Training Programs

On Boarding Training Program

On Boarding is a four-week training program followed by a one-week practicum to prepare new crew and staff for their time of service with Mercy Ships and includes topics such as Foundations of Mercy Ships, Faith Foundations, Personal & Interpersonal Development, Worldview & Culture, and some departmental training.

The program is currently offered 4 times a year (typically January/February, March/April, June/July, and September/October) at the Mercy Ships International Support Center (ISC) in Lindale, Texas and once per year at a location on the African continent.

Completion of the On Boarding training program is required for all crew joining the community of faith onboard, but is open to all volunteers. You must be accepted for a position onboard the ship before attending this program. There is no cost associated with this course, but each participant is responsible for their own travel expenses.

(For more information, please contact our Human Resources department.)

Maritime Regulatory Training

Since our crew are living and working onboard, naturally some positions require certain licenses or maritime training. All non-medical crew joining for more than six months are encouraged to join us for Basic Training and Crowd Management. The courses are offered in conjunction with On Boarding.

Learning Management System (

The Digital Learning Center provides online training for crew, for regulatory training, on-the-job training, and personal development. Our Learning Management Systems (LMS) ensures crew all around the globe have access to the training they need, when they need it.

Staff Development Onboard

The Staff Development departments onboard our ships provide continued learning and development support throughout a crew member’s journey, including leadership development, team building, cross-cultural learning, and foundational training about Mercy Ships.