Common Questions

What kind of training will I receive?

All team members receive training that is specific to their program and tour destinations. This includes full-band as well as sectional training, and coaching in each of the songs their team will be taking on tour.

In addition to tour-specific training, team members will also be trained in a variety of areas that will make an impact far beyond their time with CTI.

Summer team members receive specific training in:

  • Sound Systems & Equipment Care
  • Guidelines for Setup and Teardown
  • Stage Engagement
  • Sharing from Stage
  • Knowing Your Instrument’s Role
  • Directing Your Audience’s Attention
  • Understanding Your Need for Jesus
  • Growing in Cultural Awareness
  • Exploring and Responding to Cultural Differences
  • International Travel
  • Traveling With Gear

Fulltime team members receive specific training in:

  • All areas of training that Summer team members receive (see above).
  • Set List Writing
  • Adapting Song Arrangements to Fit your Venue’s Needs
  • Transitioning between program elements
  • Worship Leading
  • 10-week Leadership Study
  • Understanding Personality and Conflict
  • Holding Auditions

What is training like?

The days of training are full of training in music, culture, and evangelism. You will be spending time getting to know the other individuals with whom you will be ministering, getting your musical repertoire down, learning about the culture of the specific country you’ll be going to, and learning the effective ways of ministering to different cultures using music and testimony. If you want to discover more about what training is like, check out the video below that shows CTI summer training in action and make sure to read what past team members say about their experience.

When is the deadline for my application materials?

We don’t have a deadline set, but the sooner you get everything in – the better. Keep in mind that completing your application with CTI does not commit you to coming on a team with us, so there’s no reason not to get everything completed as fast as possible. If you do decide that God is calling you to participate with CTI, getting your application materials in quickly will mean more time fundraise. Also, we can’t guarantee that by the time you apply there will be a position open for you on a team.

When will I know whether or not I’m accepted?

You will know within two weeks of the time you get all of your application materials in.

When will I know what country I’m going to?

One month prior to your arrival for training in Willmar.

How many people will be on my team?

Team sizes tend to vary quite a bit, but for a summer team the average is eleven; for fulltime the average is seven.

Can I choose what country I go to?

No. There is a lot of thought and planning that goes into team placement. You can feel free to express which country or countries you have a desire to go to, but this will in no way guarantee your going to that country.

Where will I be staying during my time of training in Willmar? What about while overseas?

During training we have people from the community (from local churches) who generously volunteer to host you and provide you with meals (although your days of training will be very full and you will be spending minimal time at your host home).

Where you will be staying while overseas varies from country to country. Some partners will house you in their mission base, others in apartments that they own. It will always be a location which our partners deem safe.

Can I miss any days of training (come late, leave for a couple days in the middle, etc.)?

No. Every minute of your two weeks in training is planned out. You will be learning valuable information during this time that will be later applied to your experience overseas. In rare events, such as deaths of family members, exceptions will be made.

What does your organization believe?

Click here to read our statement of faith.

Does CTI offer internships for college students?

Participation in a CTI program can potentially fulfill internship requirements in the fields of music, ministry, worship arts, intercultural studies, and other degree programs. Check with your academic advisor to learn the specific requirements for your internship. If you have questions about how a CTI experience might fulfill your internship requirements, send us a message!

CTI does not offer internships outside of participation on a CTI team. However, internships may be available on a case-by-case basis for alumni of CTI.

When is the money due?

For the Summer Program

Upon your arrival to Willmar. If you haven’t raised the full amount, you will be required to write a check for the remainder needed. There is also a $2000 deadline of either April 1st (for Round 1 participants) or May 1st (for Round 2 participants).

For the Fulltime Program

20% ($2400) is due upon arrival to Willmar. If the $2400 is not raised by that time, you will be required to front the remainder needed. The full $12,000 is due by the end of your year with CTI Music Ministries.

What happens if I raise more than money than needed?

You can be reimbursed for expenses that are being used exclusively for CTI, just make sure that you save all of your receipts! These expenses include, but are not limited to, travel expenses to and from Willmar (gas, plane tickets, etc.), guitar strings, stamps, envelopes, etc. (If you’re wondering about whether or not a specific expense is reimbursable, don’t hesitate to check with our financial department) Any extra money that you have raised and are not being reimbursed with will be saved in your name for two years and can be used should you return for another tour with CTI.

How is the amount of money I need to raise determined? Why do I need to raise as much as someone going to a more expensive destination?

