew in my head that I was not alone in this transition experience, but I couldn't really feel it in my heart. Because I came here, I now feel and believe it in my heart as well.”



The Leadership

Biola University: Debbie (Narramore) Hewitt and her husband Paul staffed the seminar from 2003 to 2007 while Paul was in graduate school pursuing his PsyD from the Rosemead School of Psychology. They have worked with the Narramore Christian Foundation to provide counseling support at a seminar for cross-cultural workers in Thailand. In addition, Debbie has taught high school English including 2 years at Rift Valley Academy in Kenya and is currently teaching college Freshmen at Cornerstone University in Grand Rapids, Michigan, while Paul is a psychologist on staff at the Christian Counseling Center. (Contact: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)

Cedarville University: Donna Messenger has been a staff member of Barnabas International since the spring of 2008. She worked for many years with TCKs in Eastern Europe and in the college setting at Cornerstone University in Grand Rapids, Michigan. She is currently the Director of Mu Kappa International and resides in Florida. Donna travels extensively to Mu Kappa chapters around the country to facilitate the start of new chapters and encourage TCKs wherever she finds them! (Contact: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)

Sponsoring Agencies

Barnabas International (Cedarville University Sponsor)

The Narramore Christian Foundation (Biola University Sponsor): For over 30 years this Christian counseling ministry has offered the MK/TCK seminar at Biola. (Contact:

When And Where?

We are offering the following MK Transition Seminars in 2022:

July 17-29, 2022: Biola University, La Mirada, California (more info)
July 10-22: Cedarville University, Cedarville, Ohio -  ( pdfview FAQs)

Cost & Registration

The cost per participant for the 2022 seminars: Cedarville - $700, Biola - $700). Participants will also be responsible for their travel expenses to and from the seminar. This includes shuttle costs from the local airport directly to the campus. Your seminar fees include room/board and all other seminar activities.

The remainder of the seminar expense for each TCK who is accepted is covered by a $1,000 scholarship from either the Narramore Christian Foundation (for the seminar at Biola University) or Barnabas (for the Cedarville University seminar).

Each seminar is limited in number. With such a great price and opportunity, register as soon as possible because the spaces fill up quickly!

All seminar fees should be paid directly to the sponsoring agency. These programs are separately run by Barnabas International and the Narramore Christian Foundation, so transfers between programs will mean losing your deposit and beginning a new registration with the other program

Biola Seminar
More Info and Registration
(this will take you to a different website)

Personal Information Needed to Register

  • Your personal contact information (address, phone/fax, email addresses, etc.)
  • Parents' contact information (address, phone/fax, email addresses, etc.)
  • Personal Health Insurance Information
  • Parents' ministry information (agency name and address)
  • Name/Location of high school and date of graduation
  • Years spent overseas and countries lived in
  • College you hope to attend or other plans after graduation (also location of college)
  • Special interest or hobbies
  • Special health or dietary needs
  • Languages spoken
  • T-shirt size
  • How did you hear about the seminar?
  • Why do you want to attend this seminar?
  • What aspect of transition are you most concerned about?
  • Biographical sketch: You’ll need to be prepared to write a brief biographical sketch describing your life as a TCK, including some highlights and/or disappointments from your TCK experience (250-word minimum).

If you have any questions regarding registration for this seminar, please contact our Registrar directly at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. If you have any questions about the seminar itself, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..