 CTI operates on what we refer to as an equal costing model.  This means that our program fees are not directly tied to the cost of any single team’s experience, but rather reflect an equal division of the combined cost of the entire program, which may include five to eight separate teams.  Each CTI team member bears an equal share of the total cost, regardless of the direct expenses incurred by their specific team.

Our program fees are based on the cost of offering the overall experience, not the cost of the specific destination in which an individual team member will experience it.  Our team members do not choose their own destinations; in applying to participate in this experience, they are trusting that we will place them on the team where we judge that the experience will be a successful one for them, their teammates, and their international ministry partnership. Operating under this model helps us ensure that the quality and staffing on our teams is universally high for all of our partners, and that the experience is equally rich for all of our participants.  In addition, this model is the only realistic way we can recruit the very specific musical positions required to form multiple bands each year.

Do I have to raise support, or can I just pay for the trip myself?

Team members are encouraged to contribute towards their own support account.  We strongly discourage participants from completely “self-funding” however, because raising support is an essential part of the CTI experience.  By self-funding, team members miss out on many of the lessons and blessings God often teaches and bestows through the experience:

  1. Support-raising increases our trust and reliance on God; essential traits for effective ministry  (I Tim 6:17)
  2. Support-raising expands our ministry as God uses our need to form the hearts of those partnering with us (Titus 3:14)
  3. Support-raising increases God’s glory as we share the things we see God doing in us and through our ministry with our supporters (1 John I:3)

We encourage all team members to raise support and trust God to provide.  Remember: as long as you remain in control of the resources, you’ll want to remain in control of the experience you are “purchasing.”  But when you release control of the resources to God, you release control of the entire experience to Him as well.  Your CTI experience won’t be what we envision it to be for you unless you release control of it to God.

For more information and encouragement about God’s provision through support-raising, see our support-raising resources.

What expenses does my support-raising cover? Can you give me a breakdown of how the funds are used?

Our equal costing model makes it difficult to give an exact breakdown of where each participant’s funds go, but the per-person cost of an average CTI tour is actually more than what we ask each team member to raise (our programs are subsidized through our general budget.)

Here are some of the expenses that we cover through the support-raising efforts of our participants:


  • Round-trip airfare from Minnesota to the international destination
  • Meals during your stay abroad
  • Housing during your stay abroad
  • Ground transportation for you and your equipment while abroad
  • The cost of any needed visas (a fee to enter a foreign country, imposed by the foreign government)
  • Exit taxes (a fee imposed by the foreign government, paid prior to departing an international airport)
  • In some cases, other costs incurred by our foreign ministry partners as they arrange your international outreaches (things like the cost of a permit to hold a concert, renting generators to run the sound system, event planning expenses for outreaches, promotional expenses, hired translators, etc.)
  • Cost of providing and maintaining a complete PA system for each team
  • 2 weeks of food, housing and transportation in Minnesota
  • Cost of staff, facilities, and materials for training in Minnesota
  • Cost of recruiting and processing recruits and forming them into bands
  • Cost of developing and coordinating the tours and preparing unique programs for each team (many hours of planning take place before team members arrive for training here in Willmar)
  • Cost of processing donations, receipting donors, and maintaining  standards required by the IRS
  • Transportation, food, housing, materials, staff and facilities for post-tour debriefing in Minnesota


All housing, transportation and meal expenses for fulltimers are covered from the day they arrive at CTI until the day they leave (with the exception of breaks for Christmas and Easter.)  This includes expenses for about 20 weeks on the road in the US and Canada, one month abroad (plus the airfare to get to and from the international ministry location and other related expenses as detailed above) and about 8 weeks of time spent at our training facility throughout the year.  Here are some additional expenses that we offset with these funds:

  • Cost to outfit each team with a 15-passenger van, a cargo trailer, and a complete PA system
  • Cost to maintain and insure those assets and team member’s personal instruments
  • Cost of staff, facilities, and materials involved in training the teams
  • Cost of developing and coordinating the program and domestic and international tours
  • Cost of recruiting, processing recruits, and forming the teams
  • Cost of day-to-day management of the program (a fulltime job)
  • Cost of processing donations, receipting donors, and maintaining standards required by the IRS

Can CTI issue a tax receipt for donations from Canada?

We cannot issue tax receipts for donations from Canada because we are not registered as a non-profit organization in Canada.  The only way for Canadians to receive a tax receipt is for you to fundraise through your church or Youth for Christ, Canada.  For more information about raising support through YFC Canada, contact our office directly.